Parenting is one of the most difficult and important jobs in the world. It takes a special type of person to be able to nurture, care for, and train their child into becoming happy, responsible adults. In this article, you will find 10 common mistakes parents make with their children that hurt their self-esteem.

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Doing too much for your kids and giving them no responsibility

When you do too much for your kids and give them no responsibility, you are actually hurting their self-esteem. Why? Because you are not giving them the opportunity to learn and grow on their own. You are also sending the message that you don't think they are capable of handling responsibility, which can lead to a sense of inferiority.

So what can you do instead? Start by gradually giving your child more responsibility around the house. They can help with simple tasks like setting the table or putting away their toys. As they get older, you can increase the level of responsibility. And always make sure to praise them when they do a good job!

The way you speak to your child

When you speak to your child, it is important to be mindful of the language you use. Avoid using negative or hurtful words, as these can damage your child's self-esteem. Instead, focus on using positive and encouraging language that will build up your child's confidence.

It is also important to be aware of the tone you use when speaking to your child. Avoid sounding angry, frustrated, or disappointed, as this will only make your child feel worse about themselves. Instead, try to sound calm and supportive, even if you are discussing a difficult topic.

Finally, remember that the way you speak to your child can have a big impact on their self-esteem. So take care to choose your words wisely and always try to communicate in a way that will promote your child's positive self-image.

Unqualified praise

The first wrong thing is giving unqualified praise. This is when you tell your child they did a great job without specifying what they did that was great. For example, instead of saying “you did a great job painting that picture,” try “I love the way you used different colors in your painting.” This type of praise helps children feel good about themselves and their efforts without making them feel like they have to be perfect.

Parents with a child.
Parents with a child.

Failing to set boundaries.

It's important for parents to set boundaries with their children. If parents don't set boundaries, their children will have difficulty respecting them and may become resentful. Here are some common mistakes parents make that hurt their child's self-esteem:

Not setting limits on screen time

If parents don't set limits on screen time, children can become addicted to screens and social media. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.

Not monitoring their child's online activity

Parents should monitor their child's online activity to ensure they are not exposed to inappropriate content or cyberbullying. If children are allowed to freely browse the internet without supervision, they could stumble upon damaging material that could negatively affect their self-esteem.

Comparison parenting

Comparing your child to other children, either in terms of looks, achievements, or behavior, can damage your child's self-esteem. It's important to encourage your child for who they are and not try to mold them into someone they're not. Otherwise, your child will internalize your expectations and compare themselves unfavorably to others, leading to low self-esteem.

Overly praising one child in comparison to another.

The It's common for parents to want to praise their children for their accomplishments, but it's important to be careful about how you do it. Overly praising one child in comparison to another can hurt your child's self-esteem.

Your child may feel like they are not good enough if you are always comparing them to their sibling or other children. This can lead to them feeling anxious or depressed. It's important to praise your children for their individual achievements and not compare them to others.

If you're worried that your child's self-esteem is already low, there are some things you can do to help. Encourage your child to participate in activities they enjoy and praise them for their effort, rather than the outcome. Help them set realistic goals and celebrate their successes, no matter how small.

Parents with their parents.
Parents with their parents.

Ignoring the mistakes of your child on purpose.

It can be tempting to ignore your child's wrong doing in an effort to boost their self-esteem, but this can actually do more harm than good. By pretending like everything is perfect, you're setting your child up for a fall when they inevitably make a mistake. It's important to let your child know that it's okay to make mistakes and that you're there to help them learn from them.

If you consistently ignore your child's mistakes, they'll start to feel like they can't trust you. They won't feel comfortable coming to you with their problems and will instead try to hide their mistakes from you. This will only lead to more problems down the road.

It's also important to remember that everyone makes mistakes. It's a natural part of life. What matters is how we learn from our mistakes and grow as a result. If you can help your child see their mistakes as an opportunity for growth, they'll be on the right track to a healthy self-esteem.

Not being there in a time of need or crisis.

It's hard enough for children to deal with the normal ups and downs of life, but when they face a crisis, they need the support of their parents more than ever. Unfortunately, some parents make the errors of not being there for their child during these difficult times.

This can be incredibly hurtful to a child's self-esteem. They may feel like they're not important enough to their parent or that they're not worth the effort. This can lead to feelings of insecurity and low self-worth that can stay with them long into adulthood.

If you're facing a difficult situation, make sure your child knows that you're there for them and that you love them no matter what. Let them know that you'll support them through whatever they're going through. This will help them feel secure and valued, boosting their self-esteem in the process.

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Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

What are some common mistakes parents make when disciplining their children?

Discipline is a crucial aspect of parenting, but common mistakes include being inconsistent with rules and consequences, using punishment instead of positive reinforcement, and not taking into account the child's perspective or feelings.

How can parents avoid over-scheduling their children and prevent burnout?

Over-scheduling can lead to stress and burnout in children. Parents can avoid this by prioritizing downtime, limiting extracurricular activities, and ensuring that there is a balance between structured and unstructured time.

What are some common mistakes parents make when trying to communicate with their teenagers?

Communication with teenagers can be challenging, but common mistakes include not listening actively, being judgmental or critical, and not respecting their privacy. It's important for parents to approach conversations with empathy, openness, and respect for their teenager's perspective.


Self-esteem is a critical foundation for children as they grow and develop. It impacts every aspect of their lives, from how they feel about themselves to how they interact with others. If you're guilty of any of these behaviors, it's important to make a change. Your child deserves your love and attention, and they need to know that they're a priority in your life.