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Activities That Promote Children's Positive Self Concepts

by Christina Schnell, studioD

Your child's self-concept describes how he sees himself and his abilities. In addition, while he may have a positive self-concept of himself as a runner or artist, he can have a poor self-concept when it comes to school, according to Purdue University's "Encouraging Positive Self-Concepts in Children." Having a positive self-concept indicates a high level of self-esteem, while a negative self-concept often results in a child who is reluctant to try new things, easily frustrated and generally lacks confidence, according to Purdue University.

Quality Highlights

Help your child create a collage or list of all the things she likes about herself. This encourages your child to recognize positive attributes from being kind to being good at drawing pictures. Cut out pictures and paste them next to the positive traits listed on the sheet or poster. After a particularly challenging experience, such as attending a birthday with lots of people she doesn't know or finishing a race at school, sit down help her draw pictures of what aspects she thinks she did especially well. Documenting these successes fosters a positive self-concept, according to EducationWorld.com.


Learning to care for himself and his belongings in an age-appropriate way builds a child's sense of competence and independence, according to Purdue University. Dressing a kindergartener and picking up his room, tells your child he is unable to do these tasks adequately by himself. Start small, and make a list of what things you are going to work on together. Be prepared to teach him step-by-step basic tasks like putting on clothing if you have always done it for him before. Let him help make a chart and choose reward stickers for each new task he masters.

Goal Time

Setting and accomplishing reasonable goals promotes positive self-concept by showing your child that she can be competent by working hard and being determined. Make goal sheets together and show her how to breakdown her goals. For example, if her goal is to summit the climbing structure at school, help her make a timeline with stickers and markers detailing how she'll try climbing to the third level for one week and then try reaching the fourth level for a whole week. Help her set goals are challenging, but attainable.

Compliment Exchange

Giving and receiving compliments promotes a positive self-concept by focusing on his positive traits and empowers him with the ability to make others feel good about themselves. Practice exchanging compliments between you and your child or include the whole family. Give your child a compliment and ask him to give you one in return. Have one person be the scribe or record the compliments you give each other with a colorful marker. Frame the final product or keep a running tally on mural paper.

About the Author

Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.

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