Building a Positive Self-Concept

Self-concept can be defined as the view of one has of himself/herself. A child’s self-concept begins to develop at his birth; this is how the adults respond to them. Parents create positive emotional bonding with love and caring interaction with the eye contact. The positive emotional bonding from parents creates a strong positive self-concept in child. It is the basis of relationship in which child feels love, respect from their parents.

As the child grows, the ability to interact successfully with the environment grows the power of self-concept. It is very important in early childhood because the development of self-concept empowers the child to feel competent, try new things. As parents, it’s the responsibility to develop the positive self-concept in child so that he can face the real world with full confidence.

So, how one can differ that his/her child has a positive or negative self-concept? Person with the positive self-concept have a “can do” attitude. They have believe in their abilities and can complete the task without any help, or minimum help. They do not exhibit the problematic behavior which goes against their positive self-concept.

Person with the negative self-concept have a “can’t do” attitude. They become frustrated and easily give up the difficult tasks. This shows the lack of confidence in child’s behavior.

What can parents do to help their children develop a positive self-concept?

Be mindful of the language to use to describe for your children. Do not label them with the words such as “lazy”, “naughty” and “aggressive” or “stupid”. Instead look for and point out your child’s strengths.

Provide them with opportunities for success. Give your child age – appropriate task so he/she can complete it without any difficulty. Having done so will give him/her the sense of pride and help build a “can do” mentality and positive self-concept.

Give them the opportunity to explore the environment, ask questions without feeling like a nuisance, and also try to engage them to play different daily life activities.

Failure is also a learning tool for the children. In fact, children with the positive self-concept who experience failure can easily accept the weaknesses and mistakes, because they know they are overall competent.


Parents sometimes think that they must point out the children mistakes and often correct the child in order to make them competent. This is dangerously false, constant criticism erodes self-confidence. Parents must emphasize that their children will do right and they must grow their confidence then surely their children will continue to strive to meet that positive self-concept.

The Effects of Behavior

Misbehavior is the usual outcome of discouragement and a poor self-concept. Encouragement recognizes the abilities in your child and to motivate them in the society use the words of encouragement with the child so that he/she can interact with people with full confidence in the society. Be careful with your parental power, while it is important to establish or enforce limits but try not to dominate the child. A healthy self-concept is the foundation of positive development and the over-all well-being of the child. If teacher wants the child to be fully charged in the school activities, the teachers must appreciate and encourage their actions, this will build the positive self-concept in the child and by doing this the child is willing to learn new ideas and try new things.