Encourage your child's individuality

Image source: Dove Self-Esteem Project

Parent Info has partnered with the Dove Self-Esteem Project to offer parents advice and information to help children and young people build confidence and feel good about themselves.

In this article, we look at gaining confidence by being your own person

Our own style and personality is what makes us unique. As your child gets older they might start choosing to express their personality through what they wear, similar to how popstars like Rihanna and Lady Gaga do with their own outfits. While some of your child's fashion choices might not be to your taste, it’s important to let them express themselves to help build their self-esteem, as long it is not putting them at risk.

If your child is dying their hair an unconventional colour to stand out from the crowd, see it as positive as they’re confident enough to go against the norm and discover their own identity.

Instead of railing against your child’s expressions of individuality, remember these points:

  • Give them a say. You may have reservations about certain clothes they wear, but meet them half way and let them pick their own accessories so it shows you respect their choices.
  • Get creative. Buy some fabric or customise an old item of clothing they’re not wearing any more, to create something completely unique.
  • Have fun. Your child is confident enough to stand out from the crowd and that’s great. It’ll help them develop their self-esteem and self-confidence as they get older.

Tip: Next time your child dresses in a way you don't like, ask yourself: does it really matter? If their safety isn't at risk and there's no other good reason to disagree with their choice, don't say anything.

Read more on how you can help your child celebrate their individuality

    ‘People came up to me at school and said they loved my fanzine and that it made them feel so much better’

    In this video, 16-year-old Mikhaila Nodel explains why she created her monthly fanzine ‘The Cosmic Cuties’, to celebrate everyone’s differences and how it has made her friends at school feel better about themselves.


    ‘There were loads of people who struggled with self-esteem issues and I wanted to help because I knew how it felt.’

    Watch 15-year-old Levi Fallavollita’s story on how hanging out with people who teased others inspired him to start his own project, ‘Be Courageous’, which gives young people a platform to express their struggles with low self-esteem. The stories he has come across formed his book ‘Be Courageous’, written to let young people know they are not the only ones struggling with body image or confidence.


    Download your FREE 40-page parent guide to boosting your child's self-esteem here

    This downloadable pdf contains expert advice from Dove Self-Esteem Project global experts from the fields of psychology, body image, self-esteem, eating disorders and media representation to create a resource for parents that is focused on advice and action.  

    Teachers: for free downloadable teaching resources, go to the Dove Self-Esteem Project area on ParentZone.org.uk.

    These pages are brought to you by Parent Zone and the Dove Self-Esteem Project


    The advice published on Parent Info is provided by independent experts in their field and not necessarily the views of Parent Zone or NCA-CEOP.

    First published: January 2018


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