Nine Tips to Help Teach Kids to Love Themselves

Written for Mothering in the Middle

Teaching our kids how to love themselves is an ongoing task. It is a legacy that, when passed on correctly, will forever be an asset, much more than money or the best college!

You teach youngsters that to love themselves is to answer to their own hunger with food, to their own thirst with water and to their emotions with kindness and gentleness, no matter what they are. It is pretty straightforward.

When your kid becomes a teen, you teach him to love himself by not giving in, to peer pressure. Withstanding peer pressure equals loving oneself.

You explain that not to have sex when too young or under-pressure, is about self-respect and self-love. Depending on religious beliefs, you may say they need to wait until marriage.But, unwillingly and thinking they are acting on their children’s best interest, parents may teach self-hate and disrespect!

Here are nine tips to teach your teen to love him/herself:

1- Keep Perspective. Figure out your fears and anxieties regarding your own personal history.
2- When your teen was an infant/ child the basis of your love was to know/feel what she needed/ wanted. Now, you will show love by teaching her to know her own needs!
3-Your teen will practice self-love if you teach him that it is okay to relax, allow her to have free time. Do NOT over schedule.
4-each your teen that self-love is paying attention to what your body says.
5-Respect her time and space.
6-Teach her that she is lovable no matter what her grades are! Test scores do not measure worth or lovability.
7-Link his moodiness or her irritability or self- deprecation to possible stress. Teach them how to ‘read’ their own stress.
9-Teach them that it is okay to have different feelings, even all at once!

More than any college they may go to, or money you might leave them, reading and tending to their own needs is the biggest gift of love you can leave them with.

Irene Celcer Iréné Celcer is a mental health professional and parenting expert with specialties that include ADD, bullying, infertility, and third party reproductive assistance and adoption. A regular guest on CNN, she has extensive expertise in eating disorders, body image perceptions, and women’s issues. In addition to her authorships and philanthropic work, she maintains a private practice; she lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. 99Tips to Reset The Table: Parenting in a Society Obsessed with Food, Weight, Obesity and Body Image (Graphite Press) is her latest book. You can find her at or in Twitter:@irenecelcer. You can also email her or find more info in her website


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