Many times I hear that THE solution to people feeling bad about themselves or motivating them to be a success is to raise their self-esteem. 

Believe in yourself, that’s the place to start, sings a popular kids’ show jingle that my children sometimes watch. That sounds all well and good, right? Who doesn’t want their child to have confidence and the strength to be themselves and pursue their dreams?


Yet after I heard that sung, I talked with my 6 and 8 year old about that very thing. The problem with that viewpoint, I told them, is that if you only believe in yourself, what happens when you fail? When you make a mistake or don’t win or succeed in the way you like? Where is your confidence found?

As Christians, we of course believe it’s found in God, and that He is where we find our “esteem”, not our own works, which fall short, but in His grace, which then motivates us to do what He has called us to do (which may be successful according to the world, or it may not be!).

After that conversation, I got to thinking that I wanted to share more with my children what I value about them, helping them see themselves through God’s eyes and not through the lens of the world with its unrealistic and sometimes ungodly expectations. After looking through Scripture and thinking about this matter, I’ve found seven helpful ways to show our children we value them. These are simple acts and words that we can utilize every single day! I hope they are helpful to you as well.

Want to help your child see how they are valued in the eyes of God rather than just "raising their self-esteem"? Here are 7 ways to show your child you value them every single day! Simple ideas that you can start implementing in your home right now!

1. Look your child in the eye when speaking to them. How easy it is for me to become distracted by ______ (dinner, the internet, cleaning up messes) when my children want my attention. In job interview training, we are told to look the other person in the eye both to make a personal connection and to show them we are paying mind to what they are saying. The same goes for interactions with our kids! This is a practice that I have to intentionally work at every. single. day. 

You might also like: One Simple Way to Encourage Obedience in Your Child

2. Hug your children each day (and even kiss them too!). My parents aren’t overly emotional people, so I don’t remember being hugged a whole lot as I got older (even though I was as a young child). That didn’t ruin me or anything of the sort but it’s just something I’m trying to keep in mind now that I have a 9 and 6 1/2 year old (in addition to the 3 and 1 year old who snuggle with me often) who aren’t as forward in their physical affection with mom and dad as they used to be.

I want to be purposeful about giving them a hug and kiss on their heads (or the chubby one year old’s cheeks!) each day–physical touch is the love language of some children and really any child can benefit from that type of affection from their parents.


3. Share an encouraging Bible verse with them. Some examples of Bible verses that show them their worth in Christ and what He has done for them are 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ezekiel 36:26, Ephesians 1:5-6, Ephesians 2:8-10, Ephesians 6:10, Psalm 139:13-14 and Colossians 3:1 (can you tell we like Ephesians?). Here also are 14 Scriptures to pray over your child.

4. Tell them one thing you like about them–make it specific and different each time. For example, I might say to my 6 year old, “I love that you enjoy drawing pictures for your friends. I think God has given you the gift of encouragement.” It’s nice for kids to hear more than “good job”, and although there’s nothing wrong with saying that, we have found that being more specific with our compliments helps our kids see themselves through the eyes of God and how He has gifted them or may be calling them to help others.

Also, focus each day on telling your child something they do right, rather than always fixating on what they should be doing or are doing wrong.

Kids doing tissue paper turkeys for some church friends!

5. Teach them a new skill. One of my favorite things to do with my children is cook with them. Yes, you heard right! Not every night, but often we make time to bake or cook together. I think that by showing them a valuable life skill (both boys and girls can benefit from it), this is a profitable way to show our kids that time spent with them matters to us too!

Try making this rhubarb crumble pie with your littles or these hot ham and cheese calzones with homemade calzone dough and enjoy these simple tips on how to have a successful baking day with your toddler ;)

6. Let them choose. In our home, our children are given the option of choices when they are consistently listening to and obeying us. So I’m not advocating letting your child pick anything in every situation. However, as our kids get older, I think it’s important to expand the funnel a bit (I’ll talk more about our viewpoint of “parenting inside the funnel” in later posts) and allow them, according to their maturity, to have a part in making decisions.

Easy examples of this would be letting them choose some of the meals for the week, choose between two options of clothing (for toddlers & preschoolers) or picking where you go for your next outing. This is also a great way to encourage teamwork in your kids by having them work together to find something fun to do.

The 6 and 8 year old work well together--most of the time!
The 6 and 8 year old work well together–most of the time!

7. Tell them “I love you.” Far too often, children don’t hear this from their parents. They will go and seek “love” somewhere else if we neglect to show them the Biblical love that the Father has lavished on us. Even older children like to hear this, although they may pretend that it’s silly :)

And that same love compels me to share the main truth that I want you to take away from these suggestions. If you struggle to do any of these things, like I do, remember that you can bring those failings to God and He can redeem them! The Holy Spirit will nudge you and help you find ways that show your child how valuable they are to you and to the Lord. Don’t be discouraged! This motherhood job takes place one day at a time, sometimes one moment at a time. God is there, and when we read His Word and pray, He gives us the grace to show our children godly love, as He has loved us.

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8 Comments on 7 Ways to Show Your Children You Value Them, Every Day

  1. Jenn, these are great. I agree that when we tell kids to have confidence in themselves, we’re setting them up to be disappointed, but when we point them to God, they can have real confidence in Him. These are great ideas!

  2. WONDERFUL post! I love all 7 ways.

    I especially like this: “…not our own works, which fall short, but in His grace, which then motivates us to do what He has called us to do (which may be successful according to the world, or it may not be!).”

    It’s a great reminder that none of this is by our works, but solely by God’s grace. Great witness!

  3. Great tips! It’s the little things that we do that matter the most! We need work on #1…i don’t know how many times our kids have been talking and my reply is just “uh huh” while I am busy cooking, blogging, laundry… It is part of our morning routine to hug and say have a good at school in the morning. Our bedtime routine includes hugs, kisses, and I loves you!

    • I do the same thing–it’s easy for me to forget how important the little things are to my kids and how much they enjoy it when I REALLY listen to them :) Your morning/bedtime routines sound wonderful!

  4. What an excellent post, Jenn. Thanks for your encouragement! (I’ll be sharing!)

    One thing I’d add that I’m really trying to do more is laugh together. It may sound a bit silly, but I’m realizing that if I want them to face each day with joy, I need to be modeling joy for them. (And laughing together really helps us bond.)

    • That’s a great idea, Anna. Everyone feels better after they laugh, especially me as a mother! :)

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