How to Teach Your Child Self-Compassion

How to Teach Your Child Self-Compassion

It is normal for humans to make mistakes; sometimes, we put ourselves through negative emotions like self-criticism and self-doubt that can harm our mental health because of our inability to cope.

However, mistakes are normal, and when you teach your child self-compassion, you help them realize healthy ways to cope with their mistakes and even learn from them.

One way to teach self-compassion is to practice it on yourself. Be a model to your child in your moment of inadequacy.

How you handle self-doubt in your child's presence can be an excellent example for them.

Another way is to teach self-kindness.

Your child should learn to talk kindly to themself instead of self-criticism.

Show your child how to speak words of encouragement to themself.

Furthermore, teach your child to accept that things will not always go their way.

Your child should know it is normal not to get all they desire and not beat themself up about it.

Help your child see those moments as opportunities to practice self-compassion.

You can teach your child self-compassion through the following ways:

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Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

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Lauren Wilkerson, SWC

(719) 345-2424
Margot Bean, LCSW

Margot Bean, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Cassondra Chagnon, LPCC

Cassondra Chagnon, LPCC

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Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Melissa Peterson, LPC

Melissa Peterson, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424

Modeling Self-Compassion 

How you handle self-doubt in your child's presence should serve as an example to them.

Your child tends to mimic what they hear or see from you.

To teach your child self-compassion, you must also show self-compassion.

You should not wallow in self-criticism when you fail at something but uplift yourself with encouraging words.

Pay attention to the language you use to describe yourself in the presence of your child.

A great way to teach self-compassion is practicing being kind to yourself out loud so your child can hear you.

Furthermore, you should make your child realize that mistakes are a part of life and that it is okay to make them.

How you handle mistakes should be a lesson on self-compassion to your child.

Refrain from using unkind and vile language on yourself in front of your child.

Phrases like "I can do better," "it is okay to make mistakes," and " I am not a failure" should be used in your moment of inadequacy.

So before you talk harshly to yourself, ask yourself what you would say to your child if they were in the same situation.

Teach your child to understand that words have power; therefore, they should be mindful of talking down on themself.

Teaching Your Child Self-Kindness 

Children are often taught to be kind to others but rarely to themselves.

While you teach your child self-compassion, you should also teach self-kindness.

Educate your child to show themself the same amount of kindness they would show their friends.

Encourage your child to speak and cheer themself the way they would to an outsider.

When your child knows that their words matter and that saying hurtful things to others may hurt them, they will extend the same courtesy to themself.

Teach your child that they deserve the kindness, attention, and love they give to other people.

Similarly, you can start teaching self-kindness by telling them how to show kindness to their bodies.

Your child may feel pressure and self-doubt when comparing their bodies with society's picture of a perfect body.

You should encourage your child to appreciate their body and tell them not to focus on how their body looks; instead, they should focus on its function.

Positive affirmations can also help your child develop self-kindness.

Teach your child to talk kindly to themself.

Help them understand that positive affirmations will benefit their self-esteem in the future.

Letting Them Know Things Will Not Always Go Their Way

Your child should understand that they cannot always get their desired outcome.

Teach your child self-compassion by making them know they can't control everything.

Your child needs to have an accurate picture of life and how it consists of highs and lows.

You should explain to your child that even though they can't control everything that happens, they have a say in their response.

Tell them they can choose to always respond positively to everything even if it doesn't turn out well.

Furthermore, teach your child to accept responsibility for their actions while practicing self-compassion.

Help your child understand that the outcome of a situation might result from their decision.

Ensure that you make your child understand that their actions have consequences.

Also, your child must understand that it is okay not to be in control.

Your child should be able to acknowledge that they have imperfections as humans, and that is okay.

Teaching Them to Accept Their Emotions 

When you teach your child self-compassion, you should also teach them to be aware of their emotions.

When your child understands their feelings, they are less likely to express them by throwing temper tantrums.

A child who has control of their thoughts and feelings can easily say when they have self-doubts.

However, it is easy to teach your child who can express self-doubt how to have self-compassion.

Teaching your child how to accept their emotions will make them mentally strong and more likely to be able to handle whatever life throws their way.

A great way to help your child accept their emotion is by naming them.

Teach your child words like sad, happy, calm, nervous, and disappointed, and show them how to incorporate them into their vocabulary.

Another way is by also watching movies and reading books, and discussing the feelings the characters might be experiencing.

In addition, teach your child they don't need to act out how they are feeling when angry. Encourage your child to take a break when feeling angry or frustrated.

Ensure to show your child healthy ways to handle sad feelings; all these can promote self-compassion.

Praising and Encouraging Efforts 

Encourage your child when they do something right.

Praise your child when they do something you love.

By praising, you are showing your child how to talk positively to themself.

You are helping them recognize when they do well, which will help you teach your child self-compassion.

You can use encouragement when your child is about to do something; for example, when they are to write a test, let them know that they will do well, no matter the outcome, they have tried their best.

Even if the result of your child's effort is not what they expected, they still have room for self-compassion because you have praised their effort.

Also, when you praise your child's efforts, they are most likely to see trying hard as a good thing rather than focus on the result of their effort.

Your child becomes more optimistic when they face any challenge.

Acknowledge good behavior by rewarding your child with gifts.

Your child is likely to repeat the behavior that earns them rewards.

Rewards make encouragement work better.

Praises do not have to be verbal it could be a little as a thumbs-up or applause.


When you teach your child self-compassion, it contributes to their mental well-being.

It helps them deal with failures, mistakes, setbacks, and challenging times in a healthy way.

Ways you can teach self-compassion include modeling self-compassion, teaching self-kindness, teaching your child to understand that things will not always go their way, teaching your child to accept their emotions, and praising and encouraging good behavior.


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July 20th, 2024

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