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May 17, 2024

Embracing Positive Self-Talk: Boost Your Child's Self-Esteem with Expert Insights from Dr. Simone Alicia

In the journey of parenting, one of the most powerful tools we can offer our children is the gift of positive self-talk. As Dr. Simone Alicia, a self-esteem coach and founder of the Self-Esteem Doctor Academy, emphasizes, positive self-talk and self-esteem form the bedrock of a child's emotional well-being and overall success. This article draws insights from Dr. Simone's conversation with Genie Dawkins on 'The Parenting Cipher' podcast, focusing on practical ways to embrace and model positive self-talk for your children, and effectively boost their self-esteem.

Why Positive Self-Talk Matters

Self-talk refers to the internal dialogue that occurs within our minds, shaping our perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors. For children, this internal dialogue can significantly impact their self-esteem, confidence, and overall mental health. Positive self-talk helps children develop a healthy self-image, resilience, and the ability to navigate challenges effectively.

Dr. Simone Alicia explains that positive self-talk releases chemicals in the brain similar to those found in pharmaceutical drugs through meditative states, promoting a sense of calmness, self-assuredness, and emotional stability. By contrast, negative self-talk can have a detrimental effect, leading to stress, anxiety, and a poor self-image.

The Role of Parents in Modeling Positive Self-Talk

As parents, we serve as primary role models for our children. The way we talk to ourselves and others sets a powerful example for our kids. Dr. Simone Alicia encourages parents to be honest about their own struggles with self-care and self-talk, highlighting the importance of transparency and vulnerability in the process of self-growth.

Here are some practical steps parents can take to model positive self-talk:

  1. Practice Self-Awareness: Pay attention to your own self-talk and identify negative patterns. Replace negative statements with positive affirmations. For example, instead of saying, "I am not good at this," try saying, "I am learning and improving every day." By demonstrating this shift in mindset, you teach your child to reframe their own thoughts.
  2. Living Affirmations: Incorporate affirmations into daily routines. Mornings are a great time to recite affirmations together as a family. Phrases like "I am capable," "I am loved," and "I can do hard things" set a positive tone for the day. Dr. Simone suggests using affirmation games to make this practice engaging and fun for children.
  3. Positive Reinforcement: Acknowledge and praise your child's efforts and achievements, no matter how small. Positive reinforcement encourages children to internalize self-affirming messages and builds their confidence over time. This practice was echoed by Genie Dawkins, who discussed her own experiences with fostering positive reinforcement. 
  4. Addressing Negative Self-Talk: When you notice your child engaging in negative self-talk, gently guide them to reframe their thoughts. Help them identify and challenge irrational beliefs by asking questions like, "Is that really true?" or "What evidence do you have to support that thought?" Teach them to replace negative thoughts with more balanced and positive ones. Helping your child to be aware of the words they say to themselves will help them swiitch to positive talk when they are by themselves.

Integrating Social-Emotional Learning at Home

Dr. Simone Alicia emphasizes the importance of social-emotional learning (SEL) as a foundation for positive self-talk and self-esteem. SEL involves teaching and learning emotional, mindset, attitude, and behavioral skills that help individuals perform their best and interact with others in a healthy manner. Incorporating SEL into your child's daily routine can have a profound impact on their overall well-being.

Here are some ways to integrate SEL at home:

  1. Emotion Vocabulary: Teach your child to identify and label their emotions. Use a feelings chart or emotion cards to help them express what they are feeling. Dr. Simone explains that understanding and naming emotions is the first step in managing them effectively.
  2. Gratitude Practice: Encourage your child to practice gratitude by keeping a gratitude journal or sharing things they are thankful for at the dinner table. Gratitude helps shift focus from negative to positive aspects of life and fosters a sense of appreciation. You can also find affirmation songs on Spotify to listen to in the car rides to and from school. 
  3. Mindfulness Activities: Introduce mindfulness exercises, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, to help your child stay present and manage stress. Dr. Simone mentions that mindfulness can help release beneficial chemicals in the brain, promoting relaxation and emotional balance.
  4. Role-Playing: Use role-playing scenarios to teach your child how to handle challenging social situations. Practicing different responses to scenarios can help them develop problem-solving skills and build confidence in their interactions with others.

Building a Supportive Environment

Creating a supportive environment at home, school, and within the community is crucial for fostering your child's self-esteem. Dr. Simone Alice and Genie Dawkins highlight the need for collaboration between these three areas to provide comprehensive support for children's emotional well-being.

  1. Collaboration: Work closely with your child's teachers and school staff to ensure they are receiving the necessary support and resources. Communicate openly about your child's needs and advocate for their social-emotional development.
  2. Community Resources: Explore community resources such as mental health professionals, SEL programs, and support groups. Dr. Simone's academy offers virtual resources and pre-recorded classes tailored to different learning styles, making it accessible for families to incorporate SEL practices into their daily lives.
  3. Positive Family Time: Dedicate time for family activities that promote bonding and positive interactions. Engage in activities that everyone enjoys, such as playing games, going for walks, or cooking together. Use this time to reinforce positive self-talk and model healthy behaviors.

Empowering Your Child Through Choices

Empowering children by giving them choices and valuing their decisions can significantly boost their self-esteem. Genie Dawkins and Dr. Simone Alicia stress the importance of letting children have a say in decisions that affect them, fostering a sense of autonomy and self-worth.

  1. Offer Choices: Give your child options in their daily routines, such as choosing what to wear, what to eat, or which activity to engage in. This helps them feel involved and respected.
  2. Respect Decisions: Acknowledge and respect your child's choices, even if they are different from what you would choose. Support their decision-making process and provide guidance when necessary.
  3. Problem-Solving: Encourage your child to come up with solutions to challenges they face. Ask open-ended questions to help them think critically and make informed choices. This process builds confidence and reinforces their ability to handle difficulties effectively.


Embracing positive self-talk and fostering self-esteem in your child is a continuous journey that requires intentionality and consistency. By modeling positive self-talk, integrating social-emotional learning, building a supportive environment, and empowering your child through choices, you lay a strong foundation for their emotional well-being and future success. As Dr. Simone Alicia and Genie Dawkins demonstrate, the impact of these practices extends beyond the home, shaping a child's ability to navigate the world with confidence, resilience, and a healthy self-image. Remember, the journey to positive self-talk starts with you, and the benefits for your child are immeasurable.


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