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The Real Me: why feeling good about yourself does you good


Image: 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.

Low self-esteem can affect everything, from school work to how you socialise with others, but these tips, together with our expert resources, can help you to help them feel great 
It's common for people to talk negatively about themselves – in particular their appearance – as a shortcut for expressing emotional upset.

Sometimes when feeling sad, lonely or short of energy, people express this as feeling ‘fat’ or ‘ugly’. But neither fat nor ugly is a feeling, and speaking in this way blunts our young people's emotional vocabulary and places undue emphasis on their looks.

Linked to this negative body talk is awkwardness around accepting compliments, or feeling that talking about what we're good at is boasting or vanity.

But recognising your talents and allowing yourself to value these characteristics is important to developing positive self-esteem. 

That's why the Dove Self-Esteem Project created its parent handout, Uniquely Me, to help young people feel confident in their strengths and abilities, and value those talents in others as well.

The Real Me

Ask your child to watch this film and talk to them about the messages it contains.

It's too easy to dwell on what we see as our faults, rather than accepting our good qualities. Outside influences, such as peer pressure and social media, contribute to these feelings of inadequacy.

Building inner confidence helps in all aspects of our lives, particularly when we are young and finding our way in the world.

We have devised an activity for you to do with your child. Download the free Uniquely Me parent guide at the bottom of the page for a handy template (see below) to help them complete the activity at home. You will find it on page 15 of the guide.

By answering the questions, they will begin to learn how to love and express ‘The Real Me.’

Download the free Uniquely Me parent guide.

Simply click to arrow in the top right of the page to download.

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

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: February 2017


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