Children and families who come to my clinic are always asking for self-esteem resources. In this article I’m delighted to share ten of the best books to help children understand what self-esteem is, and of course how to boost it for your child.
Self-esteem is a woolly concept, especially when you’re ten. What exactly is self-esteem?
It’s not just feeling good about yourself, though that is important. Let’s take a quick deep dive before we get onto talking about the self-esteem books.
What is Self-Esteem in Ten Year Olds?
The core components of self-esteem in ten year olds are exactly the same as for any other age.
However, ten is a crucial age for self-esteem. Your child is just about to enter the adolescent years and needs to have a certain level of self-esteem to cope with all the physical, social, emotional and life changes that will hit them as they advance towards adulthood.
So, now is a great time to work with your child, using these self-esteem books to help you.
Let’s look at the core components of self-esteem so you know what to look out for!
1. Strong Values and self-Esteem in Ten Year-Olds
Self-esteem is about having strong values.
If we know what’s important to us, our lives have a stronger sense of meaning and we feel good about ourselves.
To learn more, read my article about the link between values and mental health.
2. Confidence: The Connection With Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is also about having enough confidence to “put yourself out there” and take small risks.
If we don’t do this, our sense of self will stagnate.
Ten year-olds who stay in a “safe bubble” don’t develop self-confidence that they can do new or difficult things. This creates a vicious cycle where they avoid the next new or difficult thing.
The funny thing is though, confidence breeds confidence.
Your child goes to summer camp and tries a new sport? They’re more likely to feel confident enough to go back the next day and try more new things!
Your child may just need a gentle nudge in the right direction in the first place.
Competence and Self-Esteem in Ten year-Olds
Another vital ingredient in your 10 year-old’s self esteem is a sense of competence.
Your child won’t be good at everything, but they need to have one area they feel they’re good at.
Optimism and Self-Esteem in Tweens
Optimism is also crucial for self-esteem in tweens.
It is tied in with the other elements of self-esteem.
If you are optimistic that good things will happen, you will be less cautious and more confident.
Resilience & Self-Esteem
Finally, your ten year-old needs to develop resilience in order to have high self-esteem.
This means bouncing back when things don’t go to plan, or persevering when things get tough.
Best Books on Self-Esteem: Where to Begin
Let’s start by thinking about some of the specific issues your ten year-old might be facing. Then, you will be better equipped to choose the most helpful self-esteem book from my list.
Self-esteem issues which you might need to support your child with include:
- They are unclear where they fit in socially.
- They are too easily influenced by peers or social media.
- Your child lacks confidence to try new things.
- They stay within their comfort zone.
- They give up easily.
- Your child “hates” something about their physical appearance.
Do any of these ring a bell?
It can be so hard for us as parents to watch a child struggle with their view of themselves.
If your child is having a tough time, the good news is that you can support them by building their self-esteem just a little each day.
There are many different ways to do this, but the following self-esteem books are a fantastic place to start.
I have chosen these self esteem and self help books for ten year olds because they each offer a positive message of hope for your child. They either help your child reflect and grow their self-awareness, or they encourage an important skill related to self-esteem, or both.
Building Self-Esteem in Tweens: Team Work
The best way to use these books is to read them along with your child.
At ten years old they are still young children in terms of their cognitive and emotional development. They need adult help to make the most of what they are reading.
Once you have spotted signs of low self-esteem, aim to spend some special time with your child each day, journaling, working through a workbook, or reading one of the stories.
Self-Esteem Workbooks for Ten Year-Olds
Workbooks need not be hard work!
The self-esteem workbooks below are full of practical and fun activities.
If you do a little bit each day your child will be building confidence and self-esteem, slowly but surely.
Banish Your Self-Esteem Thief by Kate Collins Donnelly is a workbook based on cognitive behavioural therapy.
Aimed at ages 10+, it is perfect for your ten year-old if they are mature enough to understand that their thoughts may not be true or accurate. They will learn to gently challenge and adapt their unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.
The Kindness Workbook by Elaine Beaumont and Mary Welford will develop your child’s self-compassion and self-understanding.
It’s written by mental health professionals and draws on several different child therapies including: compassion-focused therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and cognitive behavioural therapy.
This workbook is ideal for children who are self-critical, perfectionist, or who have body image issues.
“Using creative exercises, examples and prompts, The Kindness Workbook teaches the skills of problem-solving using guided imagery, mindfulness, mind maps, vision boards, letter-writing, music, physical activity, drama and art.”
You’re a Star: A Child’s Guide to Self-Esteem by Poppy O’Neill is aimed at a slightly younger audience than the previous two workbooks.
The other two are suitable for mature 10-year-olds, whereas this one is suitable for those who are a little younger in their emotional development.
This book contains a guide for parents on how they should approach low self-esteem, plus many activities for building it. Your child will be guided by Bop, a purple monster!
Being Me: A Kid’s Guide to Boosting Confidence and Self-Esteem by Wendy L Moss is a book which helps children identify their strengths.
It contains tips and ideas for building confidence in school, with friends, and in many other areas of life.
This is a visually appealing book that contains many helpful anecdotes.
Your child will find it interesting and stimulating to read.
Self-Esteem Journals For Ten year Olds
Journaling is often seen as something adults do. But it’s great for older primary or middle school children, especially with the structured, simple text prompts in the recommended books below.
These two journals also have plenty of free space for children to write down their own important things in addition to the prompts.
The You Are Awesome Journal by Matthew Syed will help your child set their self-esteem and life goals. It is described as:
“…full of life hacks, challenges and activities to give kids the confidence to come up with their own plan of action to be the best they can be. Because, with the right mindset, you really CAN do (almost) anything, whether you want to supercharge your maths, try out for the team or be the first person to walk on Mars.”
I have heard great things about this journal from parents at my clinic. Using this journal is a positive step to a more optimistic, confident child.
A fantastic alternative to the You Are Awesome Journal is Happy Confident Me by Nadim Saad and Annabel Rosenhead.
This is one of my favorite books about self-esteem for children. My son (now a teenager) worked through it when he was younger.
It’s perfect for building confidence and positivity.
The journal is incredibly simple, encouraging steady progress.
Each day, your child will be prompted to answer questions such as: What were you proud of today?
Self-Esteem Books For Ten Year Olds About Difference
Does your child feel different? Then it will be positive for their self-esteem to read about others in their situation.
The Book Trust’s book-finder is an excellent resource.
You select the age range and category you are looking for (such as “Disability”). The Book Trust then brings up a selection of suitable books for your child.
Different: A Great Thing to Be by Heather Avis and Sarah Mensinga is a lovely rhyming story which celebrates difference.
The main character is Macy, a little girl who is teased for her differences. It’s a stunning picture book, perfect for children who are finding social situations challenging because of a difference.
This book is suitable for age 7+ but is also perfect for older children.
This beautiful book is simple and joyful.
Through an uplifting, sweet story we find out that actually different is better than the same!
You can hear the author reading it aloud in this video:
Self-Esteem Books for Ten Year Old Boys
It’s not easy being a ten year-old boy, on the verge of adolescence.
Young boys may struggle even more to find their self-identity in this modern age than in the past.
Masculinity is being re-examined and redefined.
Boys Are Amazing! Short Stories for Boys about Self-Esteem, Confidence, and Inner-Strength by David Wilson is full of invaluable life lessons. It’s a collection of short stories especially for boys about self-esteem.
Children who read these stories will learn (without realising they’re learning) important lessons about resilience, peer pressure, good friends, overcoming your fears, and so much more!
Self-Esteem Books for Ten Year Old Girls
Every young girl will benefit from this brilliant book which is full of practical activities: The Confidence Code for Girls: Taking Risks, Messing Up, & Becoming Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self by Katty Kay, Claire Shipman, JillEllyn Riley and Nan Lawson.
Working through this great book will help your child feel empowered and strong.
Among other things, girls will learn about: the importance of failure for self-esteem, what to look for in a good friend, and being true to your own values and beliefs.
Special note: there is an adult version of this book which would be suitable for an older teen.
Self Esteem Books For 10 Year Olds: Summary
I have chosen the best self-esteem books for ten year olds to help you build your child’s self confidence.
At this age, they may need some help from you to get the most from these books.
Perhaps you could help them to write one of the self-esteem journals each evening.
Ask them questions which help them reflect, such as: What do your best friends like about you?
Great things are possible when you have the right tools and support.
With the help of the inspirational yet simple words contained in these ten best self esteem books for ten year olds, your child can – and will – achieve great things and make great strides in building their self-esteem!
Where To Go From Here To Build Your Ten Year-Old’s Self-Esteem…
Inspired by this article and want to read more about self-esteem?
Read on for more resources.
More Articles From They Are The Future
Everlief Parent Club
Self-esteem is a topic we regularly discuss through live workshops in our online membership community called Everlief Parent Club.
You can find out more about the Parent Club here: https://courses.theyarethefuture.co.uk/epc-enrolment
Dr Lucy Russell is a UK clinical psychologist who works with children and families. Her work involves both therapeutic support and autism assessments. She is the Clinical Director of Everlief Child Psychology, and also worked in the National Health Service for many years. In 2019 Lucy launched They Are The Future, a support website for parents of school-aged children.
Through TATF Lucy is passionate about giving practical, manageable strategies to parents and children who may otherwise struggle to find the support they need.
Lucy is a mum to two teenage children. She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband, children, rescue dog and three rescue cats. She enjoys caravanning and outdoor living, singing and musical theatre.
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