Opinion, parenting

The power of building a positive self-esteem in your child’s early life

You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are. You are what you are.
John Lennon

And that’s tea!

When I was in Elementary School, my teacher asked me what career I wanted to pursue when I grew up.

I told him I wanted to become a Doctor! 😊

Doctors are amazing! They get to save lives, administer drugs and look super cool in their white pressed lab coats. The only problem was – I didn’t want to be a Doctor.

I only said that just because Anu, my classmate had said the same thing a few minutes ago.

Something kept telling me not to say I wanted to become an Entertainer and a Story Writer. Because I knew that at my very young age, they weren’t considered professions. They’d all probably laugh at me.

I loved singing. I still do. I secretly made comics with my exercise books and my sister would help me sell them in school because I was too shy to sell them myself. We used the money we earned to buy Tasty Time (Nigerian Ice Lolly)😁.

Back then, I was in the school choir group, drama group, debate club, cultural dance group, and the dancing club. I don’t understand how I was able to participate in all these numerous activities😆. I wanted to be everywhere. I was even in the fashion parade group. That was so ME😂.

I continued my comic writing till my Junior Secondary schools days. But I had to be “bound and determined” with my life. I had to stop the “childish dream” and stop the “hobby”, as they were called, that I’d created for myself in years. I had to “grow up”.

I never attended any type of music school or singing lessons even though I wish I did. I wanted to learn to play the keyboard, but my parents couldn’t afford the lessons. Or maybe they didn’t understand how much I loved music and anything that had to do with entertainment.

My dad made my sister and I join the church choir when I was 9 years old. Although, my sister was not interested in singing.

At first, I was happy about joining the choir, but the older choristers never paid attention to us. We were just there to learn new songs. Most times I felt invisible. The music director never gave us any type of training.

During extracurricular activities in Elementary School, some teachers told me I wasn’t good enough, especially in the things I loved the most. I remember vividly how I felt in the school choir group when I was told I had the voice of a frog☹. Even though that didn’t stop me from singing in the school and church choir, deep down in my mind, I still believed I wasn’t good enough.

I grew up with the mindset that the only recognised professions were in Medicine, Law, Engineering, Banking, Aviation, and Architecture. Any other job was not considered prestigious in my society.

As I grew older, I began to lose passion for the things I loved and struggled all most all of my adult life with low-self esteem because I felt I wasn’t good at anything.

When I got to University, I changed my course of study more than twice because I simply didn’t understand what I wanted. Later along the line, I found and took an online course that I loved but still felt discontentment after a few years because I was never able to do what I really wanted to do from the start.

Now, however, I’m going back at it. I’m pursuing and rekindling the flames of all of those interests I once loved. Even if it means starting from Ground Zero.

Self-esteem is important because it involves self-satisfaction. It’s a complete awareness of one’s value and trust in one’s ability to perform a certain duty.

One of the most common factors that make people structure a negative idea of themselves are formed in early childhood because a child is easily moulded and manipulated. Encourage them young!

We need to be careful with the way we raise our children, we need to filter the types of voices that they hear as they grow and the influences around them.

If a child grows up believing they aren’t good enough, they’ll spend their entire lives struggling with low self-esteem. Even if they get over low self-esteem, there will still be little elements of doubt in their minds.

Every person has a purpose and their lives are set up in the trajectory of their interests. Do not ever speak down on anyone. Young or old. Let them/help them or encourage them to hone their skills!

Help someone around you today believe in themselves. The power of will and determination cannot be underestimated. And the good thing is that it can be increased. A simple word of encouragement will do. It’ll go a long way. You’re enough. You’re good enough.

I’m good enough.

Thanks for reading. xoxo



  1. Michelle

    August 16, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Such a great post! Growing up I wanted to do a lot of stuff, too, but my mom would always point out the negative sides of it so I didn’t do it. Now that I’m older I wish she would have let me do more because I have low self-esteem and I feel that I missed out on a lot.

    1. bukolaorry

      August 16, 2019 at 3:01 pm

      Thank you so much for reading Michelle. Sometimes parents think they know better, but they need to allow their children to explore and do what they love. It’s never too late to do what you love. <3

  2. Dawn

    August 16, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    Wonderful post Bukola! Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Our words can have a huge impact on our lives and the lives of others. We should encourage others as much as possible, especially our youth.

    I always wanted to play the piano too but ended up in the chorus and playing the violin. My parents did buy me a keyboard in junior high school. But I never took lessons. I have a piano because my daughter took piano lessons for seven years. I guess I should get started practicing. 😂

    1. bukolaorry

      August 16, 2019 at 3:49 pm

      😂😂 thank you so much for reading big sister, and you are absolutely right. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Sometimes people forget how their words can have a positive or negative impact on others. Thanks for your contribution ❤❤

      1. Dawn

        August 16, 2019 at 3:50 pm

        You’re welcome little sister! 🥰

  3. Temi

    August 16, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Lol! Tasty time was so good. It was key to surviving the walk home after school on sunny days. I agree with you, we need to show interest in whatever our children show interest in and stop trying to force our interests on them. They have dreams too, let them dream.. the earlier we start nurturing their dreams, the more confident they will become in whatever career path they choose. Good read!

    1. bukolaorry

      August 16, 2019 at 4:44 pm

      Yeah tasty time😂 good old days😂. Thanks for reading and contributing. You’re definitely right about nurturing our children’s dreams early. ❤❤

  4. herrychiccounsels

    August 16, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    Wow. Such a great one, love this – “I am good enough!”.

    It took me a long trail to before I found meaning and link to my purpose in my now field. I went from wanting to be a doctor to a pharmacist to a biochemist and finally to the course I was offered which I accepted. 😂

    God bless my family. They were always there to guide me in the right direction too.

    Thanks for sharing this. ❤

    1. bukolaorry

      August 16, 2019 at 6:11 pm

      Oh that’s great❤ thank you so much for reading ❤

  5. LaShawn Uchenna Ani

    August 16, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Self esteem is something I have struggled with my entire life, not feeling good or worthy enough. As we talked many times before people associate self esteem with looks. Not true. It definitely start when you are a child. You childhood sets your foundation for life. That’s why I always tell my daughter she’s more than enough. We all have a purpose and you are right we are all good enough. Thank you for sharing .. Sending love ❤️ to you from the States

    1. bukolaorry

      August 16, 2019 at 6:13 pm

      Thank you Shawn❤ you are a wonderful mom❤

  6. Miz B

    August 16, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    I really love this post! I needed something to encourage me this moment and u made it! 💪🏾
    (Ephesians 2:10) we all have a purpose in life but sometimes I feel confuse because I love doing many things but what I love most is cooking 🍳 and make up 💄
    I pray to be a good mother to my kids and help them archive their dreams! Thanks sis Bukola

    1. bukolaorry

      August 16, 2019 at 10:00 pm

      Thank you so much for reading Mid B! Put everything in God’s hands. And focus on the things that make you happy. God will definitely help you to be a great mom❤❤

      1. Miz B

        August 18, 2019 at 1:28 pm

        Amen thanks ma

  7. AnnaLovesBass

    August 17, 2019 at 12:14 am

    I relate so much to what you wrote, and I agree with every single word of this post. What I can add is that it’s never too late to learn to take up a musical instrument or singing 😀 Starting from myself and looking at some of the adult students we have in our music school (or online school), I am sure you can do it no matter your age, and still have great fun…. Maybe we will not become great concert players, but for sure we are having a great time playing! The same applies to any hobby or passion one might have, of course 😀

    1. bukolaorry

      August 17, 2019 at 6:43 am

      Yes Anna you are right. It’s never too late. Thank you so much for reading and contributing as well. ❤❤

  8. Florence Ezekafor

    August 17, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Great write-up Bukola! Its saddening to know how people bring others down through their words. Its wrong to tell a child that he or she is not good enough because he or she is not good in one thing – that child must be good in other things. Thanks for sharing your experience. Its a reminder to us all to mind the way we talk to others when they can’t do something well beginning with our kids.

    1. bukolaorry

      August 17, 2019 at 10:19 am

      Thank you so much ma’am, and your contribution is absolutely accurate. We are all good enough.

  9. ayansolaibukun

    August 17, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    This is such a thoughtful and instructive post and the anecdote drove home the essence. So true, while the low self-esteem syndrome can be acquired via many ways, it’s easily acquired by nurture. Many of us grew up doing what we didn’t want to because our parents (and the society at large) made us look stupid doing what we loved. Interestingly, this pattern has a far-reaching effect on the way we relate with life and people afterwards.

    We all need a good dose of self esteem. We are good enough.

    1. bukolaorry

      August 17, 2019 at 9:46 pm

      Thank you so much for reading and also for your profound contribution. “We all need a good dose of self-esteem”. I love it. Thanks again.

  10. Queen Karen

    August 18, 2019 at 1:06 am

    Bukola, thank you for sharing this post. I enjoyed it and I can so relate to it. Growing up, I wanted to become a Pediatrician but then I wanted to become a nurse. When I got into university, I wanted to pursue Social Work but because of family, I didn’t pursue it. Social workers don’t get paid much and I saw as a young child how my parents worked so hard trying to make ends meet. So I had this fear of constant thought that life is a struggle and I didn’t want to pursue a career that didn’t pay well. Money isn’t everything but we need money to do certain things. I ended up pursuing Public Health with a certificate in Child Advocacy. Though I don’t regret pursuing that degree, it been hard finding a job. I currently work at a department store yet still in search of a better job. At the same time, looking into schools for Social Work. I ran away from this career but God had a way of me crossing paths with people who automatically will mention “Have you considered pursuing Social Work?” It’s been a journey but just keeping the faith and doing my part with the search. It’s not easy but with God, all things are possible. Some days the tears fall but I rise again by God’s grace. I’m grateful for the post. God bless you 🙏🏿

    1. bukolaorry

      August 18, 2019 at 7:08 am

      Oh Karen💕 I have a diploma in social science! And I would say I didn’t regret going for the course. Many times we think about the financial aspect of it too. And maybe that’s why our parents force us to study courses they assume will earn us money. I believe that if your purpose in life is to be a social worker God will make a way for you, and also supply all your needs.
      May God make your path straight and also make all your dreams come true. Thank you so much for reading and also for your contribution😘❤

      1. Queen Karen

        August 19, 2019 at 3:34 am

        Good evening Bukola. Thank you so much for your advice and encouragement. Indeed, God knows best and when we heed to His instructions, things will surely fall in pleasant places for us. God bless you and may God straighten every path for you too. Stay Blessed & Lovely 😊🌻

  11. Suzana Barton

    August 23, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    This was such a beautiful article. It put a smile on my face to read how you are finally fulfilling YOUR grownup dreams. Your girls hit the lucky parent lottery! 🍀🍀 – Suzana Barton

    1. bukolaorry

      August 23, 2019 at 10:25 pm

      😊😊 Thank you so much Suzana. 💕 I’m so happy about doing what I’ve always wished to do. Thanks for reading.

  12. Shayla

    September 15, 2019 at 1:32 am

    This was such a great read, really made me think! Thankyou for this post, it was the positivity I needed!

    1. bukolaorry

      September 15, 2019 at 5:04 pm

      I’m so happy it was helpful. Thank you for reading🙂

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