I recently met a new mom-to-be who, at that time, was 35 weeks pregnant. The mom seemed anxious but at peace, nervous yet excited to hold her newborn boy in her arms very soon. We chatted about all the birthing things – where would she deliver, how is she feeling, and the baby’s name.

She mentioned she’s still deciding between two ways to spell her son’s middle name. This mom had a journal with her that she had been practicing writing his name across the pages to see how it looked on paper.

I told her I loved his name; it is a strong name, and asked her if she knew its meaning. She looked up from her journal with bright eyes. She copied the meaning of his first and middle names from our quick Google search on a clean page.

I got the opportunity to share with her that most mornings, my girls declare their namesake before they head out the door for the day. At the end of stating our daily affirmations, they each say (or sometimes sing):

“My name is Matalyne Knight. I’m a part of God’s royal family and set apart for greatness.”

“My name is Lucy Belle. I’m a bright light and show Jesus’ love to everyone.” 

“My name is Charlie Kate. I’m free and pure to fulfill God’s plan for my life.” 

I’ve revisited this quote several times over the years: “Parents need to fill a child’s bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can’t poke enough holes to drain it dry.” -Alvin Price

There’s something special about not only knowing but internalizing your unique namesake and declaring every day who God says you are. To help a child build their self-esteem and identity in Christ, they need to hear it repeatedly.

Here are three simple ways to help build your child’s self-esteem:

  1. Connect daily.
    Five minutes a day of uninterrupted play or conversation eliminate challenging behaviors by 50%.
  2. Give personalized positive comments.
    Be specific about what you’re applauding. Replace “Good job” with a precise statement like, “When you put your backpack and shoes away, it helps keep our home clean and organized. I really appreciate your help!”

  3. Reinforce and Repeat.
    Children need to hear five positive comments for every negative one. Fill up their tank with positive affirmations, repeat who they are, and give specific praise!

After the new mom I was talking to wrote her son’s names meanings, she dictated a declaration to read and pray over him: The Lord is always near _________ _________ and He will be his strength; _________ _________ will be a strong and mighty warrior of God! 

I haven’t discovered a specific formula for creating a declaration of your child’s namesake. I loosely defined the meanings from various origins of their names for my girls, chose the most fitting, and wrote each version based on that discovery, plus who God had shown my husband and me who they would be.

Our young generation is facing spiritual warfare that is attacking their identity. Mainstream media is constantly dividing and pitting one group against another, and our children’s identity and purpose get hit from every side. The Bible is clear about who we are and whose we are.

As parents, declaring truth and promises over our children, even when they’re too young to comprehend, will help them internalize their unique design and purpose here on Earth. I believe each declaration is a tether that keeps them rooted and grounded in the truth, so when the world tries to pull them away, they’ll be able to stand and declare: I am ______ ______. I am created for God’s purpose and destiny for my life!

As parents, we can fill their bucket of self-esteem, but our greater role is to fill them with the Word of God and the truth about who God says they are!

Through our union with Christ, we too have been claimed by God as his own inheritance. Before we were even born, he gave us our destiny; that we would fulfill the plan of God who always accomplishes every purpose and plan In his heart. Ephesians 1:11

Connect with me on social.