Self-acceptance: The key to good mental health

Written by Pragya Lodha
Published: September 11, 2021
The Mumbai Program Director & Clinical Psychologist at The MINDS Foundation. Honorary Associate Editor for the Indian Journal of Mental Health with over 100 National and International publications

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Self-acceptance is the process of learning to accept yourself, with all of your strengths and weaknesses. It involves deeply understanding oneself, and leads to greater self-confidence, wellbeing, and emotional health. Until around the age of 8, a child cannot form a clear sense of self and learns self-acceptance from what is given to them by their parents. This conditional acceptance may lead to self-criticism and self-doubt as adults. For this reason, it is important to teach your child how to truly understand and accept themselves, for all of their positive qualities and flaws, from a young age.

“You really have to look inside yourself and find your own inner strength and say ‘I’m proud of what I am and who I am, I’m just going to be myself.’”

– Mariah Carey

How To Help Your Child Practice Self-Acceptance:
  1. 1. Compliment your child’s positive qualities and abilities
  2. 2. Give your child permission to be their authentic self – without any judgement
  3. 3. Encourage your child to fail and learn from their mistakes
  4. 4. Discuss the future with your child and make them realize they are capable of whatever they set their mind to
  5. 5. Teach your child that they are not defined by their feelings and emotions and encourage them to think rationally about any problems they may face
  6. 6. Show them how to accept their mistakes and let go of any related feelings of guilt
  7. 7. Model self-compassion for them by taking care of yourself

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Pragya Lodha, MINDS Mumbai Program Director & Psychologist


Ankita Gupta, MINDS Research Associate
Anoushka Thakkar, MINDS Research Associate
Roshni Dadlani, MINDS Communications Lead


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