So what can you do to help boost your daughter’s self-esteem? Below is some advice from The Child Mind Institute:
1. Model body acceptance. Moms should be cautious about obsessing out loud about food or putting down their appearance in front of their daughters. This negative talk can have a huge impact on your daughters’ own body image.
2. Make your daughter media literate. Watch TV with your daughter and ask questions about the media portrayals you observe. This can help your daughter develop a critical eye through which to decode and filter media messages.
3. Direct your praise away from appearance. Challenge yourself to match every compliment you give about your daughter’s appearance with at least two compliments about something non-appearance based.
4. Encourage positive affirmations. Teach your daughter to stop looking to external sources for self-validation and instead look within and find their own strengths. This can be encouraged by asking your daughter to write down four things she likes about herself each morning before school.
5. Praise your daughter for her efforts rather than her performance. Your praise should focus less on the outcome and more on efforts and the development of new skills. Mastery is what builds confidence, and learning to tolerate failure fosters resilience.
6. Make sure she know you love her no matter what. Even though teens are heavily reliant on their peers for feedback, they also truly care what their parents think of them. Make sure your daughter know you’ll love her no matter how she looks or how she performs at something.
Want more information on building your daughter’s self-esteem? Here is an article from The Child Mind Institute providing information on how to help girls stop saying ‘sorry’ and express confidence. Also, check out Barb Steinberg - a local life coach and workshop facilitator who focuses on improving the lives of adolescent girls and the adults who care about them.
Have a healthy Halloween!
Kristi, Katie & Elizabeth