Uplifting our Daughters and Building Self-Esteem
1. Body Acceptance and modeling positive body image.
Mothers have a huge impact on their daughters’ body image. Think about how they will mimic our behaviors, Don’t ask, “Do these jeans make me look fat?” or obsess food or appearance. Things to do:
- Appreciate all that your body can do.
- Write down what you love about yourself
- Beauty is more than skin deep
- Look at yourself as a whole person
- Wear clothes that make feel comfortable and work with your body not against.
2. Make your daughter media literate
Become a critical viewer of social and media messages. Pay attention to images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body.
we spend more time than ever using media and everywhere we turn there are messages telling us how we should look that can make us feel less confident about our appearance. While we’re probably not going to use less media, we can protect our self-image and body confidence from media’s narrow body ideals that reinforce the appearance ideal.
3. Don’t raise her as a “people pleaser”
Encourage her to stand up for what she what needs and wants. Create opportunities for her to use her voice and to make choices. Ask her what she wants and then let her make a choice and then honor that choice. You as the parent should not be a people pleaser as children learn a lot from the same sex parent.
4. Start sports early
Research shows girls who play on teams have higher self-esteem. Studies have shown that girls that play sports have a much higher self-esteem than girls who do not.
5. Praise her for more than her appearance
Challenge yourself to match every compliment you give about your daughter’s appearance with at least two compliments about something non-appearance based, and do the same for other girls — your daughter’s friends, nieces, etc.”
7. Help her build skills that are independent of appearance
“Get her involved in activities that bring confidence, rather than focusing on looking good and acquiring things. “Sports, theater, music, art. Anything that can help girls express themselves through words or creativity or activity rather than through their appearance .
8. Praise efforts rather than performance
Focus less on the outcome and more on efforts and the development of new skills. Mastery is what builds confidence, and learning to rise above challenges builds resilience.
9. Don’t trash talk other women
Don’t let kids tease each other around food or looks.
10. Dads: Don’t treat your daughter like a damsel in distress
Fathers should not treat girls as though they are these fragile, helpless, little beings, When dads do this it teach their daughter your role is to look good so a man will sweep in and save you.. Instead, give her the opportunity and the tools—to change her own tire, to use her voice and speak up for herself, to play sports, to be able to brush herself off and get back up.
11. Listen and Pay Attention
Being a good listener means not offering judgments, criticisms or even advice. Simply hear what your child is saying and restate his or her comments to show that you're listening.