As your young daughter grows into her teens, she will become more aware of how image conscious American society is. After some time, it may begin to affect her self-esteem. In order to help your daughter learn to deal with these expectations, there are several ways that you can boost her self-esteem and teach her about how important her own self-image is.
Image Vs. Reality
Look through magazines and images online and discuss what she sees vs. what the reality might be. Talk about how some pictures are altered with photo editingsoftware and airbrushing. Explain that the women she might see don’t look anything like they might in reality.
Talk About The Importance Of Liking Herself
Talk about how self-esteem will not only open doors to new opportunities but also help her avoid the pitfalls of peer pressure. The more self-esteem your daughter has, the less likely it is that she’ll engage in risky behaviorssimply to try and fit in. Let your daughter know that she has to like herself before anyone else can like her.
Focus On Small Achievements
While not every achievement needs a large celebration, a good grade in a weak subject, having the courage to join a team, or achieving a goal is cause for praise. The more your daughter sees that she can accomplish short-term goals, the more likely she will try and set long-term ones. Encourage her, especially if the goals are difficult, but let her set her own pace.
Talk About Body Image
No matter your daughter’s shape, encourage her to celebrate herself for who she is. If there are weight issues, discuss health, not image or appearance. Promote healthy eating at home and avoid having fashion magazines around the home if your daughter has issues with seeing her body in a positive light.
Teach your daughter to embrace being a female. Talk about other females in a positive light, and not just about how they look. Discuss positive female role models in your daughter’s life and why she looks up to them. Help her discover her own history in your family as a female.
Discuss The Importance Of Individuality
Help your daughter understand the importance of being an individual. While peer pressure and the importance oflooking good will are a challenge, try and encourage her individual talents. Explain how important they will be to her not only now, but in the years to come. Emphasize the importance of maintaining individuality in any situation. Let her know that while it’s okay to go along with the crowd in some situations, she should always speak up for herself as well.
Help Her Find Her Voice
Encourage your daughter to speak out and make her own needs known in any social situation. Tell her to ask for help in school when she needs it and to speak up when she thinks something is unjust. The more you encourage your daughter to voice her feelings, the more assertive and self-confident she will become.