Self Esteem In Girls
Here is another great American Girl book that helps girls with self esteem.
I do believe that as a parent, and being a woman myself, that we help our daughters establish confidence.
The thing with self esteem is that it’s learned by how we view ourselves. It is an important life skill that we need to be teaching at a young age.
We put so much value on how other people see us. Everyone wants to be accepted, loved and appreciated.
For girls, I think it tends to be worse. Having 3 daughters, I’ve always wanted them to be strong and independent.
Not to seek validation from others.
I have struggled with this even as an adult. Being a good role model for our daughters
is very important.
Believe me, they hear and see most everything we do.
If I’m being negative about myself they will pick up on that.
I often get caught in that trap unknowingly and it can be a vicious cycle to get out of. I definitely don’t want my daughters to have to go through this.
It’s important to know that we all have down days and being unhappy is normal. It is staying in that ditch that’s detrimental to our self-image and self esteem.
Worrying about living up to a certain expectation will also destroy our confidence. Girls in general set these expectations on themselves.
When we don’t meet those things we have built up our self worth goes down and the rollercoaster of emotions start in. This becomes a huge blow to our confidence.
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How To Build Self Esteem
With our 2 older daughters, I didn’t rely upon any books or articles to help guide me with teaching self esteem.
I think I did a fairly good job but I know there were definitely some areas I failed miserably in.
I knew I wanted to use a different approach to teaching our 3rd daughter.
She has special needs and wanted to enforce those positive thoughts and feelings we need for self-confidence.
I’m definitely a huge fan of American Girl books that help teach our girls about various issues on growing up.
These are particularly great for our youngest daughter to help for guidance.
So I found this book called “Liking Herself” even on the bad days.
I felt this would help me address some negative feelings she may be feeling about herself.
As much as I tell her that she’s unique, beautiful, and how special she is, she struggles, because she knows that she is different than a typical girl her age.
She is not able to physically do the things girls her age, nor is she emotionally matured either.
So I know in her mind she struggles with those things.
I want to be able to give her as much positive reinforcement as I can. So she will have that positive image and self confidence built up in her.
Because I know she will have those moments and bad days where you feel you’re not enough.
You often feel that you don’t measure up because you are comparing yourself to others. For her, I know this to be true.
She gets frustrated very easily if she can’t seem to obtain a skill that comes so naturally and easily to others.
This is why I wanted to find a book that would also give her a guideline to follow.
Also, it lets her know that other girls also struggle in this area also.
I knew this would be the first building foundation where I could address the issues she was having with self esteem. This book is meant for the preteen.
Which is why I used it for our 3rd daughter because her maturity does run about 3 years lower than her actual age.
Ideas To Build Self Esteem And Confidence
The ideas here is how I would go about showing and teaching all of our children. I want them to have the self-confidence that is healthy.
I’ve definitely failed at times getting my message across, but I have also seen the positive effects by using some of these tips.
One of the biggest lessons I had to learn was to let them do things for themselves.
This is a hard thing for me to do. I tend to be a little ridged because I would like it done in a certain way.
I’m always bad at thinking if they don’t do it right then I will just have to go back behind them and correct it.
So if I do it myself then I’m saving myself some time.
But this isn’t letting them achieve the task and letting them have this accomplishment. Recently I had asked my son to help me make lunch.
He is 11 and I really need to be giving him more responsibilities
. We were trying to get out the door in time and I had asked him to scoop some salad into a smaller bowl.
Well, guess what, the salad was falling out all over the counter and not in the bowl.
I immediately took it away from here and told him to go since some dishes off.
At the moment I just wanted to get it done and get out the door. Well, we get to therapy and I noticed he was upset. I asked him what was wrong.
Well, of course, I had to kind of dig it out of him but he finally told me.
He told me that I don’t let him finish things and I just do it myself.
I could tell I had hurt his feelings, I really didn’t mean to.
By not letting him finish the task and just stepping back to see if he would clean the salad up, I just took over.
I undermined his self esteem. You see it’s those little things we don’t notice that can hurt our children.
We don’t mean to, but it happens. I definitely apologized and he forgave me.
As parents we need to find opportunities to praise their efforts and progress.
This was a good teaching moment that admitting I was wrong and I also make mistakes.
It teaches that everyone makes mistakes and we don’t have to let it get us down.
We learn from our mistakes and that can boost self-confidence.
Building That Confidence In Your Daughter
Giving your child age-appropriate chores is a good way to build their self esteem.
Also when you feel they are ready for more responsibilities to teach them a new skill. This will also help boost their confidence.
This next tip seems to be hard for our youngest daughter. She’s not always eager to learn a new skill.
In her mind she has already determined she won’t be good at it.
Walking her through the process will slowly help her let go of her hesitation.
I always let her know that it doesn’t have to be perfect and you are learning a new skill and over time you will be great at it.
Definitely let them know they are loved and say it frequently. Even when they are acting at their worst let them know this.
Carving out that special time to have with your children especially one on one time.
Spend time talking with them and ask them their thoughts or opinions on a subject they might be interested in.
By spending time with them and showing you have an interest in what their opinions are sets up a good door for open communication.
It lets them know that they can trust you.
Don’t put labels on them by comparing them to maybe what their other siblings have done or may not have done.
We put enough labels on ourselves, we don’t want to contribute to that kind of self-destructive behavior.
Teach them to look for friends that are positive. Peers that are not negative and put you down.
I know we can’t totally safeguard our kids totally from this but we can teach our children what kind of character traits makes good friends.
Let them know if someone is being negative and putting you down that it’s ok to stand up for yourself.
I know that bullying is a huge epidemic that has plagued our schools.
It’s ok to tell someone what’s going on that you trust. Don’t keep it to yourself and it’s ok to be assertive and to speak up for yourself.
I do homeschool so I don’t have a lot of experience in this department.
Our oldest daughter was bullied and it was in a homeschool group we attended. So it can happen anywhere.
Setting goals and working hard is a great way to motivate and also build self esteem. Seeing their accomplishments is such a confidence builder.
As always, when I address anything that has to do with emotions and self-worth, I want to make sure you let your child know that it’s ok to feel sad and being blue is ok.
But when those feelings don’t go away you need to tell someone.
Mental health is so important. I’m a huge advocate that getting help makes you a very brave person and there is no shame!
I do have a few other posts here on “How We Address other issues that your children may be going through.” Or just good teaching moments for preteens.
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Domestic Engineer Mom