How to Improve My Daughter’s Self Esteem
5 Empowering Tips for Parents to Improve and encourage good self-esteem in Girls! If you have a daughter, this is a MUST-SEE episode of The Impactful Parent!
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How To Improve My Daughter’s Self Esteem
“I hate my thighs. I’m fat. No one really likes me. Everything I do goes to shit. I’m worthless. I shouldn’t even be here. No one would miss me if I was gone.”
These are actual words from girls I have mentored, met in my classroom, and even from my daughter.
Girls, in particular, are the worst at comparing themselves to others and taking every else’s opinions and comments to heart. Most girls are so self-conscience about themselves that they predict what others will think, extrapolate words into huge adverse outcomes, and nitpick their appearance every time they see a mirror.
Yes, social media has made things worse. Media messages are horrible for mental health. And although we know that this critical and negative inner voice of girls is destroying their mental health, most parents feel helpless to change it because, frankly- It feels like you can tell your daughter how awesome she is a trillion times. Still, she doesn’t consider YOUR opinion because you are biased and don’t count. So then, what are parents to do?
Hello, my name is Kristina Campos. I am the founder of the Impactful Parent. Every week I give you parenting videos that can help you in your parenting journey. If you have a particular topic or parenting question about your school-aged child that you would like me to address, please submit it at [email protected] or by messaging me on social media. All submissions are kept anonymous.
Today, I will give you 5 BIG tips for boosting self-esteem in girls and empowering our young women to feel confident. This topic is near and dear to my heart as I watch so many young ladies spiral into an unnecessary self-harming journey, and I use these tips myself to boost the self-esteem of my own daughter. Let’s get started!
How to Improve My Daughters Self Esteem #1: Promote Positive Body Image
We all know girls face societal pressure to conform to specific beauty standards. Most of us understand that this is crap, and we need to counteract this by promoting a healthy body image and emphasizing the importance of self-acceptance and self-care over appearance.
How to do this: Discuss media influences with your daughter and help her critically analyze unrealistic beauty standards. Encourage her to focus on being healthy, active, and strong rather than striving for a specific body shape or size. Model positive body image and self-care behaviors yourself. You can’t complain about yourself in the mirror and expect your daughter to not do the same. You need to be a role model! No more comments like, “Do these jeans make me look fat?” No more comments about famous actresses having better hair and legs, …. Whatever. In fact, please don’t compare your body or her body to ANYONE. Comparisons can lead into a rabbit hole of self-loathing. Because comparisons are human nature and can not be avoided entirely, minimize comparisons by being careful what kind of magazines you have around your house, the TV shows you watch, and other media content your daughter consumes.
How to Improve My Daughters Self Esteem #2: Encourage a Growth Mindset
What does it mean to encourage a growth mindset? It is fancy to say that you want to teach the importance of effort, perseverance, and learning from failures. Teach her that setbacks are growth opportunities and that intelligence and abilities can be developed through dedication and practice.
How to do this: Celebrate her achievements, big or small, and help her recognize her progress over time. When your daughter faces a challenge, discuss how she can break it down into smaller steps and offer support and encouragement. Highlight her efforts and the valuable lessons she learns through the process. Don’t focus on the outcome.
How to Improve My Daughters Self Esteem #3: Compliment her character, NOT her appearance.
How to do this: Don’t say, “You look pretty in that dress.” Instead, try to compliment who she is and what she does. You want character traits to be on the top of your mind. Things like being attentive, tenacity, hard work, empathy, kindness, attention to detail, and so forth. Or compliment her on something that she does, like never giving up, trying her best, working on a project for a great length of time, thinking of others, etc. I challenge you to shift how you compliment your daughter because these kinds of compliments are more thoughtful and will leave a more lasting impression.
How to Improve My Daughters Self Esteem #4: Build skills independent of appearance.
How to do this: Get your daughter involved in extracurricular activities immediately. It doesn’t matter what the action is if she likes it. The goal is to build self-confidence rather than focus on looking pretty and acquiring stuff. Art, music, crafting, or sports are all great activities. Encourage your child to develop a skill she can be proud of, then cheer her on! You want your daughter to spend at least a few hours daily doing something that makes her feel good about herself. Yep, A FEW HOURS A DAY! So, help your daughter find a variety of activities that make her feel happy and confident aside from her particular skill or craft. Things like journaling, yoga classes, exercise, listening to music, or even spending time with positive and supportive friends.
How to Improve My Daughters Self Esteem #5: Teach her to find and speak her voice.
Girls with low self-esteem may struggle with asserting themselves and expressing their needs and opinions. Many girls who lose confidence default to being “people-pleasers.” So, equip your daughter with communication skills to navigate social interactions and stand up for herself. Teach your daughter to approach challenges with resilience and problem-solving skills.
How to do this: Start by providing more opportunities for her to speak her opinions aloud. Ask her, “What do you want to do? What is your opinion on this? Do you have a recommendation for me? What do you think?” Let her have a voice and speak her mind and then consider her opinions. This is important. You can’t ask for her opinions and then dismiss them. She will see right through that! You have to allow her to speak her mind, consider those suggestions, and NOT respond negatively to her suggestions.
Another thing you can do is roleplay different scenarios where she can practice assertive communication. If she has difficulty speaking up in class, roleplay a classroom setting where she asks questions. If she is having trouble standing up to a friend, roleplay what she wants to say to that friend and help her practice the appropriate body language that should go with those words so that she is getting practice standing up for herself and setting boundaries effectively. Encourage her to use “I” statements to express her feelings and reinforce that her voice and body language matter!
Special note to dads: Do not treat your daughter like a distressed damsel. If you treat your daughter as fragile and helpless, she will think she is weak and helpless! Instead, give her the knowledge to care for herself and the confidence to feel capable.
Those are the top 5 big concepts to work on, but there is always more we can do as parents! Here are some quick tips to keep in mind while you work on building your daughter’s self-esteem.
Boosting Self-Esteem in Girls Quick Tips:
- Recognize and focus on your daughter’s strengths.
- Organize playdates or encourage friends that are also positive girls who uplift her mood.
- Mothers, don’t borrow your daughter’s clothes.
- Help her set realistic goals and break down big tasks into smaller, more manageable projects she can be successful with.
- Supply healthy food in your home. Chips, soda, and processed foods make everyone unhealthy and gain weight. You are in charge of the grocery shopping and what is available inside your home. Take responsibility for that and provide food that will keep your daughter healthy.
- Watch how you talk about other people. Are you comparing? Are you putting others down? Don’t trash-talk other women.
- Tell your daughter you love her no matter what and prove it to her by telling her, “I love you,” even when you are angry, she messes up, or she is being difficult.
- Encourage positive self-talk by complimenting her often and saying, “You deserve respect. You are loved. You are capable.” And simultaneously discouraging any self-loathing or negative comments you may hear her say occasionally.
- Don’t go into fix-it mode and try to give unsolicited advice or fix all her problems when your daughter might need a listening ear and some space to vent.
- Be patient. Building self-esteem takes time.
By implementing these empowering tips, parents can play a pivotal role in boosting their daughters’ self-esteem. Remember that building self-esteem is an ongoing process, requiring patience, empathy, and consistent support. You can do this! You equip your daughter with the confidence to navigate life’s challenges and pursue her dreams with resilience.
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But until next time, you got this, parents. I am just here to help.
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