Seven Ways to Boost Your Daughter's Self-Esteem

By Amy Chen & Cameo Bobo

Parenting takes an especially difficult turn when your daughter's self-esteem takes a nosedive from criticism, bullying, unrealistic ads, and more. But being her cheerleader doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Read on to learn how to help her know she is FAWM - Fearfully And Wonderfully Made - each and every day!

    Model body positivity instead of trash-talking.  

      Your daughter learns self-confidence, or its opposite, by observing what you say to yourself, herself, and others. Instead of voicing your or someone else’s flaws, express qualities you like about your own body and compliment others.

        Educate her on the reality of advertising.
        Did you know that only 5% of American women are naturally built like a fashion model? Watch Dove’s “The Evolution of Beauty” video with your daughter and and start a discussion around advertising and Photoshop.
          Get her involved in activities.
          Research shows that playing sports decreases the likelihood of bad body-image. Other options include music, dance, theatre, and more. When your daughter builds skills in an environment where appearance is a low priority, she’ll be less inclined to worry about her looks.
            Emphasize the importance of choosing the right friends. Encourage your daughter to select friends that are positive and complimentary towards others. Share some examples of how your friends help you be a better person, or how past friends negatively impacted you.
              Give her a voice and honor it.  
              Offer your daughter a say in small family matters, such as what dessert to have one night. When she observes that her suggestion was heard and that her opinion matters, she will be more apt to use her voice in the future.
                  Be mindful about what media she consumes.
                  Make sure your daughter’s entertainment consists of child-friendly books, movies, and TV shows that teach important and positive messages. If applicable, make sure your native culture is well-represented, which is known to boost children’s self-esteem.
                    Tell her you love her and encourage open, nonjudgmental communication.
                    Express your love for her daily and make yourself approachable when she has questions, especially about sensitive topics. If she feels comfortable speaking freely at home, she’ll feel more confident in the classroom, at her extracurriculars, and beyond.

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