Building Self Esteem in Girls

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I’ve got two girls, aged 11 and 7. One is an official tween, the other thinks she is and might as well be.  It’s been my parenting life mission to continually build a healthy dose of confidence in my kids, and it seems like it’s a little extra tough to think about ways to build self esteem in my girls. What is it about girls that they tend to be more susceptible to low self esteem? I just wanted to share a few of my thoughts today, and open the discussion to hear from others, too!

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{Pictures from our mother & daughter photo shoot}

I’ve partnered with Dove to share my 7 best tips on building self esteem in girls:

  1. Service–Looking outward is the best way, in my opinion, to forget about your woes. If you are serving and helping others, it becomes easier to forget what it is that you are bummed out about. As we serve and help others, we see what a difference it makes, whether it’s baking a treat for a friend and seeing their smile, or working at an elderly home and seeing the difference it makes. I also like to remind the kids to write letters to grandparents or cousins or something. So many opportunities to serve, and I know my daughter feels good when she can help someone else.
  2. Gratitude Journal–If we can help our girls to count their blessings, by writing something positive into a gratitude journal each day, it will teach them to see the brighter side of things, and that there ARE things that are going well.
  3. Having Faith–I’m a big fan of teaching my kids to pray when things are tough, and relying on faith to help get through sticky situations. I believe that teaching them that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us and wants the best for us, and is cheering us on, just like I am. In church growing up, there is a program from girls aged 12-18, and each Sunday in church, we’d recite what is called the Young Women’s Theme. This theme reminded us of the values that will guide us to happiness, despite life’s challenges.
  4. Never never NEVER talk about weight–As much as I talk about my body issues in my blog here, I’ve never once said out loud in front of my girls, what I wish were different. My husband will hear it, but I’ve made a very conscious effort to not discuss these details in front of my children, because I don’t want them to compare and feel like they need to worry about their body shape. Instead, I’ve tried to focus on teaching skills that I wish were taught, such as not eating treats late at night, and monitoring how many treats we eat each day.
  5. Compliment often–I don’t feel I can over compliment my children. I try to do that often. It’s easy with the girls, they seek approval in their outfit or hair often, but I read something once that said for every 1 compliment you give on the appearance, make sure you give 2 on something else like a talent or the good that she does in the world. It really opened my eyes because it’s SO important to not emphasize looks that fade…and you know they are already comparing to others. Focus on the inside, and THAT will build the self esteem.
  6. Teach hygiene skills–My daughter has in the past few months asked to start shaving her legs, wearing deodorant, doing her own hair, and wearing clear mascara. This is just the beginning! So many lotions and potions for girls. We went to Wal-Mart and found the Dove Deep Moisture nourishing body wash, which makes it easy to get fresh and clean, to keep in her shower.  I’m all about the body wash–flip the top and squeeze.
  7. Discuss social media–It’s everywhere. We love it and we love to hate it. If we base our worth on likes and comments, we’ll never measure up in our own minds. I let my daughter get an Instagram account too early. I wasn’t thinking it through, then at one point, we had a talk and I said, “Why don’t you just use Instagram to look instead of posting.” Though there are challenges in the looking (these friends got together without me) a lot of the challenges are based off of sharing, and not getting what we feel is the proper reciprocation. The official age is 13, so we will wait until then. As much as I wish I thought it through more, I feel grateful that we had the conversation EARLY, because she knows BEFORE it will hit big time. We’ve talked about how it’s important to not share pictures when we are doing things with friends too much, because it can hurt others feelings. We’ve talked about how the number of likes is not equal to the number of people that love us. Though my “numbers” are higher than the average mom, I make sure my kids know it’s because it’s based around my business, so it’s different. I also let them know that sometimes I’m sad that my visible numbers aren’t as high as some of my blogging friends, and I can get down on that sometimes, but I know that’s not where my true value lies.

Our trip to Wal-Mart grabbing Dove beauty products.

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I believe firmly that if I share with my kids that I have low or negative moments, but then stay a positive person, it teaches them that it’s ok to be bummed out, but we just can’t dwell on it.  Share with me YOUR tips for building self esteem!!!

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Enter to win the DOVE Share Positivity Sweepstakes with Wal-Mart with these items:

Grand Prize (1): A Dove #SharePositivity Prize Pack containing the following seven (7) items:

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  • One (1)  Dove Advanced Care Original Clean Antiperspirant Deodorant, 2.6 oz (ARV $4.39)
  • One (1)  Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash, 22 oz (ARV $4.92)  
  • One (1)  Dove Nutritive Solutions Daily Moisture Shampoo, 12 fl oz (ARV $3.48)
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  • One (1)  Sponsor-selected loofah (ARV $3)
  • One (1) Sponsor-selected Permanent 140 Piece (ARV $20)

This post is sponsored by Mirum Shopper, but all opinions are my own.

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Comments

  1. I love all these tips and hope to practice them with my Eve. You’re such a good momma!

  2. I’ve noticed how everyone comments on how cute my daughter is. She is adorable but so is my son. She is only 2 and the only things that people tend to talk about are her appearance “she is so cute/pretty/cute clothes/nice hair/ fun shoes, etc. Which is all very true but I notice with my son very rarely people will say “awesome dino shirt or cool hair” he is almost always complimented on his verbal skills, creativity, smarts, etc. They have different personalities as they are different people but I’ve noticed how different genders can be treated from such a young age. Nothing crazy just part of our society and I think it contributes to a majority of females battling with self esteem. My daughter is so brave, athletic (AMAZING balance), courageous, fearless, clever, charming, thoughtful, independent, fierce, observant etc. I try really hard to include those compliments with a sprinkle of appearance positive reinforcement so hopefully she is getting a balanced perspective. The physical stuff is good to in that I believe we should lean to take pride in how we present ourselves on all levels but that shouldn’t be the only thing. It’s funny how having kids makes you see things in a different perspective and I try to point out positive things in kids of friends and family that are deeper.

    • Kristen Duke says:

      I like the list you included: fearless, clever, charming, etc. We need to make a printable list reminder…haha!

  3. Aubrey Casper says:

    Love all these tips!