When do you think is the right age to start building your child’s self esteem? A Princeton publication and study stated that young girls begin to become aware of how others view them somewhere between 6-14 years old. Another, less prominent, study I found online stated 6-11 years old. My daughter is now within the range of self-awareness. After reading more about self-esteem in children I am beginning to see things in my daughters behavior that I never really noticed before. Let me give you an example of something that happened just the other day…
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Dove, Kroger and Global Influence. All wording and opinions are my own.
It was morning time and we were getting ready to head out the door. I picked out a cute outfit for my daughter and set it on her bed for her. I proceeded to go into the bathroom to get myself ready and could hear her yelling and crying down the hallway. The next thing I knew she was stomping down the hallway yelling ” You just want me to look stupid, don’t you!” I was shocked. Really, I had no intention of making her look stupid. I thought it was a darling outfit. She, however, disagreed and I knew that this was the beginning of my daughters battle with her own self-esteem.
I would have never thought that we would be dealing with these issues so young. After all, I still see her as a child as she plays sweetly with her barbie dolls, but I do start to worry when she grabs a doll and asks me “Mom, does she look ok?. . “Is she pretty?”. Words that are becoming more and more prominent in her vocabulary each day.
So what can I do to help curb these critical thoughts; to keep the good ones in and weed out all the bad?
Good self-awareness: Learning good personal hygiene. Carrying about the way you look.
Bad self-awareness: Comparing yourself to others. Obsessing over your appearance.
As a side note I want to admit that I also find myself struggling with poor self-image. I commonly look at other women and think “Does she weigh about the same as me? I wonder if I look like that?”. I also catch myself saying things like “Gosh, I wish I wasn’t so fat.” Sometimes I say these things and not notice my daughter standing nearby. My words are probably affecting my daughter in a negative way and that is something we are going to talk about again below.
I have compiled a few tips below that I think we as parents can do to help increase our children’s self esteem. After all, we all want to raise independent, self-aware and confident children right? Then the time to start helping them is now. . even before you start to see the warning signs.
Here are my thoughts. . .
1. Talk positively about your child to others at a time when they can hear you. Don’t focus mainly on looks, praise their accomplishments as well.
2. Stay positive about yourself. Don’t talk bad about your body or over focus on your own looks.
3. Don’t compare your child to others.
4. Spend quality time with your daughter, one on one.
5. Encourage your child to be unique.
6. Be your child’s biggest cheerleader. Whatever it is they are interested in, be proud of them and encourage them to do their best.
Do you have any suggestions to add? We would love to continue this conversation in the comments.
This post is part of the #girlsunstoppable conversation online where bloggers and readers all over the country are coming together to celebrate and talk about positive self-image in girls.
Did you know that Dove and Kroger have partnered together to provide self-esteem programs for girls? Proceeds from every purchase of Dove® products goes to helping girls across the country reach their full potential. What a great cause.
You can now go online and download a Dove Self-Esteem Toolkit to find ways you can help improve your daughters self-esteem through fun activities and also find out tons of cool information.
As part of the #girlsunstoppable promotion, Dove has offered to send one of my fans $15 in free Dove. Thank you Dove! As always, entering is easy. Just click “enter me” on the rafflecopter form below and your name is in the hat.
You are beautiful.
<3 Dick and Jane
All photos were used with permission from Global Influence.