HOW TO BUILD YOUR DAUGHTER’S SELF-ESTEEM AND BODY IMAGE
It is an even scarier world our kids are stepping out into these days and recently I have been contacted by several of our lovely readers asking how they can help build their daughter’s self-esteem.
We all know we need to ‘love ourselves’ and ‘be ourselves’ but how? Knowing what to say is one thing – but how do you get them to believe it?
Here is my advice, I am no expert but I am a woman who was a very anxious and troubled teen. My self-esteem was in the toilet – for no apparent reason. I had a great family, great grades and everything a teenage girl could ask for.
I was a high achiever with no ability to feel any joy in any of my abilities. Eating disorders followed and many years were blighted by this. These days, I am a very happy, fulfilled and mentally healthy woman. I spent a long time learning how to get here and it is by far my best achievement in life.
Enough about me, here is my advice…
EXPLAIN THE ROOT CAUSE
Sit them down and explain to them that women, as a collective, struggle deeply with our body image and self-esteem. They are NOT alone. Nowhere near.
Explain to them that the only reason these two factors are connected at all is thanks to centuries of women being objectified and seen as ‘the fairer but weaker’ sex. It is conditioning. It is not their fault.
Explain that, wonderfully, we are in an era where this is no longer the case. And yet the remnants of the societal demands still haunt us and taunt us.
Explain that we therefore, firstly, need to join the fight to keep challenging this lingering belief, together.
Try to get them excited about the prospect, that if we all join, we could change society forever and eradicate the damaging and ridiculous images the media portrays – of women who look completely and utterly unreal and unobtainably beautiful.
Give them a mission to channel their emotions into!
This would further pave the way to a world where women do not feel the need to put themselves under so much more pressure than men – the pressure to look a certain way as well as achieve all the other things we really want to. Men simply do not have that issue.
Tell them that most women don’t achieve self-worth, inner peace, self-acceptance until they are in their ‘golden years’. It is not an easy thing to master. But, they can do it far more quickly using a few handy tools. We just didn’t know about those growing up.
Explain to them how much more fun and worthwhile life will be if they can prioritise this journey over other, less fulfilling pursuits. Why waste time, start living and loving life now.
Teach them the tools – the mirror work. The only way to really make peace with yourself is to look at yourself, in the eye, every day and say nice and inspiring things. At first it helps to imagine you are talking to a friend. You always see the best in your friends so apply that same rule to yourself. It does eventually become a habit and the positive effects are huge.
Tell them the ‘science’ – your thoughts literally shape your world. Your brain is a powerful ‘tool of creation’.
Change your thoughts and everything will follow.
Those people who believe in themselves don’t have any more reason to than the rest of us, do they?
Their secret is that they just do. They just like themselves. They just look for the best in themselves and work on the rest. Make that choice. It is a choice. Feels false in the beginning but it soon becomes your reality.
Beauty and appreciation are all in the eyes of the beholder – so decide to ‘behold’ your own. It is that simple. Takes time though. Lead by example wherever you can.
Lastly, find examples in their generation of ‘admired people’.
They are all around. There are fabulous examples of young women desperately trying to ‘be themselves’ and encourage acceptance.
Find the right ones for your daughter and show them.
All the time.
You cannot put enough emphasis on this.
They are not alone, quite the opposite.
It is not an ‘affliction’, it can be changed and they can change it. I don’t think many young women realise this.
We need to make them see that they can and they will.
REMIND THEM THAT THEIR ‘SELF’-WORTH COMES ONLY FROM THEM’SELVES’.
NEVER FROM ANYONE ELSE AND NEVER, EVER, FROM THE AMOUNT OF LIKES YOU GET ON SOCIAL MEDIA OR THE NUMBER OF FRIENDS YOU HAVE…
Ladies, I hope you have found this of some use, there is so much more I can say on this subject – I would love to hear from you.