Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Building SELF ESTEEM Within Your Daughters!!

Building a healthy self esteem is a crucial part of raising a happy, healthy, BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER. This is something that we strive to work on building within our daughters whenever the opportunity presents itself. We are constantly telling them that they are beautiful, loved and blessed. We want them to grow up to be strong, God loving girls who can look within themselves and find all of the love and support they need. We don't want them to look to others for self worth, acceptance and acknowledgement but we want them to walk in the confidence and assurity that they posses inside.

In our research on this topic, we came across this wonderful article that we'd like to share with you all. We found the information to be beneficial and we hope that you all will be inspired by it. We will post the link below for further reading.

What is Self Esteem?
Self-esteem is a term used in psychology to reflect a person's overall evaluation or appraisal of his or her own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, "I am competent", "I am worthy") and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride and shame[citation needed]. Self-esteem can apply specifically to a particular dimension (for example, "I believe I am a good writer and I feel happy about that") or have global extent (for example, "I believe I am a bad person, and feel bad about myself in general").
~Wikipedia (The Free Encyclopedia)

Signs of Unhealthy and Healthy Self-Esteem
Self-esteem fluctuates as kids grow. It's frequently changed and fine-tuned, because it is affected by a child's experiences and new perceptions. So it helps to be aware of the signs of both healthy and unhealthy self-esteem.

Kids with low self-esteem may not want to try new things, and may frequently speak negatively about themselves: "I'm stupid," "I'll never learn how to do this," or "What's the point? Nobody cares about me anyway." They may exhibit a low tolerance for frustration, giving up easily or waiting for somebody else to take over. They tend to be overly critical of and easily disappointed in themselves. Kids with low self-esteem see temporary setbacks as permanent, intolerable conditions, and a sense of pessimism predominates.

Kids with healthy self-esteem tend to enjoy interacting with others. They're comfortable in social settings and enjoys group activities as well as independent pursuits. When challenges arise, they can work toward finding solutions and voice discontent without belittling themselves or others. For example, rather than saying, "I'm an idiot," a child with healthy self-esteem says, "I don't understand this." They know their strengths and weaknesses, and accept them. A sense of optimism prevails.

What can you do to help build your daughters self esteem?

1. Build a strong foundation. From her first breath, remind your daughter on a daily basis, through words and action, that she is strong, smart, and beautiful. Research confirms that girls with low self-esteem most commonly receive less praise and more criticism from either parent.

2. Limit her access to media early. The messages you work diligently to provide will quickly be challenged if you don’t filter media that blatantly contradicts them. A great deal of television and print media set unrealistic physical standards and portray over-sexualized, disempowered girls and women. Unchecked, it will shape your daughter’s sense of reality, self, and the standard she is expected to meet for acceptance, desirability, and success. Additionally, it’s essential that you help her to achieve media literacy so even when she’s engaged with it, she’ll have a more discerning mind. An easy place to start is the Dove Real Beauty Campaign Web site where, in addition to taking quizzes on self-esteem, she can take one on image manipulation so she realizes how unreal print media images frequently tend to be.

3. Create open lines of communication. Hormonal shifts that begin the transition into adolescence can begin as early as eight or nine years old. The further down the adolescent path she is, the more difficult it will become to establish lines of communication that will essentially become lifelines in your efforts to guide and protect her throughout her teen years. The best place to start, if you haven’t already, is by talking with her about her day on the way to school and at the dinner table every day.

4. Encourage her to find and use her voice. I always tell the girls I work with to think of their voice as a muscle—the more they use it, the stronger it will be. Speaking on behalf of your daughter most or all of the time limits her workout time.

5. Seize the power of organized sports. The earlier you can get and keep her involved the better. The opportunity to develop strong relationships with other girls while working toward a common goal and to develop confidence related to something she does rather than simply how she looks, talks, and acts is essential to building and maintaining self-esteem. In case that’s not enough, research shows a significant decrease in participation in risky sexual behavior among girls who play sports.

6. Remember that knowledge is power. This is particularly true as it applies to your daughter knowing and understanding her own body. It is especially important that she have a solid understanding of the powerful and changing cyclical role hormones play in the female body every month and the impact they have physically, emotionally, and psychologically on a daily basis. She cannot value or protect a body that is foreign to her.
7. Make no subject taboo. From sex to drugs, making any subject off limits to your daughter (whether stated or implied) will only ensure her journey down a path of shame, ignorance, and ultimately, danger. If she cannot get open, honest, and accurate information from her parents, she will get it from less-educated sources that may leave her misinformed and far less able to protect herself.

8. Dads, be aware of the power of your words and actions.
The way a father expresses his value and respect for women directly impacts the way his daughter sees herself and the degree of respect and overall value she will expect to receive from boys and men.

9. Moms, never forget that you are her most important role model. More than half of girls recently surveyed as part of a national report on self-esteem said their mothers criticize their own appearance. It is imperative that we do whatever is necessary to get ourselves to a place of knowing and understanding our value as women, if we have any hope that our daughters will do the same.

We challenge you all to focus on building self esteem in your daughters. Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts on this subject. Take a moment to share what steps you have taken and if you were successful. Leave an encouraging word for another mom that will motivate them to begin to apply these principles in their daughters lives. Thanks so much for reading this. We look forward to your comments.

Please take a look at the corresponding video on our video page!

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