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“Mamma, I need a lipstick,” my 7 year old daughter exclaimed while we were shopping at one of our grocery stores. She quickly headed over to the cosmetics section and grabbed a shade for herself. “I need this one”, she says as I smile at the bright color that she chooses, the bright red. We constantly live in a society that advertises perfect women, absolutely beautiful without any flaws. Though as adults, we know that they are not the norm, as the pictures are enhanced and airbrushed using makeup software tools, but most young girls don’t seem to believe it. They think that the images are what women look like and as they feel that they are below that standard, they begin to feel that they are unattractive, ugly and even inadequate.
Little kids enter the world that believes in harsh standards of beauty. When they are a baby, they don’t know anything about it, but when they are six or seven years, at some point of time every girl wonder if she is pretty enough. While some kids may be confident enough to shred it off, others might feel the sting of being rejected.
As a mom, how can you help your little child feel good about herself?
It is crucial for parents to help them build self-esteem as low self-esteem during childhood and adolescence usually has a negative impact on them and even their future achievements. Here are some tips that are designed to help parents and concerned adult to teach the girls that their real worth and value doesn’t depend on their appearance or what others actually think about them.
Affirm on your daughter’s positive qualities and uniqueness: Girls in their young age with high self-esteem are liked and loved by everyone. So, look for opportunities and try to highlight her talents and positive qualities. Teach them that they are worth of acceptance and love irrespective of what they look like. Help them visualize the good in them instead of focusing on their flaws.
Avoid making negative comments: A negative comment about your daughter may be very hurtful to her. Since parents greatly influence how kids feel about themselves, girls suffering from low self-esteem are more likely to be very sensitive. Your words and actions can affect their confidence and make the condition worse. If you make any negative comments or tease her about her appearance, she will start to feel same about herself and this will ultimately damage her confidence.
Emphasize on inner beauty: Another most important thing to support your daughter’s self-confidence is to praise her inner qualities that make her special from others. Kids who hear positive comments about themselves from their parents are more likely to believe in inner beauty and will stop to measure up to a standard of beauty. As a parent, emphasize more on compassion, intelligence and empathy and let her know that these traits are more important than physical beauty.
Model positive self-esteem: Your daughter will often look up to you as her role model and parents often play a crucial role. Girls are mostly influenced by their mother’s body and self-image. Fathers can help to build their self-esteem by respecting and valuing women and teaching their daughters to lead a positive life. Show her how you both have a healthy relationship by carefully monitoring your actions and words and make efforts to pass only positive comments on a regular basis.
I hope the above tips will help you to start a conversation with your girl and help her understand more about self-love, compassion, acceptance and body image.