It is important that we uplift our girls by instilling self-esteem in them. Self-esteem begins at home. Here are ways to assist girls in boosting their confidence:
1. Body image
Body Image is something that a lot of adolescents and teenage girls are conscious about. A lot of girls who do not love the way they look often develop eating disorders such as Bulimia and Anorexia. A lot of girls admire women celebrities that they see on social media and magazines. Girls create thoughts of constantly comparing themselves to the women that they see on tv and that can lead to low-self esteem. These thoughts can also lead to girls wanting to physically enhance their bodies surgically or cosmetically when they get older. Teach your girls to love their bodies by saying positive statements to them or showing them famous women who are proud of their bodies and the color of their skin.
2. Positive self-talk/affirmations
Encourage girls to use positive-self talk/affirmations. A couple of techniques that I use with my teenage clients include writing affirmations on sticky notes and posting the notes where it is visible such as their walls, dressers, or mirrors. Another option is for girls to write down the affirmations in a journal and refer to on a daily basis.
3. Be a part of extracurricular activities
Encourage girls to be a part of activities such as sports, cheerleading, dance, theater, art, music, girl scouts, etc. Participating in activities is a great way that girls can express themselves and boost their confidence. In addition, partaking in these activities can also increase the level of social interaction with other youth and build friendships.
4. Model Self-Esteem
Self-esteem starts with parents at home. Children model our behaviors and watch our every move. It is important that we show ways of loving ourselves whether its being consistent with engaging in self-care in order to feel good about ourselves and to prevent the feeling of being overwhelmed. When we take care of ourselves physically and emotionally, this will help in maintaining confidence and allow us to lead by example to girls. In addition, criticism also plays a negative role. If children see their parents having pessimistic views and constantly critiquing themselves or complaining, children will model these behaviors.
Girls want to feel validated and loved. It is important to acknowledge and praise their strengths. Don’t only complement your girls on their physical looks, but also compliment them on their talents and accomplishments.
6. Tell them I love you
Even though a lot of teens are not so little anymore, they still need to hear the words “I love you”. There is no age limit on saying and hearing these words. When teen girls feel loved, they will not need to search for love in the wrong places.
7. Show love
Actions speak louder than words. Similar to the importance of saying I love you, also do things that show your love to your teens whether it is by hugging them, taking them out for ice cream, making their favorite meal, or taking them shopping.
8. Don’t be a “Debbie Downer”
Don’t speak negativity or show doubts when your teen shares their goals or dreams with you. It is awesome whenever teens are excited to share their dreams with their parents. Even if you don’t agree with the goals and ambitions of your teens, don’t shut them down. Doing this will discourage them from sharing information with you or even stopping them from pursuing their goals.