The diet commercials are in full force which can only mean two things; bathing suit season is right around the corner and nationwide body image is getting ready to plummet. Many parents worry that between all the talk about buff bodies and diet plans, their young daughters will slip into a self esteem slump. How can we elevate our daughters’ self worth without needing to go on and on about loving your body?
Confidence and self worth, both positive and negative, can influence how a person feels, thinks, and acts throughout childhood and adulthood. Those who have strong feelings of confidence and high self worth will feel more positive about themselves, think more positively, and act and behave more positively than those who have low self confidence and low self worth. In addition, someone with strong feelings of confidence and high self worth will like who they see in the mirror each day and know that they are worthy of love.
Here are the first 5 tips to strengthening your child’s confidence and feelings of self worth:
(1) Help your child realize her unique gifts: Everyone is talented or special in some way. While we are not all little Einsteins or mini- Monets, everyone has something to offer. Let your child know that you appreciate their gifts. Allow your child to show you what she can do—without doing it for her! She will get better with time. Hang up artwork, projects, or awards that exhibit these gifts so that your child knows that you value her special talents. Creating a Wall of Fame will allow her to see all of her accomplishments.
(2) Be present: When your child is sharing new knowledge or new gifts, pay attention! This is the time to shut off the TV and the cell phone. When you do this, your child will know that they are important and worthy of your undivided attention.
(3) Don’t over-praise: While letting your child know that their gifts are special, don’t over-praise to the point of being phony. Not every art project and assignment is worthy of the Wall of Fame. Not everything your child does is super, perfect and fantastic. When you praise your child when praise is due, your child will know you are being genuine and that she has really done a good job.
(4) Be a RAD parent (Reliable, Accountable, and Dependable): While you may not always be available when your child needs you, create a pattern of responsiveness and responsibility. Be on time, be reliable, and follow through with what you say you are going to do. When you are a RAD parent, your child will know that they can count on you and that they are worthy of your follow through.
(5) Praise effort: It may be easy to focus on a high mark on a paper or a gold medal, but it is really important to praise effort instead of results. When your child knows that she has worked hard and that hard work is praised, she will likely keep putting in the effort to make the accomplishment. When we are results driven, failure can stop us in our tracks and make us give up for fear of failing once again.
When we take the time to instill confidence in our children, they become a little bit stronger. Then they can call upon that strength when they are feeling low or bombarded with negative, body-bashing messages. The strength of positive parents carries on even when they are not around!
Until next time (and the next 5 tips)–
Filed under: Body Image, Character in Action, children, Confidence, Dr. Robyn Silverman, Health, Parenting tips, Powerful Girls, Powerful Words Info | Tagged: body esteem, Body Image, children, Confidence, daughters, Dr. Robyn Silverman, girls, parenting, Parenting tips, self esteem, self worth, tips |