Her 5 tips to help your child deal with bullying were a hit. Dr. Maribel Gonzalez is back as our gust blogger with 5 tips to improve your daughter's self esteem. We encourage you to share these with fellow Moms and Dads since according to Maribel, self esteem issues in girls begin way before they become teen agers. Ay Mama!
On self- esteem and girls…
Self-esteem is related to how we feel about ourselves. It's not just about what we do and how we look but how we FEEL about what we do and how we look. It's also not just about how successful or smart others perceive us to be, but about feeling confident about our talents and abilities on our own terms.
When I was 13, like many other girls my age, I remember being frequently disappointed with what I said and did. At the end of the day, I sometimes felt fat, mean, with not enough friends and not enough hip clothing that made me look model-like! Thankfully, with time and experience, I grew out of this phase and went on to understand there is more to beauty and being happy with ourselves than what we see in magazines or what others say about us. I learned to acknowledge real beauty and individual talents, but I couldn’t have done it without my parents’ support and advice. Teen and preteen girls nowadays face too many pressures to be thin, beautiful, popular, etc. that they sometimes compromise their self-esteem. They oftentimes avoid speaking up and staying true to themselves and making healthy choices and instead feel doubtful about their true self.
Research shows that girls’ self-esteem takes a plunge when they turn 9yrs. old and even though feeling high and low at times is expected, appropriate parental intervention provides the supportive relationship girls need to get them out of the plunge so they can thrive and develop their full potentials. Here is a list of simple things you can do to improve your child’s self-esteem and foster a loving and caring relationship:
- Be real. Don’t portray yourself as perfect because by doing so you encourage setting unachievable goals. Instead, talk to your girl about the mistakes you made as a teen and your experiences with friends (good and not so good).
- Teach her how to be critical of media images. It is OK for her to look at celebrity and fashion magazines as long as she understands that they portray touched up images of women that should not be her ultimate goal. Teach her about inner vs. outer beauty.
- Walk the talk. Use positive self-talk when appropriate. Try not to use put downs on yourself so she learns to use positive self-talk herself.
- Allow her to explore and foster her unique talents and abilities. She will feel special and unique when she finds and fosters activities related to her talents.
- Try to get it!!! Oftentimes teens perceive their parents as distant because they preach instead of listening and understanding. When you show receptiveness and “get it”, you open the doors for establishing good communication and a great and supportive relationship.
Even though it is not easy to raise a healthy teen… It is absolutely possible if you face the challenge with patience, love, support and commonsense.
Maribel is the creator of the Girl Empowerment Training program which helps develop healthy self esteem and empower girls to develop their full potential.
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