Raising a little girl - Self Esteem

2013-03-23 13:50

Because of  my past I had a very low self esteem growing up. In fact the circumstances surrounding my grand fathers death didn't help boost my confidence either.

I want my daughter to have confidence in herself, I want her self esteem to grow so that she can have meaningful relationships.

I think this is something that every mom should want for their child. We don't want to send our "little princesses" off into society where they are naïve, have a low self esteem and end up in an abusive relationship.

So what do we do to boost their self esteem?

I've told you before that I was a "people pleaser". Ok so you get a noddy badge at the end of the day, but is that what you REALLY want? We need to raise our daughters to do things that THEY want to do.

Whether its choosing which chocolate she would like off the shelf or eventually deciding on what career path she is going to take, the decision needs to be hers. We as parents, are there to help her see her strong points and guide her in the right direction.

And for heavens sake mums, think very carefully about steering your daughter blindly into the "Toddlers and Tiara's" lifestyle its not all sunshine and roses...

It's important for girls to take part in a sport. My daughter enjoys dancing. When she dances it is as much as being part of a team as it builds her confidence as a young lady. When she began dancing she had a dragon for a teacher. The woman pushed these little girls so hard that going to a dancing class, which should be a balance of fun and hard work, became a drag. The woman would even go as far as turn mothers against each other.

The bitchyness was overwhelming and I had decided to pull Fairy from dancing completely, ... and then I found another dancing teacher. Fairy emerged from every class with a smile although it was highly likely that she would fall asleep 10 minutes after arriving home. The perfect balance. Since dancing with this dance teacher, Fairy's academic work has improved too. Where as with the dragon, she was just exhausted and I doubt she had enough energy to concentrate on school work.

When you join dancing schools today, you basically sign a contract. So to get out of our "contract" with the devil, my daughter and I endured the last month of dance and then never renewed our "contract" in the new year. Many lessons learned.

When you compliment your daughter, try to steer away from complementing her appearance. Girls need to have confidence in their abilities, for fairy, its how well she sings in the choir or how hard she worked to master new dance steps. Every girl is beautiful. If she thinks she needs to compete for her "beauty standings" with other girls, its likely that she will fall into the arms of every man who calls her beautiful - just for the validation that she is. This is risky! It is one of an abusers first tactics for girls to fall into his trap. He will use her poor body image against her.

When I was a teenager my step father always pointed out my body. I swam in shorts and he would make a big deal out of it. This just made me more self conscious, and it broke the little self esteem I had down further.

To reiterate, ladies and girls of every size and shape are beautiful. Its that lady's self esteem that makes her shine.

For dad's it is so important that you don't trash talk women in front of your daughter. Your words about that other woman on TV, give your daughter a negative role model, and add to a negative body image. Do you really want your little angel to use her body to get the attention of men? Do you want her to have a "bimbo" sign slashed across her fore head? I think not. Mums, just as much as dad trash talking, your negative comments about your own body impact your daughter's body image too. So think about what you say in front of her, and rather boost that image, rather than make her more self conscious.

And dads, your little angel isn't a "damsel in distress" either. She's a strong beautiful woman who can accomplish anything she puts her mind to. So there's no need for rescuing her at every turn. She needs to learn to stand up for herself. If she doesn't learn this, what will happen when you aren't around? With the predators we have in today's society, I want my daughter to know that she has it in her to say "NO!"

I want her to be able to brush herself off when she falls and try and try again.

And most importantly - speak to your daughters. Speak to them about anything and everything. You want them to know that its OK to come to you if they are in trouble.

** women in abusive relationships feel ashamed and don't always end up speaking out!**

REMEMBER If your daughter is speaking to YOU she isn't speaking to someone who may be giving her the WRONG information.

AND ALWAYS, ALWAYS - TELL HER THAT YOU LOVE HER!

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