My daughter is in the thick of the tween years, and this stage of parenting is not for the weak. Good LAWD. How did my mother do this with me and my sister? I have a brand new level of respect. I think it’s even more challenging for parents now with the introduction of phones and texting and social media.
Today I’m sharing a fantastic guest post from Be Prepared Period that I think will resonate with moms like me, doing our very best to raise strong, confident girls. Read more about them at the end, and be sure to enter the giveaway too!
4 Ways to Boost Your Daughter’s Self Esteem
By now, you’ve probably seen the reports: between the ages of 9 and 14, girls lose their sense of self-esteem and confidence at an alarming rate. There are many reasons for this, and as parents, it can be hard to know what impact we can have, if any, on this crucial stage of development. With so many outside influences, how much can really be done to prevent her transition from your happy, self-assured little girl into a self-conscious teenager?
The good news is this: there is plenty you can do to help bolster your daughter’s sense of confidence and self-worth during this tricky time. Here are four tips for nurturing your adolescent daughter’s self-esteem.
1. Empower her to make decisions: Your young daughter is transitioning into adolescence right before your very eyes. It can be difficult to take a step back and let her make decisions for herself, especially when you feel you know better. However, empowering her to make her own choices (even if they lead to her inevitably making mistakes) is the first step to showing your daughter that not only do you trust her, but that she can trust herself. Let her make her own decisions and show her that you respect her choice. Rather than looking to you for all the answers, this will help her develop a sense of independence and autonomy.
2. Watch what you say: For better or worse, the words we say can make a lasting impact on our growing daughters. What may seem like an off handed comment about your own body could turn into something that she remembers for years to come. This means that if at all possible, to try to avoid making comments about your body or hers. As mothers, this can be truly difficult, but it is so critically important. In many ways, we ourselves have been influenced by years of this language. Learn to find the beauty in your own body, so that you can encourage your daughter to love hers as well. Easier said than done, right? If you find yourself struggling with this, try this trick: don’t say anything at all about physical appearance (positive or negative!) When it comes to complimenting your daughter and others, focus on her accomplishments, her intellectual pursuits, and her abilities. All of these serve to build up a more resilient sense of confidence.
3. Prepare her for the changes ahead: From middle school, to driver’s licenses, and puberty, the next few years hold many life altering changes for you both! Don’t leave her in the dark when it comes to what she should expect, especially in regards to her physical development. And when it comes to “the talk”, think of it more like “the talks”. In reality, it is very difficult to cover everything she’ll need to know in one swoop. Go slowly, tackling one topic at a time. If you find that your daughter is uncomfortable having these conversations, try starting them while you’re in the car or cooking dinner. Eliminating the need for eye contact can help to calm her nerves. And don’t forget to prepare her with the products she’ll need! As soon as she starts to show signs of puberty, place a period kit in her backpack, locker, or bag. That way she won’t be caught off guard when her Aunt Flow arrives. (Check below for details on how to win a first period kit!)
4. Show her that you care: Discipline and parenting styles are unique to every family, and we’re not here to tell you what’s right or wrong for yours. But regardless of your relationship, it is important that you are regularly letting your daughter know that you love her and that you’re proud of her. She’s not a mind reader: take the time to say the words out loud. Even as she gets older and it seems like your opinion doesn’t matter as much as it used to – keep reassuring her that you love her no matter what changes: her grades, her body, her athletic performance. As important as it is for her to develop a strong sense of self-worth, the value of your praise and love cannot be overstated.
Your daughter is growing up, and while she may no longer need you to tie her shoes, she still needs you.
Be Prepared Period
Be Prepared Period is a site designed for girls, women & parents just like you! Our site offers a variety of free resources & products to help you and your daughter “Be Prepared,” including First Period Kits, organic options, and all your other favorite “monthly” products.
‘Growing up’ can be a confusing phase of life for young girls – one that is often misunderstood and laced with silent shame. Especially when it comes to reproductive development and periods.
Today, we’re partnering with Be Prepared Period to give away a First Period Kit. These kits come with everything you (and your daughter!) need to prepare for the changes ahead. Complete with feminine hygiene products, informational guides for both parents and girls, and a discreet sequined pouch, these can easily be placed in your daughter’s backpack, locker, or bag.
This giveaway is open to US residents ages 18+ and will end at 11:59pm ET on April 18, 2018.