Do you have a daughter? I might finally be relenting that raising a daughter is more difficult than raising a son. Or maybe it’s because my youngest daughter just so happens to be strong-willed like her mom.
Whatever the case, raising daughters is unique.
I look back on my own childhood, mostly with fond memories. And then I hit puberty and a lot of things change. My self-esteem tanked. So in hopes of preventing that with my own daughter, here are 3 meaningful ways to teach girls to love themselves. Because, as the old saying goes, you have to learn to love yourself before you can love anyone else.
Self-confidence and self-esteem is often difficult for girls. Not just in terms of body image, but just having a girl learn to love everything about herself, including her intelligence, her creativity, and the special skills she have.
3 Meaningful Ways to Teach Your Daughters to Love Themselves
Show That You Accept Yourself How You Are
One thing all girls have in common is that they look up to their mothers.
If you want your daughter to love herself, you need to show that you love yourself as well. Never talk down about yourself, whether it is about your intelligence, appearance, relationships, or anything else in your life. Try to remain positive, and while you know you have flaws, you accept them.
I’m not a super-mom, I’m not perfect, and I could go on. I embrace that though.
Be a confident person with high self-esteem, and your daughter will want to mirror that.
Let Her Make Her Own Decisions and Mistakes
Sometimes what helps a girl the most to feel good about herself is to let her take over things on her own. Let her try new things and make mistakes. She will good about the courage she had to try something new, and when she succeeds at the new thing, she feels accomplished, which is a great way to feel good about herself.
For younger girls, just playing with new toys or trying new activities to see what their capabilities are can be helpful. When you have a pre-teen or teenage girl, giving her the reigns for a variety of things can really be helpful.
Allow Your Daughter to Be Confident
Confidence should never be something others look down on. Confidence does not mean being conceited, but knowing what you are good at and what you can achieve. If your daughter does something amazing, let her boast about it.
Don’t tell her not to talk about herself or not to be conceited; she needs to know you acknowledge what she has accomplished and know that she can be proud of it.
Four Important Things You Can Do As a Parent
When you are raising a girl, there are certain things you should always tell your daughter. These things, whether they are words, conversations, or otherwise, are going to help her grow up strong, independent, confident, and kind.
Tell Her to Be Kind
An important thing to start telling your daughter even at a young age is that she should always be kind to others. This is a really good lesson to teach daughters from toddler age to teenagers and even into adulthood. You want your daughter to be a nice person that is open, honest, and treats others with respect.
Teach her that even during moments when being kind is the last thing she wants to be, she should always remember humans make mistakes and that forgiving them and being the better person is sometimes the only thing she can do.
Teach Her How to Say No
This is something that is essential to living a well-balanced and stress-free life, but something many people never learn. Saying no involves everything from not feeling comfortable doing something, to being pressured into being intimate with someone, or even just saying no to helping someone with something she doesn’t have time for.
Saying no encompasses so many things, but they all come down to one thing: she needs to know she has the right to say no whenever she doesn’t want to do something, can’t do it, or doesn’t feel right doing it.
You Are Proud of Her
Your daughter should always be told that you are proud of her. Show pride in everything she does and succeeds at, even if the results were not quite as you expected. Children and teens really crave this type of attention from their parents, and girls can be sensitive about accomplishing something and not getting proper recognition for it.
You can really help your daughter raise her own personal confidence and self-esteem by showing that you are proud with everything she does.
Friends Are Important
Girls should know how important it is to have girlfriends in her life. Friends are essential at all ages, as they can help you when nobody else is there for you. In addition to the importance of family, her friends become the people that she can trust with personal information, she calls up at 2am for a ride, or just that are there to support her when her life isn’t going how she planned.
How to Equip your daughter to love herself in spite of social media and society
It is important to empower girls so they can face, and hopefully even change and challenge, the media and society’s negative and inaccurate view of them.
Girls are often judged by the way they look, rather than their performance in school, or their personalities. The one way to break the cycle is by raising girls who think of themselves as more than eye candy.
They are smart, independent, strong, and interesting girls who have plenty to say and plenty to do. So, reward them for having good grades, for participating in activities or volunteering.
These are just three ways to teach girls to love themselves.
What other ways can you think of?
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Thank you for posting this! I needed to read these suggestions. I’ve always wanted all boys to avoid exactly these issues but I just found out that I’m having a baby girl in November. Preparing myself for raising a girl is hard work!
As a mommy of two little girls, I love this advice!! It is so important (and sometimes so difficult) for us to model self-acceptance, but so crucial. Love this post! 🙂
Yes <3 It was such a hard lesson to learn but one of the most valuable in my life. Hoping that my daughters won't repeat my mistakes.