Have you ever given a thought as to why so many girls, especially in their teens suffer from low confidence and low self-worth? Well, a lot of it has to do with the way the media - television, movies, videos, etc., portray women. Women that feature in these are mostly projected in a sexual manner and are always thin, tall, and beautiful. When a teenage girl is bombarded with images of such women day in and day out, she develops a complex about the way she looks. That's why we see so many young girls resorting to dieting and suffering from eating disorders. Some other reasons for low self-esteem are inability to deal with their personal relationships and criticism/lack of concern/lack of appreciation shown by parents.
Researches have shown that young girls often link their confidence to their body image, and many of them hide their accomplishments in order to look appealing to the opposite sex. When a young girl is going through such emotions, experiencing major changes in her body and setting out to develop her outlook towards life and people, it becomes the duty of parents to undertake certain actions to build her self-regard.
Make a Collage
You can undertake this activity at home itself. All you need is the latest issue of your daughter's favorite magazine and a large cardboard piece. Sit with her and together look for words or phrases in the magazine that sound encouraging such as "Success", "Beautiful", "Go-getter", etc. You can even club a few words together and make one liners such as "I can do it" or "Failure is the stepping stone to success". Once you have these words, start pasting them on the cardboard. You can cut out certain pictures from the magazine which are inspirational in some way such as beautiful scenery, fashionable clothes, sports persons, and film stars and paste them on the cardboard. Hang the cardboard on the wall and ask your girl to fill it up everyday with some inspirational quotes or pictures she comes across. By daily reading such inspiring words and phrases, she will be in a way affirming that she too can be confident and successful.
Develop a Hobby
Ask your daughter to develop a hobby. It can be anything - painting, writing, singing, dancing, or acting. When she gets involved in such activities, she will be learning new things every day. She will make mistakes and then correct them. This will offer you immense opportunities to support her and give her some important lessons in life such as how important hard work is and that it is all right to make mistakes. So, get your girl involved in some challenging activity and you will surely see her getting out of her comfort zone and gaining confidence. Also, when she learns something new, it is bound to increase her self-worth in her own eyes.
Involve Her in Household Chores
Get your daughter involved in household chores. You can first teach her how to do a particular thing and then ask her to do it on her own the next time. Some of the chores that you can ask her to do are gardening, cleaning rooms, washing cars, laying the dinner table, shopping for household stuff, etc. When she is involved in all these activities, she will be learning a lot of things about household management. She will become much more responsible, plus get a lot of time to spend with you when you are teaching her these jobs. All this will definitely help in improving self-esteem.
These activities should be combined with certain behavioral changes by the parents towards their daughters to be truly effective. Refrain from comparing your daughter to any of her friends or siblings. Do not criticize her, instead appreciate her for every little thing she has learned new or conducted in a good manner. Also, do not enforce stereotypes by asking your daughter to help in kitchen and your son to fix a leaking tap. Give her opportunity to develop all kinds of interests. Lastly, discuss some relevant issues with her such as the portrayal of women in media or teen dating and give her an opportunity to speak on these issues. By following such steps and undertaking the activities mentioned above, you as a parent can contribute a lot towards building your daughter's self-regard.