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What steps can I take or what can I do to build up my 11 yr old daughter's self esteem?

Here is a little back ground on the situation. She is a great little girl excels in school and sports. She is very pretty but really doesn't want to put the time into taking care of herself also her body is starting to change and is in a awkward phase. I also have a little 6 yr old girl who is very pretty as well. But she is very girlie and wants to look beautiful all the time she also models. The little one seems to get alot more attention then the older one and she is really starting to notice it and its starting to affect her. She made a comment to me last night when we were sitting on the couch. She said mommy Danica is very beautiful she is so lucky. It made my heart drop. I told her that she was very beautiful too and she said no I am not I am ugly. Which hurt me even more. I tell her she is beautiful everyday. What should I do? Should I take her to see someone? Please help!!!!!!

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nyyankeelady

Asked by nyyankeelady at 10:57 AM on Feb. 1, 2010 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (9)
  • does her Dad tell her she is smart, pretty a good person etc? maybe she thinks you just say those things because you are her mom and are being "nice" At this age what her Father or another male role model has to say may "sink in" more Girls need their dads to tell them things like that.
    Bjoycassell

    Answer by Bjoycassell at 11:36 AM on Feb. 1, 2010

  • That is another problem. Me and her father aren't together anymore. We have a great relationship and are still very close. But he seems to pay more attention to the little one. I have had many talks to him about that but he never seems to change. I know that he tells her she is pretty. I just don't think he says it as much as he says it to the little one. He is also very hard headed and not very compassionate when it comes to most stuff, he comes off more as a hard ass. So I need ideas for more things I have control of.
    nyyankeelady

    Answer by nyyankeelady at 12:36 PM on Feb. 1, 2010

  • 11 is a crazy age...you start developing, you go through acne and the "I am ugly" phase. Stress to her that she has soooooo much going for herself and that her beauty is just a small part of it. Tell her to find something about herself that she likes and play it up...nice smile...always smile whiten teeth)..then move on to something else...Self-esteem comes from self...always encourage her to talk to you about everything and really listen to her. Change hairstyles, get nails and toes done up...Let her beauty shine...
    nikki1012009

    Answer by nikki1012009 at 12:37 PM on Feb. 1, 2010

  • Would she be interested in doing the modeling too? If not, is there something that interests her that you and dad can spend time supporting her in? Sports, dancing, gymnastics, etc. Make sure you both go to every practice, game and recital. Tell her how awesome she did. Make a big deal by displaying trophies and pictures of her. I know what it feels like to have a beautiful younger sister who gets a lot of attention. Find what she's great at and pour on the attention. If her grades start to drop, or she is spending more time alone, then I suggest she see a psychologist. It's probably just the early teen blues, but you want to make sure it does not spiral into depression. One other thing. DH and I have occasional special dates with our daughters. We schedule a time when either DH or I will spend the entire day alone doing whatever DD wants. For my tween that's usually a trip to the salon and shopping. I learn so much about her.
    AngelDawn7

    Answer by AngelDawn7 at 5:50 PM on Feb. 1, 2010

  • You said it yourself. You dote on the little one. The older child needs attention to build up her self esteem. You and dad need to do that and don't just dwell on looks. Tell her all the things that make her great.
    admckenzie

    Answer by admckenzie at 7:06 PM on Feb. 1, 2010

  • Self-esteem doesn't come from beauty, but it is a feeling within being confident about yourself.  Remind her how good she is at school, sports, helping her sister, helping you.  Then let her overhear you bragging about her when talking to others.  Put some extra effort and attention in this for a little while.  Take her for a girly day possibly a new shirt, haircut, something as a little pick me up to show her you are paying attention to her feelings.  Here are some books about confidence building and self-esteem.  http://astore.amazon.com/wwwcjkidzcom3-20?%5Fencoding=UTF8&node=17

    momjs

    Answer by momjs at 7:16 PM on Feb. 1, 2010

  • just give her the same length of attention you give the little one. And tell her the same things you tell the little one. you might not realize it but you might be favoring the little one a little more because shes the younger child ,and shes doing all these cutie stuff. and as for dad get her to make dad notice her as well, to get his attention more. (hey dad how do I look) (dad do you like my dress or outfit "whatever she might be wearing at the time") (do you like the way Im wearing my hair today."if she likes wearing her hair in many different ways"),also have dad do things that both girls like to do together, so all three can do something together.(and its not just him and the little one all the time.) gl ;)
    incarnita

    Answer by incarnita at 10:50 AM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • U see I give her more attention then the little one. That is my problem I coach 3 of her softball teams and we also do private pitching lessons together. Most of my time is with her. I tell her she is beautiful and how proud of her I am everyday. I just dont no what to do.
    nyyankeelady

    Answer by nyyankeelady at 1:58 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • it sounds more drastic than it actually is, but i kind of went through the same thing and despite all the outreaching from my parents...i would just clam up. its easier to not talk about teenage woes with parents. so they took me to a family therapist. someone i could tell everything to...gripe about my parents, siblings, and tell my darkest secrets without feeling as though i would be punished. maybe you could give her someone that is totally safe to talk to like that. my aunts were always great for me as well....they could see where i was coming from as a third party. but they could also speak to my parents about my feelings. just offering that one tidbit since your time isnt equating to her that she is special, beautiful, and all of the above. hope all this advice helps. teens are a handful!!
    FoxyRoxyMommy

    Answer by FoxyRoxyMommy at 8:42 AM on Feb. 4, 2010

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