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Can you share other ways to build your teen daughter's self-esteem?

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How to Raise a Teenage Daughter With Self-Esteem

Posted by Michele Zipp on March 10, 2012 

teen girls huddleBack when I found out I was having a baby girl I couldn't help but get excited about braiding her hair and buying her little tutus. Then I got scared. I remembered all my teenage insecurities and how challenging those years can be, particularly for a girl who doesn't have high self-esteem. So yes, I did get her a tutu and I try to braid her hair if she sits still (she just 2 years-old now) but I do realize one of the most important things I can help her with is self-esteem.

Cindy Breilh from the humanitarian organization World Vision offered some great ideas on how to empower women and girls, and many of those tips can be useful parents as their teens enter those very influential years. 

Teach your teen the value of volunteering and donating, particularly to help other women and teen girls.

Breilh shares that in countries like Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, and Bolivia, having a baby is one of the most dangerous things a woman can do. You and your daughter can visit for details to help train local midwives in remote communities -- essentially giving other kids the best shot at life. I love this idea. You can also talk about how in poor communities worldwide many girls do not attend school and instead have to fetch clean water for their village. By helping them get clean water, it's helping those girls get an education. These are just two examples -- there are so many causes you can choose with your teen. Empowering women and teens who have less than you can empower your teen (and your family) as well.

Mentor a girl close to home.

There are many kids right in your hometown who could really grow from help from other kids. Show your teenager that she can be a mentor to other teens in her community (or perhaps she would even benefit from having a mentor other than you). Big Brothers Big Sisters is one organization that helps pair mentors, but there also may be other options in your area.

Encourage your daughter to surround herself with like-minded women.

Whatever her passion is -- soccer, knitting, music, fashion, art -- help her find the right programs to further explore and it could help her build strong friendships with other teens with similar goals and interests. This is a great way to keep any teen out of trouble, and helps them really explore positive interests.

Make sure your daughter knows you care and are proud of her accomplishments, big and small.

Everyone in the family should take part in this -- celebrate the good your teen does (sometimes we get caught up in the negative). Encourage her to do the same to her peers, as many kids get too wrapped up in competition. Make sure she knows it's not about who is better at something, but how each person should strive to be their best selves.

I know this all makes it sound easy. I'm fearing those teen years! But I'm filing these ideas away and pulling them out when it's time. 

Can you share other ways to build your teen daughter's self-esteem?

by on Mar. 12, 2012 at 4:39 AM
Replies (11-13):
by on Mar. 21, 2012 at 11:39 AM
1 mom liked this

 good post ariellasmommy!

Quoting Ariellas_Mommy:

 I wasn't a teen too long ago myself, and had a very hard time during those years as my parents got a divorce, but the one thing I remember that made me feel really good about myself was playing sports. I wasn't good at them by any means, but my coaches and trainers worked with me and pushed me harder than I ever thought I could be pushed, even to the point of crying. But I was so proud of myself, and still am today. I know I can do anything, because of what I did then. It made a HUGE difference.


by Sonja on Mar. 21, 2012 at 2:20 PM

 Wow. I like these posts. Very encouraging.  I know this might sound a bit weird but I started encouraging my daughters while they were in the womb. I would tell them they were going to be smart and compassionate and pretty and strong and I would tell them this every day and when they were born I kept up with it and even told them they would be super smart and I also told them that no if anyone ever told them they were not pretty that they were to ignore them and tell them I am so pretty. I would tell them this every time I brushed their hair. I did it for such a long time. Then one day, they asked me not to say these things anymore, so I stopped. But I will encourage them when they feel like they can't do something, I do tell them they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. And when they actually do that thing they felt like they couldn't do, I will tell them..."See? You can too do" .. "whatever"  it was they were having difficulty with.  I also did this with my boys. lol except the pretty part. :)

by on Mar. 21, 2012 at 2:58 PM

I would think allow them to be more independant. Allow them more choices. Let them fail at things. Let them work things out for themselves. Give them responsibilities. If they can make their own choices and be responsible for the outcomes then they will build self esteem and a feeling of self worth by accomplishing things. I try and make my children understand that they are capable of many things but that sometimes you have to work hard. I think too many kids give up easily when things are hard and too many parents bail them out or do things for them. We want our kids to grow up to be independant, smart and hardworking but if you coddle them and don't give them the opportunities how will they learn?

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