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Ask the Expert: Building Confidence & Self-Esteem in Girls

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Does your daughter have body image issues? Do you worry that her lack of confidence could lead her to poor performance in school or being bullied? Do you need ideas to get the conversation about self-esteem started?

CafeMom is excited to welcome Jess Weiner to the Strong Women. Strong Girls Group. 

Jess serves as Dove's Global Ambassador for Self-Esteem. She has spent more than 17 years at the center of women’s and girls' social issues and authored two best-selling books, A Very Hungry Girl and Life Doesn’t Begin 5 Pounds From Now. She is currently working on her third book—helping mothers and daughters create ultimate and lasting confidence in their lives.


Post your questions about how to build girls' confidence and self-esteem until the end of June.
We'll post Jess' replies in July.

by on Jun. 1, 2012 at 10:19 AM
Replies (61-70):
alliesmom112
by Sandy on Jun. 5, 2012 at 3:13 PM

My dd is starting Pre-K in August and this will be her first time away from me as I am a stay at home and she has always been with me. How can I make her confident and self reliant enough to make this adjustment easier for her?

alliesmom112
by Sandy on Jun. 5, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Great question, I am wondering the same thing about my almost 4 year old

Quoting KaylaMillar:

My daughter just turned 2. What are some good way to build confidence at a young age?


alliesmom112
by Sandy on Jun. 5, 2012 at 3:16 PM

My dd does this too or she "hides" behind dh or me

Quoting fraujones:

How do I encourage my daughter to speak for herself instead of whispering replies in my ear when she is around new people, especially adults?


alliesmom112
by Sandy on Jun. 5, 2012 at 3:18 PM

that is so awful!! I love red headed kids. =)

Quoting momslittleluvs:

My oldest daughter is turning 9 in a few months and I think she has the most beautiful red/orange hair! But of course her hair color not being so common gets the bully's at school going... I just found out that there is an older girl on her bus that is calling her a redheaded chipmunk and it is killing my girl... and thats the only one that she has told me about... I would like to talk to this older girls parents but thats not going to stop everyone. I have always told her (and my other 2 daughters) they are bueatiful at least once a day, as for my red head, i told her since her hair color is rare that she is a gem... but what else can i do for her? This bullying stuff is getting her down...


elliesmum06
by on Jun. 5, 2012 at 4:04 PM

My daughter is 5 1/2. She is very bright and very socialable, but she thinks she is not beautiful because she has blonde, curly hair not long, straight, brown hair like her best friend or myself. She is so pretty. How do I get her to realize that she is beautiful on the outside as well on the inside? We tell her that she is beautiful on the inside as well as on the outside whenever she says this. (We don't focus on looks, but it does upset me when she says things like this). How do I get her to get over this??? 

Samanthamommy
by Member on Jun. 5, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Mine does not yet. How should I help avoid her getting body issues, when I currently have low self esteem in that area? I don't want to avoid the conversation, when she gets to that age.

bamababe1975
by on Jun. 5, 2012 at 5:50 PM

 My youngest waffles with issues sometimes because her grandfather is a jerk who constantly criticizes the size of her rear end. I haven't let it eat into her confidence, however, because I remind her that he's old and doesn't know what he's talking about. She always giggles and agrees with me. My oldest worries about her teeth and refuses to smile sometimes and I tell her that her teeth are perfect for her mouth and that they're beautiful, just like she is. I have struggled with self-esteem my whole life and flatly refuse to allow my girls to struggle, too. 

monique328
by on Jun. 5, 2012 at 6:14 PM

My daughter is 20 years old and definitely has low self esteem, I am not sure what to do at this point. She makes bad decisions that have a negative out come based on this all the time. I have to help her out of situations all the time but if I dont she will get into majoy trouble. How do you build and adult childs self esteem???

nicole6870
by on Jun. 6, 2012 at 2:54 AM
My Dd is 9 and very shy. She tries so hard at school and is well liked but everything hurts her feelings. She hides it well but I can see how much it affects her. How do I boost her confidence?
Siobhan25
by on Jun. 6, 2012 at 6:20 AM

I have the exact same with my daughter.  Elysse is 5 years old and very confident and bossy and I often wonder the same thing :-)

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