All kids feel some shame and self-doubt as they are growing and developing, at some point. And it's hard on them. But luckily, like shame, and like any other feelings, the feeling of confidence is a state of mind that can be accessed and felt by anyone. And you can help your kids realize this.
Explain to your kids that if they think positively about something, even just about themselves, they will feel better. The fact is that by thinking happy or positive thoughts, you are literally changing the chemicals in your brain, and happy chemicals set off happy feelings throughout your entire being. (Some studies even report that happy people make those around them happy, too, as if the happy chemicals could spread around. Isn't that awesome? I think so.) But what does this have to do with helping your growing girls develop self-confidence and strong self-esteem? Here's my thought: Help them understand that how they feel about themselves is entirely within their own control, because it's a state a mind that they can chose (yes, chose) and change, at will. If they feel like crap about themselves, that is only a mind set they are choosing to remain in, and they can change that feeling by changing their thinking. In other words, help them understand that if they want to feel strong and confident and self-assured, they just have to think of themselves as strong, confident and self-assured girls.
It's an attitude they can embrace whenever they want to, like a light switch turning on. No matter what others might be saying, or how others might be making them feel. And no matter how they might compare or not compare to their peers or friends or idols. (You can even share with them the tip that gets shared with people with stage fright: When you are feeling intimidated or shy or anxious or nervous, just try to imagine everyone around you in their underwear. Or naked. Ha!) So remind your daughters, when they are down, or doubting themselves in any way, that they can change those feelings on a dime by simply changing their own mind frame and thoughts about themselves. They can focus on the frustrating sides of who they are or where they are at, or they can focus all the good and positive things about their lives, and feel self-confident instead of doubtful or ashamed. It's that simple, but it's not necessarily a simple concept to grasp.
How do you help your girls develop a positive outlook and strong self-esteem when they are feeling insecure or down on themselves?