As far as I can remember I have always had my struggles with low self-esteem. I have had my share of picking apart certain parts of myself that I wish I could do away with or run away from. From the moment the doctor informed me that I was having a girl, I vowed that I would never project any of my insecurities onto my daughter. I promised that I would never magnify her insecurities but celebrate those things that make her different and unique.
As mothers it is very easy for us to project our own insecurities onto our girls. For example, if your weight is something that you are insecure with you may find yourself focusing on your daughter’s eating to ensure that she does not gain to much weight. You may call it protecting her from the things you had to deal with, but in fact mom, you are projecting. Yes, I agree as mothers we should be mindful of what our daughters are eating; however, we should not direct it towards her weight. We have to be mindful of the things that we say and do as it pertains to our girls.
Young children have relatively high self-esteem, which gradually declines over childhood. Self-esteem continues to decline during adolescence, perhaps due to a decrease in body image and other problems associated with puberty, academics and social challenges (Apgar, 2018, p.74-75). As children develop cognitively, they begin to base their self-evaluations on external feedback and social comparisons. Adolescent boys have higher self-esteem than adolescent girls.
I mentioned that I have always struggled with some form of low self-esteem. I can pick myself apart better than anybody on this earth. Give me 5 minutes and I can run down every one of my imperfections. However, because of this I am extra cognizant about talking with Khristian about her self esteem and its importance.
Talking to Khristian about her self-esteem made me realize that our children are literally born with a blank slate. From the minute our daughters are born we write on the slate of who they are and who they ultimately can become. As mothers, we have a small window of time and opportunity to build and shape our daughter’s confidence so that she can pursue her dreams no matter how big or small. Self-esteem goes far beyond how often we tell our girls how beautiful and pretty they are. Self-esteem is about our girls knowing who they are and how capable they are of achieving anything they put their mind to. Self-esteem is our girls knowing and realizing that they are enough…more than enough.
During Khristian and I last “Sundae Sunday” she made it very clear that her self esteem was off the charts. Her self confidence was recently boosted to an all time high when she was placed in the academically gifted program this school year. Y’all’s niece thinks she is the smartest thang walking around the house. Her swag has literally been on a thousand since she found out. Although, I am very pleased that she thinks very highly of herself I had to remind her that she may also want to serve a dose of humility along side all of that confidence. Do I want her to tone it down a notch, not at all. I just want her to stay humble. There’s definitely a fine line between high self esteem and humility. As mothers we have to model to our girls where that line is. But in the meantime let us not dim their light of self-confidence because I can assure you that the world will try.
Yes, the world will try to dimmer our brown girl’s light of self-confidence. You can bet on that!! This world will try to eat them up and spit them out if we do not instill in them their value and their worth. As a mother of a little brown girl it is my responsibility to model to her what self-esteem and self-confidence looks like as well as how to define it.
From one mother to another here are a few tips on building your growing girl’s self-esteem and self-confidence:
- Encourage your daughter to learn new things.
- Allow your daughter to take risks and challenge herself.
- Allow them to make age appropriate choices and take responsibility for their choices.
- Do not project your insecurities onto her. That’s your stuff, not hers.
- Focus on your daughter’s strengths.
- Remind her that she’s more than pretty.
Building your daughter’s self-esteem is an ongoing part of parenting. The way we interact with our daughters will determine the type of woman they will become.
I hope you have found this blog to be helpful. What tips can you share that you have found to be successful in building your daughter’s confidence.