Teaching Our Daughters How to Love Themselves

Who determines how our daughter’s feel about themselves? Is it us or their peers? I was having a conversation this past weekend about who determines how our daughters feel about themselves? We always discuss society’s standard of beauty. But do we realize how we feel about ourselves sets the bar for our standard of beauty. This in turn determines how our daughters view themselves. As parents we don’t have the luxury of having our daughter do as we say not as we do. We should know from experience that they emulate us.
If we struggle with body issues, so will they? If we don’t like what we see in the mirror neither will them. When I first went natural I struggled with confidence issues but once I became confident and happy in my own skin my daughter proudly wore her hair curly and still does. Yet when I began to slack off and procrastinate so does she. When I get depressed and withdrawn and tend to isolate she does the same. In essence, the woman I want her to be, I have to be.
This is a touchy subject for me. I am uncomfortable being a role model.  I am one of those Moms that are terrified of leading by example for fear of being so flawed. I wish someone could teach me a better way. Yet I do not want her to pick up my bad habits not realizing that is inevitable. I want to stop writing about this because it makes me feel emotionally overwhelmed. But I will continue because I know it is imperative for our daughters to have an honest yet forgiving image of themselves. My daughter is confident for the most part but everyone get insecure about something right. I know there are times when she feels incredibly gorgeous and other times where she feels less than beautiful. I have to accept her in those dark moments and understand that she is allowed to feel not so pretty. It’s ok. of course I want to pep her up all day everyday but then when she goes out in the real world she may not be able to endure intense scrutiny and criticism from others.
The purpose of this piece is to teach us how to teach them how to love themselves. So I want to list the ABC’s of self-esteem as a way to guide us all. Here are three key components to developing a loving young lady who will become a loving woman toward herself and others:

  • Acceptance:  We have to first accept ourselves for who we are before we can ask them to do the same. I have to accept that I am perfectly flawed. I have to accept that I am extremely sensitive and tend to internalize and overanalyze everything. I have to accept that I need to use my wise mind when discerning between being too sensitive and not being sensitive enough. When it comes to my daughter I have to accept that she is a private person and is not always willing to let me in on every little thing. I have to accept that she does love herself just not all the time.
  • Believe: we have to believe that we are capable of more than we think we are. We have endured intense trauma in our lives and persevered despite it all. We have to teach them to believe in their selves. Yet we must show them by example. I believe I want to be a writer. I am so therefore I will be. As I believe I can be a writer I must show her by putting in time with my craft. I must show her that when you believe in something it shall be crafted into existence. We have to teach them to dream intentionally and boldly. We must believe in everything we say and do. Our actions will show our true belief system. Remember they are little women so we can’t fake it, till we make it with them they can see through our façade. We taught them well. Believe that!
  • Confidence: This is one I struggle with tremendously. But I will say this. Although I struggle with being confident I try hard to show it and even when I waiver from it I say why. I try to be candid and honest with my daughter about how I feel about myself. Confidence is an essential part of high self-esteem. I am confident that we have an impenetrable bond. I want her to be confident because fear and doubt can paralyze you (if you let it)

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