One of the largest issues that a parent will face with their teenage daughter, is the issue of confidence and self image. As a parent, you want your child to be happy. To thrive. To succeed. It’s hard to watch them go through something difficult, especially when it’s something like self-doubt, because you know their worth and wish you could somehow help them see themselves the way that you see them. Often, these efforts come a little late. We try to instill confidence in your teenage daughter once she is already down and not feeling great about herself. It’s never too late, but as a parent, you should do your best to encourage confidence in your teen daughter as early as possible, before she starts displaying symptoms of low self-esteem.
Don’t talk negatively about your body
Children learn the most by watching their parents. This is kind of a scary thing to realize. Every time that you’ve voiced that your body is ugly, your stretch marks are unsightly, the extra weight around your middle is undesirable. Every single time, you are inadvertently telling your daughter that if her body has any of these flaws, that she will be ugly, unwanted, undesirable. It’s a tall order, to tell yourself that you can no longer be negative about your body. Those thoughts and words you tell yourself have been ingrained into the way you view yourself for so long. Breaking that habit is hard, but it is crucial to encourage your daughter to be confident and love her body. She is perfect the way she is, and so are you.
Celebrate diverse beauty
Every body is beautiful. Make sure that your daughter knows this. Not by sitting her down and telling her that you’ll think she is beautiful no matter the shape that her body takes on. She’ll know her beauty by the way you speak of other women and their beauty. Thin, fat, thick thighs, wobbly knees, freckles, large ears, small breasts. All beautiful. No matter the size, the color of their hair, the color of their skin, they are beautiful. Beauty is diverse, and by commenting on the beauty of someone despite any of these things that may seem conventionally unattractive, will let her know that every body is beautiful, and so is hers.
Don’t put too much weight on material beauty
When your young daughter puts makeup on, or gets their face painted, or gets their hair done into intricate styles, it’s natural to want to tell them how beautiful they are. That’s what we want, right? But what we don’t want, is to make them feel like they are only beautiful if they put this extra effort into their appearance. This may seem contradictory, but I promise that it is not. They are beautiful with or without makeup. In a dress or sweatpants. Try instead to tell them that they look fancy, done up. Tell them that they’re beautiful always.