I was asked an important question today, "How do you increase self-esteem in girls?" Self-esteem is so very important, and there are some psychologically proven ways to foster it.
Here are some of my best ideas. Please do not hesitate to send in other ideas, and I will share them too!
--When providing feedback, be as timely and specific as possible. Instead of saying "great job," try: "I love how you added descriptive words to your writing. I really could imagine the scene you were describing."
--Remember, positive comments go much further towards shaping behaviour than do criticism. Focus on what your child is doing well, and praise/praise/praise!
--If you do have to provide a constructive critique, purposefully find a way in that SAME day to message your child positively many times. Think the 5 to 1 ratio: for every critique, find five things to praise. Doing so, will allow your child to accept the critique in a more positive and receptive manner.
--Go for deep praise, not shallow praise. By all means, if your daughter looks nice in a certain outfit, let her know. However, it is better for her self-esteem to comment on things that reflect her intelligence, work ethic, perseverance, and character.
--We build self-esteem by accomplishing things that were difficult. Help your daughter to stretch herself. Do things alongside her that allow her to grow. Show her how you are trying to grow too. Do Mother/Daughter 5K runs or walks. Sign up for a cooking lesson together, etc.
--Grit is important. That ability to not give up when working toward a goal. To be resilient. To stand up after a defeat, brush yourself off, and try again. When these opportunities arise out of a set back, frame the set back as such. Praise the grit over critiquing the setback.
--Talk to your daughter about the woman she wants to become. All the parts of that woman. Dream about that woman. Then work backwards, what will you need to do together, as a team, to help her become her best self. Prioritize these efforts. Show her that it matters!
This is a photo of my daughters, Lauren & Ally. I regularly take them with me when I speak at conferences. Traveling together, and being a confident traveler, is another great way to build self-esteem!