Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Love Your Daughter and Teach Her to Love Herself

I recently watched a thought provoking documentary. This documentary talked about how the media has influenced us and how it's influencing our children by defining what's beautiful. Images that enter our thoughts and sub-conscious by way of television, magazines and billboards. It got me to thinking about my daughter and how much I can personally affect her when it comes to self esteem. I really want her to feel good about herself without thinking too highly of herself. Two points from this documentary that really stuck out with me were:

1. Don't criticize yourself to or around her i.e. talking about your weight and other features you feel are imperfect
2. Don't criticize the appearance of others

If you criticize yourself or others, your daughter will more than likely find herself using those comparisons and finding things to look down on herself about. This could bring along a life of misery as she tries to attain to some unreachable standard because she feels like she's not as beautiful as the next girl. A life of extreme dieting and weight loss, plastic surgery and whatever other potentially destructive behavior it takes to be up to someone else's standards.

I want to take the time I have with my daughter and work diligently at making sure I do this right. Some goals I have for myself when it comes to her are:

1. Don't compare her to others. It may be that I like the way the neighbors child excels, but instead of using someone else's child as the standard for my own, just let her know what she can do personally to improve in an area.
2. Point out her good qualities.
3. Find a balance. The last thing I want to do is have a conceited child. I want her to know how to treat others respectfully while maintaining a level head. I think a great way to do this is by helping others. Helping others gives you a sense of accomplishment and it just feels good.
4. Spend quality time together doing things like shopping and baking or just taking a walk in the park.
5. I want to make time to give her my undivided attention and ask her about her life, listen to what she has to say and offer feedback.