ONE. Let her know that not only is she your child, but
let her know that she is a child of God. Tell her
that God loves her; that his Holy Spirit resides within
her; and that Jesus died for her. Let her know that
she is very important to God and He created her because
He wants her to live with Him forever in paradise.
TWO. Give her honest praise for hard work and accomplishments. Don't offer her empty, meaningless flattery--she knows
insincerity when she hears it! Teach her that effort
reaps rewards. Tell her that she may not always 'come
in first place,' but she will have a victory and live
with few regrets if she knows that she did her personal
best in every situation. Encourage her to give her
best to everything she attempts (living excellently)
and to accept compliments with grace expressed as
a simple "thank you."
THREE. Perform charity work together. According to Harriet
Mosatche, adviser to Uniquely Me! The Girl Scout/
Unilever Self-Esteem Program, "You will teach
your daughter that she can have a positive impact
on other's people's lives, which will make her feel
capable and important." It can be as simple as
walking a pet for a neighbor, reading at a nursing
home, or running an errand for a shut-in. You can
also consider supporting a food drive, participating
in a church out-reach project, or joining a volunteer
organization as a mother-daughter team.
A mother's validation is critical to a daughter, so be sure
to recognize her voice. Ask her to give her opinion about
things. Ask her what video she thinks the family would enjoy
or what game you should play at the next family game night.
Incorporate some of her ideas in organizing the house, planning
a special meal, or arranging a family trip. Show her that
her ideas matter and reassure her that what she has to say
FIVE. Physical fitness is very important to developing a positive
self-image. Encourage your daughter to appreciate her body
not only for how it looks, but for what it can do. Girls
who regularly engage in sports or other fitness activities
generally feel more self-confident, make better grades,
and are more resistant to negative peer pressure. Set a
good example by working out regularly (or playing a sport)
without complaining and invite her to join you. Also, incorporate
some unscheduled physical activity that is 'just for fun'
like dancing through a few videos, kicking a soccer ball
around the yard, biking, jumping rope or roller skating.
SIX. Help her explore a variety of activities to see what she
likes best and where she can excel. Give her an opportunity
to find her gifts and talents. If she likes to doodle or
sketch, invest in some art supplies. Let her try knitting
or tending a small flower garden; take a day trip and go
hiking; pay for piano lessons; get a library card and check
out a variety of non-fiction books. Let her try different
things and let her decide if something is right for her
- or not. The point is to let her see new possibilities
for her life. Any hobby she enjoys or skill she develops
will reward her with a lifetime of pleasure.
SEVEN. Compliment her on her inner beauty. We live in a world where
we are often judged only by our appearance. We have to let
our daughters know that self-confidence is truly based on
developing a beautiful character. Let her know you see her
kindness. Discuss how important it is to be a loyal friend.
Tell her that her faithful participation in a club or organization
is one of her strong points. Be sure she knows you appreciate
her sense of humor, her determination, her honesty. Let
her know she is a daughter that you are delighted to have
been blessed with.