Helping your teenage girl develop a healthy sense of self-worth and self-esteem might just be one of the best things you can ever do for her. The reasons might surprise you.
A recent study showed that almost 1 in 3 teens who are in a relationship report some sort of abuse, be it sexual, physical, or emotional. That’s a statistic that cannot be ignored, and should not be allowed to continue. The fact of the matter is, if your teenage daughter has a good sense of self-esteem and self-worth, she’ll be far less likely to end up on the wrong end of that statistic.
Girls who value themselves, and who understand that their worth lies not in their sexuality but in their personality, are less likely to get into a relationship with someone who doesn’t value them equally – or to stay in a relationship that turns ugly. She’ll be able to stand up against the “this is the best I can do” mentality that so many young women find so difficult to escape. She’ll also be outraged at inappropriate treatment that she receives, or is threatened with, rather than thinking that, on some level, she deserves it.
In all honesty, the best way you can bolster your daughter’s self-esteem is to show her, by your actions, that she is worthwhile and worthy of respect. When she talks, really listen. When she hurts, support her. When she succeeds, praise her, and when she fails, help her learn from it rather than wallowing in it. While it’s in the nature of a teenage girl to doubt herself, make sure that she knows you don’t doubt her.
Teenage girls put a lot of pressure on themselves where their physical appearance is concerned; it’s just the nature of the beast. However, you can help her to feel good about herself by gently praising the things about her that are truly lovely. Perhaps she has a gorgeous head of hair, or a smile that lights up a room. Maybe she has long, lovely fingers or beautiful eyes – whatever the trait, help her to see it as you see it. If she’s unhappy with other features, listen carefully to her, and don’t tell her that she’s “silly”. To her, its a real problem. Be sympathetic, but let her know that she is, truly, beautiful in so many ways.
Building your teenage girl’s self-esteem might seem like an uphill battle, but, for her sake, it’s one worth fighting.