Teaching Your Daughter to Have a Positive Self Image

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In today’s world girls are bombarded with images and advertisements about being beautiful. It is hard to grow up with all of these ideals, and most girls grow up with a negative self – image. We don’t want this for our daughters, but how do you combat all the imagery that is all around them?

The first place to start is just letting your daughters know that self-value comes from who you are, not how you look. Practice what you preach, and let your girl see that while you take care of yourself, you worry more about how you act and what you believe, not just what you look like.


When you see a TV show of movie that promotes sexy looks for younger girls, have a frank discussion with them. Ask them if they feel pressured to look a certain way, or wear certain clothes. Take time to really listen to them and see how they are impacted by the pressure around them.

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Be ready for the “But everyone is wearing this!” talk. Schools do have dress codes, but the kids find ways around them. If your daughter wants to wear something you consider inappropriate, ask her why she likes that outfit. Explain to her why you do not think she should be wearing those clothes.

Use your voice. Don’t just say no when she asks you to buy a certain product. Explain why you feel the way you do. Support companies that portray women in a good way. Write letters to companies that show women as objects, and let your daughter know you are speaking up. She will see by your example that a strong woman stands up for what she believes in.

Encourage your daughters to get involved in activities they like. Whether it is sports, music, or something else, let your daughter find an activity to do. Give your daughter outlets (other than clothes or appearance) to express her creativity and show her personality. Finding something you love to do and are good at increases self-confidence and will give your daughter a better feeling about herself.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Give your daughter a chance to express herself, but set boundaries and help her to understand that she is exceptional the way she is.

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16 comments

  1. My daughter and I are a part of Girl Scouts in our area. I’m hoping our involvement in the movement will help her gain confidence. There are so many Mean Girls out there in the world. It makes me sick when I think about how many of them are my age and I was part of that group growing up. Clearly each of these women, myself included needed a little more of their mom’s positive talk while growing up.

  2. When we used to say to our Mom that so and so is doing it or wearing it… she would say… If she jumps off a cliff, are you going to follow? LOL… I miss her!!

  3. This has been a challenge for me with one of my two daughters. Some bullies at school really brought down her self esteem so its been a long road to really build it up and help her with her self image.

  4. Oh, I’ve gotten the “everybody else is wearing it” spiel this year. Mama don’t play that game. We let her pick out her clothes so she feels confident in what she wears, but if it’s against dress code policy, she knows she isn’t leaving the house in it.

  5. This is actually great advice for boys too. My son is 7 years old and I have heard him say things like “I have a big belly!” I grew up not liking how I look so I don’t want him to ever feel the way that I felt when I was growing up.

  6. I very much agree with you, self-value comes from who you are & definitely not how you look. But the problem with the society is that there is a false image as if beauty is the priority. I would definitely love to encourage my kids in to whatever they are interested.

  7. My brother has 3 girls and this is something that is important to him. He wants them to be confident and happy young ladies. There are so many girls that don’t have a positive self image and that is something that needs to change.

  8. My oldest daughter is 7 1/2. I am already thinking about how I need to be careful about my own negative self talk as to not allow it to have an impact on her. Obviously, I try to change that negative self talk for myself, but I am especially aware of it now as my daughter gets older. These are good tips, thank you!

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