Self-esteem is essentially the idea that we have about ourselves. I explain to girls that it is how much you value yourself and how important you think you are. It is the acceptance, respect and belief in YOU. determine which areas girls need to build up to help with their self-esteem. This activity also allows them to see that they have some power over how good they feel about themselves!
1. A sense of connectedness - identifying with a group of people, feeling part of a past or heritage, and that we're important to others. This might be a religious community, friend group, family relationships, cultural traditions, or girls group!
2. A sense of uniqueness - respecting one's own individuality, respect what makes you different, feeling that there is something special about you and others think so too. Think about your daughter special talents, does she know how special this is? Embracing freckles, curly hair and birthmarks.
3. A sense of power - feeling that we are in charge of our lives, being able to use our special skills in situations that require it, feeling that we can make decisions. Point out all the fabulous choices your daughter is making, help her to see how much power she really has over her life. When I ask girls what they control in their life, I typically get a laugh or smirk in return, because they truly think they don't control anything! Then we run through the list: do you decide what to wear each day? Do you decide what you watch on youtube? Do you choose what to eat for breakfast? Do you make choices about who to interact with each day? They have more control than they realize and its so important to put this together for them!
4. A sense of models - knowing people whom we feel are worth emulating, feeling confident that we can distinguish right from wrong, good from bad, having values and beliefs that give us direction. Model for your daughter how you set goals and work to reach them. Use language like "In our family we...." to openly teach the family values and beliefs. Who does your daughter look up to? A favorite teacher or coach? The next time she's in a bind ask her, "What do you think (Ms. Smith) do if she was in this situation?".
Consider how you can encourage growth in each of these areas for your daughter.