The Real Me: activities to celebrate your child's inner beauty
Isn't it wonderful when your child feels confident and happy and can find the words to express it? Use our confidence building activities to help them vocalise what they love about being 'me'.
Why is inner beauty important?
It's common for people to talk negatively about themselves – in particular their appearance – as a shortcut for expressing emotional upset. Sometimes when feeling sad, lonely or short of energy, people express this as feeling “fat” or “ugly”. But neither fat nor ugly is a feeling, and speaking in this way blunts our young people's emotional vocabulary and places undue emphasis on their looks.
Linked to this negative body talk is awkwardness around accepting compliments, or feeling that talking about what we're good at is boasting or vanity. But recognising your talents and allowing yourself to value these characteristics is important to developing positive self-esteem.
That's why we created The Real Me confidence-building activities – to help young people feel confident in their strengths and abilities, and value those talents in others as well.
Use this video titled Inner Critic to encourage your child to talk openly and confidently about their appearance.
The Real Me – celebrating what makes us who we are
In the film, when we asked women about their flaws they answered quickly, but then struggled to find things they liked about themselves. Have you ever found it difficult to speak about what you like about yourself?
How to express The Real Me
1. Ask your child to find a photo of themselves that they like and print it out on paper or on The Real Me template here
2. We've started four statements below. Read each one and help your child think about their answers
3. Together, write each statement on the paper (or use the template) and fill in the blanks. If they can't find the words, they could draw something instead.
i. 'I am unique in many ways. These include...'
ii. 'Three things I enjoy doing…'
iii. 'Three things I'm good at…'
iv. 'Things I'm really proud of about my family's background and culture…'
4. When their The Real Me poster is complete, suggest your child shares this activity with their friends to help them think positively about all the things that make them unique
Action checklist Confidence-boosting activities to celebrate girls' inner beauty
Encourage your child to talk about what makes them unique
It's important for them to understand that beauty isn't simply about how they look – it's about how they feel. Encourage them to recognise and vocalise the great things that make them who they are
Pay them compliments regularly
Talk to your child about what they’re interested in and good at. Give them specific compliments that don't relate to their appearance, so they learn to value accomplishments and personality traits beyond their looks
Set a good example
Talk positively about your own body in front of your child and use the right emotional vocabulary to express how you're feeling – for example, “I feel tired” or “I feel stressed”, not “I feel fat”. Challenge your child to express themselves more accurately if you hear them describing their emotions this way
- Share this page with your child – encourage them to watch the video then try The Real Me activity. It will help them feel more confident about just being themselves
- Talk to your child about the activity. How did they feel at the start? Was it hard to think of answers to the statements? How did they feel when they'd completed it? Was there a change? Can they explain it to you?