As a parent, it’s natural to want the best for your child—for them to be happy, healthy, and confident individuals.
But that’s sometimes easier said than done, especially during the teen and pre-teen years when their bodies are changing, their self-confidence is fragile, and they are trying to make that tricky transition out of childhood.
How do you help your daughter or son maintain a positive body image and find their sense of self when their world is filled with unrealistic images of physical ideals; one-dimensional, “flawless” beauty; and narrow messages about the “perfect” lifestyle? How do you help her deal with the pitfalls of teenage life such as appearance-related bullying or keep them eating healthy and enjoying exercise (without getting hang-ups about food and body shape)?
In creating Uniquely Me and the expert articles available on our online hub for parents, we have gathered advice on some of the key topics we know have an impact on young peoples’ self-esteem and body confidence—from media, peer, and cultural pressures to teasing and bullying about appearance. We’ve worked with the Dove Self-Esteem Project global experts from the fields of psychology, body image, self-esteem, eating disorders, and media representation to create a resource for you that is focused on advice and action.
Use the articles and activities in the guide to help you identify any self-esteem issues you think may be affecting your child and begin to tackle them head on. Each section includes an action checklist—pointers to help you make positive changes or initiate conversations with your child about things that may be troubling them or unhelpful messages that they might be receiving. Our research tells us that by reading and acting on the issues in this booklet, you will have a significant positive impact on your child’s self-esteem as well as your own.
We start with the most important influence in all of this: you. What’s great to know is that you can use the resources here to be a role model and learn to love yourself too.