“How I teach my daughter confidence and self love”: Three mothers share their insights
For many moms, few things feel more important than teaching your daughter her worth. As a generation of women who feel they were often encouraged to look or dress a certain way, many moms today are breaking cycles and teaching self-confidence, self-esteem and teaching positive body image to their girls.
We speak to three moms of younger girls about how to teach self-worth, inspire self-confidence and foster self-love. Read on for some inspired ideas for parenting the next generation…
Andrea Glazer and her daughter Greta, age 7
How to teach your daughter self-love? “My Greta is seven and one of the best ways I know to teach her to love herself is leading by example. I try to never, ever say anything negative about my body or my appearance. If she wants to take a photo, I pose every single time – even if I’m unshowered and breaking out or feeling frumpy. We look at the picture together and I say, “I love that! Look how happy I am!”. Focusing on the feelings rather than appearance is teaching confidence.”
“If we take a selfie together, I say: ‘I love us! Look how great we are together!’ It’s infectious and incredibly effective. I hope I’m instilling a deep layer of self confidence that will carry her through the rough preteen and teenage years and last her well into adulthood”
Mariel Witmond and her daughter Saya, age 3
How to teach self-confidence? “We need to be able to model the behavior we are trying to teach our children – that is often the hardest part as they reflect back what they see. It’s not just about teaching them to say affirmations but having them see you say them too. It’s about being mindful of our language and the words we use – to describe ourselves, them, and others.”
“I want my daughter to know that beauty is skin deep; that the beauty within is what makes us stand out. When I praise her I try to focus on her accomplishments and behavior, while reminding her that she is responsible for her actions – not other people’s feelings. I’m hyper conscious not to encourage ‘mommy pleasing’ later to become people pleasing. I hope that by doing this she will learn that her worth is not in the hands of other people, but within herself. This is how to teach self-love in my opinion.”
Sarah Ivens and her daughter Matilda, age 9.
“I’ve completely stopped looking at myself with a judgemental eye, or using negative language when talking about my body. ”
How to teach confidence? “I highlight the power and wonder of bodies. We play in a way that encourages movement and expression – we love a dance party – and I notice when she does something using her strength, mobility, or grace, and praise her.”
“Lastly, I listen to her. I help repair hurt feelings if someone has said something mean about her with a hug, while sharing stories about my own childhood. And I try to answer questions she has as honestly and scientifically as possible. If I talk openly, without drama, she will hopefully be able to carry an honest, loving attitude to her body and health into adulthood.”
Sarah is the author of ‘The Zen Mama: Your Guilt-free Guide to Raising Brave, Kind Children’ (Piatkus)
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