In today’s world where everyone seems to be focused on outer appearances, it makes it extremely difficult for our young counterparts to accept themselves exactly as they are, and actually embrace their differences (which others might categorize as flaws). With the overabundance of technology, magazines, media coverage on TV personalities, athletes, and those in the music industry, ever growing plastic surgery, and the pursuit of perfection it is definitely a struggle for most children, especially young girls, to shift the focus from their appearance to who they truly are inside.
Outside influences are only a part of the issue. Believe it or not, we as caretakers have a great deal to do with this as well. Parents, especially us single parents, tend to be pretty hard on ourselves as we are not only the breadwinners but we are the protectors, nurturers, friends, caregivers, sounding boards, decision makers, and everything to our children. They look to us for guidance and this comes from not only what we teach them but how we uphold ourselves on a daily basis. So if we are insecure, unsure of our abilities, self-conscious, and simply unhappy with our looks, achievements, and who we are overall this transfers on to our children. Remember they are a part of us, and will believe that they have the same issues, hence taking on our negative attitude.
Simple ways to prevent the destruction of our children’s confidence:
1. Watch what you say around your children. If you are constantly worrying about your exterior and making comments about imperfections that you would like changed, this most certainly affects your children’s mindset and how they envision and label themselves.
2. Encourage, praise, and compliment your children daily. Be sure they are aware of how wonderful and deserving they are of admiration, while focusing on their strengths and teaching them to love every part of who they are. As well as promoting them to accept and honor others for whom they are.
3. Provide books, pamphlets, DVD’s, and magazines that teach them to embrace themselves both inside and out and ones that show them various types, ethnicities, sizes, ages, and lifestyles of others who are beautiful in many ways. The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty is an excellent source for young girls.
4. Get your child involved in music, sports, or other activities that they have a great interest in, and as they grow to love their specified discipline and excel in the area, this will increase confidence.
Although we are fighting against many negative influences we can help our children to not only be satisfied but happy with themselves. Now, go and tell them how amazing they are.