Several studies show that girls’ self-esteem and self-confidence tends to decline after about age nine as girls enter puberty. How do you encourage self confidence and increase self esteem during these early years? There are things that can be done. This article will review some of those things.
Start with limiting your young girl’s television watching. Of course, this is easier said than done. Studies show television programs and advertising can have a negative effect on viewers. Television shows targeted toward children are mixed with many advertising messages. Some of these messages are very subtle, while other messages are quite clear.
Of course we cannot blame the media for everything. We can, however, realize that too much television may negatively affect our children’s self esteem and confidence. For example, children who learn at a young age that food equals happiness, may have problems with body image later in life. Television advertising and programs present ongoing messages to young children that “things" are the solutions to problems and the route to happiness. These messages only exaggerate feelings of low self worth if a child does not possess all these “things, " or the “right things. "
As children age, the “things" can change into a perfect body. Not have the right things can translate into body image problems and other self-destructive behaviors.
Another method of encourage self confidence in young girls is providing positive role models. As girls become more aware of how women around them act and respond to various situations it becomes more important for those women to present positive impressions. If the women in a young girl’s immediate environment hide their anger or express their anger inappropriately the young girl may think it is not okay to be angry, open and honest about angry feelings. The young girl may feel as though she cannot stand up for herself as this is just not an appropriate expression of feeling angry about something. Internal anger can express itself in feelings of low self-esteem and low confidence. Depression may become a problem as the result of repressed anger. Unexpressed anger can surface in very self-destructive ways which may include eating disorders and substance abuse. It is unfortunate that so many women never learn how to express their feelings in an appropriate manner. They did not have positive role models. This cycle needs to be broken if you are going to encourage self confidence in the young girls of your immediate environment. For major issues consider seeking professional help for yourself and for the sake of the young girls in your immediate environment.
It is important to encourage learning and education. There are studies that show girls with a strong educational background are less likely to run into trouble as teenagers. The more your young girls know, the better able they are to make decisions. Encourage learning in math and science. These seem to be two areas where “girls" have been pushed aside in the past. Girls are just as capable in math and science as is boys. This attitude is improving; however, girls are still viewed as less likely to succeed in these areas. Encouragement in math and science can promote increased self confidence and prepare girls for the changing work environment that relies more and more on technology. This is not to say other areas of learning are less important. Encouragement in these areas can help provide balance to an education that is still not quite equal between girls and boys.
Encourage young girls to try new things and discover their talents. Learning what we are good at, and being encouraged to follow these directions, can greatly improve self-esteem and self confidence. When talents or dreams are dismissed, this can easily be perceived as a personal rejection. When girls are encouraged to pursue their interests and develop their talents, they hear the message that they are important. Girls who feel valued by their parents and other important figures in their life are less likely to seek validation from other sources, many of which are not the positive influences desired.
Helping young girls develop a healthy self-esteem and self confidence is an ongoing process. As you work on solutions together, you can help young girls develop independence and the self confidence they need to transition into adulthood.
This article is FREE to publish with the resource box.
Author: Connie Limon. Visit us at http://www.selfimprovementbook1.com Self Improvement Book is a guide to self improvement, personal growth and self help. It is an organized directory referencing information in other websites on the World Wide Web. Sign up for our FREE bi-weekly newsletter.