Building Self-Esteem

June 18, 2012

in Blog, My Philosophy, News, Facts, Fitness

Happy Monday!  It was a busy weekend for us.  I had a little baby shower put on by some girlfriends (see the photo of the adorable cake in the Recipe Club) and then Sunday was Father’s Day, so we did brunch with the hubby, and dinner at my dads house.

Something struck a cord with me the other day, so I wanted to write it down.  I was watching TV and saw a commercial from Dove.  They were talking about how only 4% of women worldwide consider themselves beautiful, and how with young girls, something like 20% will quit an activity like swimming, dance, sports etc, not because they don’t enjoy it, but because they don’t like the way they look.

Wow, I thought.  I could never imagine quitting something because of my appearance.  Then it got me thinking about my 4 year old, and how she was going to be growing up.  Same goes for the second daughter I have on the way!  I feel like I have this responsibility to make sure this never happens to my girls, and I want to do everything I can do to make sure they grown up to be confident girls, with plenty of self esteem.

So I went online to the Dove website, to check out the resources that they had on the subject.  The most helpful section was their resource section.  I was looking for some practical guides on what parents could use at home.  They have the age-specific guides, and they look really great!  I’m definitely no expert on the subject, so I’ll be looking for any helpful resources I can find.

In the meantime, I’ll pay extra attention to things that I say, and be VERY careful not to set the example of self-criticizing.

FEEDBACK! I’m curious to hear from some of my other mom readers out there and give your best tips on things to do to help build your daughters self esteem.

I’m sure over time, I’ll have some of my own tips to share 😉

See you tomorrow with a new recipe!




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I'm Kristine Fretwell, busy mom of 2 little girls, author, blogger, and former pro fitness competitor. I love almost any kind of cookie, anything coconut or pumpkin flavored, and Thai food. A perfect day for me is enjoying my family, getting to the gym, and whipping up a new healthy recipe. I've got a collection of over 300 healthy recipes, and other tidbits like fitness and health tips. My recipes have been featured on websites such as Huffington Post, Savvy Mom, Shape and Skinny Scoop.
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Latest posts by Kristine (see all)

  • Anna @ The Guiltless Life

    Especially being raised by British parents (and this may be unpopular to say but I have found it to be true!), Brits are great at self-deprecation, and we’re taught that it’s kinda gauche and ‘not done’ to really boast about your kids a lot to other parents etc, so I think I definitely picked up some of that. Since my parents moved overseas though, and then had us kids and raised us in the Caribbean, I think my parents were influenced by that way of life and definitely weren’t as bad as they could have been growing up! I got a lot of encouragement from them and that made a huge difference in how I viewed myself. My mom still doesn’t feel hugely comfortable going on about how great her kids are to people but she pumps us up whenever she can! It is true that kids hear a lot of what their parents put out there, but there’s so much pressure on parents nowadays to be perfect! I just say do what you can :).

    Btw, your baby cake was phenomenal!! Do you have professional bakers as friends???

  • Kcoish

    I have a 4yr as well and I worry about this all the time. When I grew up, my father didn’t consider you healthy unless you had “some meat on your bones”. I felt it so definitely limited me in my youth and my outlook on life. I want my daughter to feel anything is possible and she is capable of anything! She has started school this year and already the terms “fat”, “ugly” etc.. have entered her vocabulary, that never existed prior.

  • Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner

    Thank you so much for this post. 🙂

  • Guest

    I found an interesting article on “about our kids .org “as follows: How can parents help their daughters develop healthy self-esteem?
    Although the media, peers, and pop culture have a big influence on children, parents are still more important than they think when it comes to having an impact on a daughter’s developing self-esteem. Here are some ways that parents can help:
    Be a positive role model. Don’t talk negatively about your own body. Try not to be overly focused on your appearance.Listen to your daughter and encourage her to speak her mind. Don’t praise girls solely for their appearance. Praise should be focused on effort and accomplishments.Watch how you talk about other people: Are you judgmental of people’s appearances? Make sure you’re sending a message to your children that it’s what’s inside—especially how we treat others—that defines a person and makes us who we are. Get dads involved. Girls need to hear feedback from their fathers on their accomplishments. Girls with dads who are active presences in their lives attend college more often and are more ambitious, more successful in school, more likely to attain careers of their own, less dependent, more self-protective, and less likely to date an abusive man. Watch your own stereotypes; let daughters help fix the kitchen sink and let sons help make dinner. Watch television, movies, and other media with your daughters and sons. Discuss how girls are portrayedLet girls fail—which requires letting them try. Helping them all the time or protecting them from experiencing failue, especially if done by dad, can translate into a girl feeling incapable or incompetent. (This goes for boys, too.)Don’t limit girls’ choices. Encourage them to explore math or chemistry, for instance; buy them games traditionally meant for boys. Get girls involved with sports or other physical activities. Regular physical exercise, when it’s something she enjoys, can enhance girls’ mental health, reduce symptoms of stress and depression, and help girls feel strong and competent.Help girls avoid becoming obsessed with how they look. Counteract advertisers who take advantage of preteen and teenage girls by making them feel they need certain products to feel “cool.” To highlight the effect that ads can have on people, discuss the following questions (adapted from the Media Awareness Network) with your children, girls and boys:
    Do you ever feel bad about yourself for not owning something?Have you ever felt that people might like you more if you owned a certain item?Has an ad make you feel that you would like yourself more, or that others would like you more, if you owned the product the ad is selling?Do you worry about your looks? Have you ever felt that people would like you more if your face, body, skin or hair looked different?Has an ad ever made you feel that you would like yourself more, or others would like you more, if you changed your appearance with the product the ad was selling?
    It is within the family that a girl first develops a sense of who she is and who she wants to become. Parents armed with knowledge can create a psychological climate that will enable each girl to achieve her full potential. Parents can help their daughters avoid developing, or overcome, negative feelings about themselves and grow into strong, self-confident women.
    Updated June 2012

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Love love love this Maureen! Thanks a bunch!!! Xox
      Kristine Fretwell, Busy But Healthy,

  • Suzanne @ Fit Minded Mom

    I have and have had self-esteem issues for years. It isn’t fun and I wish that my daughter would never have to experience that. I build her up all the time and let her know how beautiful she is, based on WHO she is and not what she looks like.

    Sadly though, my daughter has already begun to question her looks at SIX YEARS OLD!!! She is very tall and thin for her age and kids have already commented on her being skinny and pretty much make fun of her for it. Someday she will most likely be beyond thankful for that problem but when you are in first grade you just want to fit in.  I simply do not make a big deal of it and continue to let her know that she is beautiful because she is KIND and SMART and cares for others. I want the focus to be on who she IS rather than what she looks like. She is a beautiful little girl but outer beauty isn’t what gives one confidence.

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Sorry to hear she’s already so hard on herself at 6 years old 🙁 That makes me sad. I wish they were using these strategies in schools and educating teachers as well so if they come across it in class, they can pull the kids aside and have something to say to them.

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