Raising daughters is somewhat different from raising sons. Since they mature differently and have different needs, how you train them matters. When it comes to self-love, you should not wait until your daughter is a young woman before you introduce her to the topic. As young as three or four, the concept can begin to be engraved. By age nine, they will be in full-blown understanding of what loving yourself means.
Here are tips on how you can save your lovely one from the outward pressure
Start by showing a good example
Children are good observers. They will copy nearly everything they see and mirror your behaviour. You can easily impact your daughter on self-love by loving yourself first. Sit with her and describe what you love about yourself. Encourage her to follow suit and watch as it gets her thinking of what she loves about herself. This will give you an opportunity to talk about her insecurities and you can gladly encourage her through them. Such a step works well when it focuses on her body image. Girls tend to have a lot of questions about their physical features in comparison to the media and their peers. Remind her that she is unique and beautiful.
Encourage her to take risks
The bolder the lady, the more beautiful she is. Encouraging your daughter to debunk her fears and walk straight to get her dreams achieved builds self-confidence. It may be as little as encouraging her to sew her own night gown or take a trip with relatives and family friends where you won't be around. Show her that she can tap her potential.
Instances where she will self-sabotage her success will dwindle as she will learn to counter that through brave action. In the moments that she fails in her endeavours, remind her that it is okay to fail, pick up the lessons and proceed. She is bound to love herself more by learning to proceed through with life without guilt and fear.
Affirm her looks and body
Your daughter will learn she is different from the boys in her class in no time. With the media highly sexualizing women while dictating how they should look, you should be at the front line impacting on how your daughter views herself. You can even consider taking a chart and drawing her, naming her body parts. Encourage her to look at the chart daily as she reads out the positive affirmations. Be sure to have some pillow talks where you ask her about her body insecurities. Does she feel the need to have a leaner figure or fairer skin tone? Cultivating a culture of physical appreciation will go a long way as she grows into a woman.
Encourage good feeding habits
A huge chuck of loving oneself is through taking care of one's body. Let your daughter know the value of feeding right and exercising to build a strong body. It does not mean reading calories from all cans, but rather eating more whole foods, fruits and vegetables. Impacting such a routine will be easier to do if you implement the same in your own household. It is highly unlikely for your daughter to start being a junk addict especially if she comes from a home that cherishes well prepared and healthy homemade meals. Good feeding habits will help her wade through the tough teenage phase where young girls succumb to anorexia and bulimia.
Nurture the concept of rest and relaxation
We live in a world that glorifies people having burnouts in the name of working hard. Let your daughter know that she should always set time aside for resting and recharging. This can be encouraged when you go for family vacations or when you buy her a ticket to watch a play with friends. Let her learn to prioritize self-care through meditation, good sleep and other detox methods.
Raising a daughter is agreeably not a walk in the park. Through the ups and downs of parenting, you need to empower your daughter into knowing that true beauty comes from within. Teach her to value kindness to others and watch her attract good friends her way. When you raise a confident girl whose self-esteem is not trampled, you have limited her chances of being preyed upon by worldly monsters. With self-love, she can conquer anything thrown her way.
Do not miss out on the latest news. Join the Eve Digital Telegram channel HERE.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke