When I was a little girl, I was outgoing and precocious. I loved people, never stopped talking, and felt good about who I was. I remember the exact moment in my life when I started to change. As I got older and my body started to develop, and my friends and I all started to mature, suddenly life wasn’t so carefree anymore. Many of us started to doubt if we were as pretty as this girl, or as smart as that girl. The majority of my tween years were spent in a constant state of self doubt.
Because of the self-esteem issues I had growing up, I’m extremely sensitive to them in my daughter now. She’s not quite a tween, yet, but you wouldn’t know it with the way she and her friends carry on. They’re way more mature than I was at their age. Unfortunately, the maturity also comes with a greater sense of awareness and the self-esteem issues start earlier. Add the often negative influence of the media to the mix, and you have the recipe for a generation of girls who grow up not knowing how awesome they truly are.
I don’t want that to happen, and neither does Dove. Ayva and I recently hosted some of our friends for a #SparkSelfEsteem party sponsored by Dove. In addition to delicious eats and treats, I also led a self-esteem workshop where the girls had the chance to think about who inspires and influences them, and how they can inspire others. We talked candidly about the media and how they sometimes get it wrong when it comes to defining beauty and success. We also chatted about the importance of knowing how special they are as individuals.
The moms joined the conversation, too. We talked about how things were when we were growing up, and reiterated to the girls that we are there for them to talk to, and will always help them figure out how to navigate their way around other people’s perceptions of them. Then, the girls shared how they could inspire us, their moms! Ayva said that she would inspire me to make more friends since she’s super outgoing and I’m more of a homebody. Another little girl said that she would help her mom with chores in order to give her more time to spend on an activity that was important to her. We were so touched, and some of the moms were about to cry! It was such a sweet afternoon!
For years, I worked in programs for girls helping them to develop positive self-esteem. It’s really incredible to be able to do the same thing with my own daughter now. I’m grateful for a partner like Dove who understands the importance of building girls and women up. Do you want to do some of the activities that we did at our #SparkSelfEsteem party? Head over to the Dove site for your free download of the workshop packet!
What are some ways that you work to build up the self-esteem of the girls in your life?