You want your daughter to look in the mirror and feel powerful. You want her to smile with confidence and pass her light onto others. But in a world filled with photoshopped ads and sizes too small to shrink into on your skinniest day, she is competing against a harsh world.
Instilling body-confidence in your daughter will foster an attitude of self-acceptance that carries over into adult life and shapes the perception she has of herself. It's important because according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), 40 to 60 percent of elementary school girls (ages 6 to 12) are concerned about becoming too fat or gaining weight. By cutting off harmful thoughts at a young age, our daughters, friends and sisters can live in a more positive, non-judgmental world.
But How Do You Do It?
How do you instill the idea of beauty in a flower that has yet to form? How do you make your daughter believe she is good enough? If you don't model a positive perception of your own body-image, the task is next to impossible. By speaking positively about your physical features in front of your daughter, she is more likely to project those connotations onto herself.
Teach your daughter to look below the surface and recognize positive qualities that lie within. Not only will this help her to recognize the universal gifts she has been given, it will teach her that others are beautiful in their own way.
Don't project the idea that being thin is equivalent to being beautiful. Beauty comes in all forms and is best viewed in its natural state. Yes, weighing less can help you live a healthier and longer lifestyle, but no one should be judged by the size or shape of their waistline.
Teach your daughter to be comfortable in her developing body. Let her know that physical changes are okay. Navigating the physical form of the female is confusing enough, let alone when changes are occurring at the influx of hormones. By teaching her about self-acceptance, she can endure the physical changes with a positive perception.
By instilling a personal sense of beauty and confidence in your daughter, she can project that image and remain confidence within herself.