Being an adolescent has often than not been difficult for most boys and girls.Studies have shown that when puberty sets in, the confidence of boys is likely to increase while the girl's self-esteem tends to go downhill. The repercussions can be damaging at best and damaging at worst. Girls who do not feel good about themselves are very likely to suffer depression and engage in self-destructive behavior ranging from eating disorders, self mutilation to risky sexual behaviors. It is thus important to be there for them during these growing up years and also find ways to help them to keep up with their self-esteem during these trying times. The following tips are by no means all inclusive, but they are a starting point.
Be a Good Role Model
Being a parent is no easy task and carries with it a heavy responsibility. One of the very basic things that parents can do for their children is to set good examples and be good role models.Both parents are equally important in children's lives, regardless of the family living situation. When fathers have solid relationships with their daughters and show that they love them, girls will be less likely to seek male attention somewhere else. It can be trying at times to communicate with your teenage daughter, however you must try your best to constantly let her know that you are available and that you love her. This goes for both fathers and mothers. It is helpful when mothers can demonstrate healthy ways of expressing emotions, emotional independence, and other positive attributes. It is a way of educating teen girls that they can speak up without having to resort to destructive ways of having their needs met.
Be Available For Her
Research and studies have continuously shown that teens who feel their parent's presence and interest in their activities are much less likely to engage in dangerous or negative behaviors. Even if it seems like your teen is ignoring you, she probably is not. It is very likely that she is listening and at the same time trying to assert her independence as she navigates her way through increasing self reliance and fears that comes along with it. Teens are at a difficult crossroad of becoming more independent as the day goes by and also being confronted with the fears of leaving home for college when the time comes, fears of making a living and all other insecurities that come with the responsibilities of maturity. You can help alleviate these fears by constantly making an effort to show your daughter that you are always available for her. In this way, she can come to you when she is ready. But if she is not getting the message that you are there for her, she will instead turn to her peers, boyfriends, substances, or other methods of dealing with her emotions.
Show Your Confidence in Her
At the appropriate occasion, it is important to show your daughter that you have confidence in her abilities, dreams, and achievements. Encourage her in what she does well, and encourage her to try new things. This will help her to feel more confident in herself. During her teenage years she will be confronted with new situations constantly and having a support team can definitely make this much easier. Also consider teaching her on how to take a stand against gossip, school bullies and pressures to do things that she does not want to do. By being mentally equipped, she will have more confidence in herself to handle these situations. Peer pressure at this age can be enormous and when your daughter is well equipped and has the support (you) to deal with it, she can begin to gain confidence in her successes.
Lead By Example
Leading by example is the best way to instill the importance of high self esteem in girls. Should she be exposed to situations of having to witness you suffering from low self esteem or causing someone else to suffer from low self esteem, any lessons that you may have provided would be lost. It cannot be stressed more than you should NEVER berate, insult or intimidate your daughter. This can potentially lead to serious developmental problems that can surface later on in her life. Many girls who suffer mental anguish, teasing, hazing or bullying have remarkably low levels of self esteem and are often timid, unsure and hesitant when dealing with other individuals. Such problems can pass on into adulthood as the scars of childhood issues make a lasting impact on their self esteem.
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