Preteen and Teen Girls and Self Esteem



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Photo by Paul Bonafide Eferianor on

Does your daughter often say, I’m fat. I’m too skinny. I’d be happy if I were taller, shorter or had longer legs? Does she seem to constantly put herself down? If she does, she is not alone, many teen and tween girls struggle with self image and body image. As her body changes, so does her image of herself and she may have difficulty adjusting and this often affects her self esteem.

Why Are Self-Esteem and Body Image Important?
Self-esteem is all about much people value themselves, the pride they feel in themselves, and how worthwhile they feel. Self-esteem is important because feeling good about yourself can affect how you behave. A person who has high self-esteem will make friends easily, is more in control of her behavior, and will enjoy life more.

Body image is how someone feels about her own physical appearance.
For many girls, especially those in their early teens, body image can be closely linked to self-esteem. This is because as kids develop into teens, they care more about how others see them.

What Influences a Person’s Self-Esteem?

Some girls struggle with their self-esteem when they begin puberty because the body goes through many changes. These changes, combined with a natural desire to feel accepted, mean it can be tempting for girls to compare themselves with others. They may compare themselves with the people around them or with celebrities they see on TV, in movies, or in magazines. It’s important to talk to girls about these changes and how everyone develops at different rates and no matter what they are beautiful.

Outside Influences

Family life can sometimes influence self-esteem. Some parents are very critical with their children. This often reduces the child’s ability to develop good self-esteem. While you don’t need to praise your child all the time, it is important to praise them and offer constructive rather than negative criticism.

Healthy Self-Esteem
If your daughter has a positive body image, she will like and accept herself. This healthy attitude allows your child to explore other aspects of growing up, such as developing good friendships, growing more independent from her parents, and challenging herself physically and mentally.

Tips for helping your daughter Improve her Body Image:
It’s important to talk to your daughter about the many different types of bodies. It’s important to help her to realize that no matter what she’s beautiful. If your daughter continues to have feelings of low self esteem, it may beneficial for her to receive counseling.

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