Building Self Esteem When Your Daughter Hits Puberty
Posted byAndrea King Collier
Building self esteem when your daughter starts to go through puberty and on through her teen years may be one of a parent’s most important and difficult jobs. As girls’ bodies change, they start having periods and their hormones go haywire. Even the most confident girl may evolve into a shy teen. Here are some conversation points to help your daughter weather the storm that is puberty and blossom into a confident young lady.
“Let’s Have ‘The Talk'”
You heard it. Your mom heard it. Grandma, great grandma … all women have most likely heard iterations of “The Talk.” It’s up to you when to broach the subject, but it may be a good idea to go over it again when puberty is on the horizon.
Having the talk about periods and changing bodies may be awkward for everyone involved, but the key is to extend it beyond a one-time conversation. Keep the lines of communication open and emphasize to your daughter that she can come to you at any time if she has any questions. She can poke you at dawn, text you in the middle of the day, or ask for a few minutes after dinnertime.
In these little moments, answer her questions but also ask about how she’s feeling about herself, her friends, school and other things that may concern her. Offer your advice and be encouraging that she can tackle anything that stands in her way. Don’t be shy about sharing praise and how you’re proud of the young woman she is becoming.
“Welcome to the Sisterhood”
Don’t be afraid to share your own experiences entering puberty, embarrassing moments and all! You can help her make it through these tough times by telling her how you handled sticky situations. And be honest about the times that didn’t go as well, sharing how she should handle them differently. Tell her that the changes she’s going through are things that every girl and every woman she knows has experienced, too. Rather than being scary, she should see puberty as a rite of passage.
“Do What Makes You Happy”
Whether it’s dance, sports, music, art or drama, support your teen’s passions. According to the Women’s Sport Foundation’s (WSF) fascinating and comprehensive report, athletics may enhance self esteem.1 The Cleveland Clinic lists the telltale signs of puberty, including body fat increases, body hair appearance and acne woes.2 Sports may be one way to stay physically fit and encourage body-image positivity.
If sports aren’t her jam, that’s totally OK! Sign up for regular Saturday yoga classes with her or stroll around the neighborhood after dinner to boost physical activity and create additional opportunities for private conversations.
“You Can Do It!”
A sad trend the WSF identifies is “Women, especially in adolescence, consistently suffer from lower self-esteem than their male peers.”1 Tackling puberty and emerging with a sky-high self esteem requires confidence and positive female role models encouraging her. You can play a part in her success with this simple mantra: “You can do it!”
1“Her Life Depends On It III: Sport, Physical Activity, and the Health and Well-Being of American Girls and Women.” Women’s Sports Foundation. http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/hldoi-iii_full-report.pdf
2“How to Talk to Your Adolescent Girl About her Body.” Cleveland Clinic. June 10, 2014. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/adolescent-female-body-image
- Posted by Andrea King Collier
- On September 11, 2017