A girl’s self-esteem often decreases significantly in the preteen years, when body image becomes a primary focus. Media images, comparisons with friends and everyday stresses chip away at the average girl’s self-image. Activities to build self-esteem can help girls face these issues either in a group instructional setting or individually at home.
Activities to boost self-esteem help girls regain a sense of self-worth and confidence by confronting the issues that cause girls to develop negative attitudes toward themselves. The activities help girls focus on their positive attributes instead of dwelling on the things they don’t like. Girls learn to create a more realistic outlook on society’s expectations for women. The activities can also help girls take action toward achieving goals, which helps improve self-esteem.
Parents play an influential role in a child’s sense of self-esteem. A secure, stable home with supportive parents helps a girl gain a stronger sense of high self-esteem. Girls pay attention to how their parents speak about themselves and others. Avoid negative comments about yourself and others, as your daughter may internalize these comments and begin thinking that way. Encourage girls to share their ideas and opinions, get involved in organizations and try new things, even tasks that are traditionally considered male jobs. Another way to help girls is to talk about advertising and media images that idealize the perfect body.
Involvement in groups with other girls can create a sense of belonging and comfort. As girls become more aware of boys, they might feel uncomfortable expressing themselves in front of the opposite gender. Girls’ sports teams or clubs are environments that allow girls to shine and take on leadership roles. Girls also get a chance to improve their skills in a particular area, which can boost self-esteem. Within these group situations, girls should take on part of the leadership and decision-making. This gives the participants a hand in problem solving and gives them confidence in their leadership skills.
On an individual level, girls have the opportunity to increase self-esteem through various activities. Keeping a journal of positive events and attributes creates a more positive outlook on life. Journaling can also help a girl overcome a particular issue that might negatively affect her self-esteem. Volunteering is another way to increase self-esteem. A volunteer project empowers the young participant as she gives back to her community. Trying out new hobbies and exploring interests often leads to the discovery of new talents. These talents often increase self-esteem in kids.
An older female mentor gives young girls a positive role model. Connecting with a female mentor means the young girl builds a relationship and has an additional support person in her life. Female mentors allow girls to see similarities in themselves and learn how the mentor worked through similar issues to become successful.