5 Ways to Build Your Daughter's Self-Esteem
- Spend quality one-on-one time with her. I know this is a challenge. It’s a huge challenge for me and we don’t do this nearly enough. However, spending time together doing something fun strengthens your relationship and builds trust. We also communicate to her she is a person of value and someone you want to spend time with. Not to mention some pretty great conversations can take place when you are away from the distractions at home (i.e. siblings).
- Share your own struggles with self-esteem. Vulnerability gives others a gateway into your heart. It also gives them a chance to exhale in relief knowing they aren’t the only ones. Your daughter can be greatly encouraged by your own past struggles because you made it through and lived to tell about it! One of my favorite C. S. Lewis quotes is “Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .’ ” A camaraderie develops between people who have had similar experiences and your relationship with your daughter is no exception! Not to mention that when you are willing to be vulnerability and share parts of your heart, your daughter will get the message it’s safe for her to do the same.
- Teach her who she is in His eyes. We live in a world where it’s tempting to allow “worldly stuff” to define who we are. Our academic performance. Job success. The perfect behavior of our children. How big our house is or what kind of car we drive or the size of our jeans. As we are told in Isaiah 40: 8, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” In other words, nothing of this world lasts forever. Beauty, fame, money, success . . . It can all be taken from us in an instant and if we have placed our identity in these worldly things, who are we if they are lost? Our true identity comes from God and God alone – His word stands forever. Within His word we are told we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Beloved. Knit together in our mother’s womb. Daughters of the Most-High King. This is what she is – and you are, too.
- Teach her how to change her thoughts. It’s a given we are going to have negative thoughts now and then. However, the difference between a pessimist and an optimist is the optimist won’t dwell on the negative and expect it to be the default setting. The optimist also understands how to change her “stinkin’ thinkin’” to one healthier, more positive thoughts. Teaching your daughter how to replace the enemy’s lies with His truth will equip her to shoot those stinky thoughts right on out of the water! For example, if she tells you “It’s no use studying for my biology quiz. I always fail them anyway,” then you can encourage her to replace this thought with the Philippians 4:13 words of “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Remember: if she reacts with an eye-roll, remind yourself His word is never void. It can be discouraging but keep at it – seeds are being planted!
- Pray together. When we pray together, we are linked by His word and usually, a bond begins to develop. God desires for us to live in close community – why else would He say, “…where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20)? He wants us to gather in His name because He understands this is one way souls can become become entwined. Praying with your daughter is a wonderful way to find out what’s going on in her heart and will communicate you are a safe person she can trust.
Equipping your daughter to stand-strong on who He says she is, is the greatest gift you give can give her – and it will last a lifetime and can never be taken away.
How do you build-up your daughter’s self-esteem?
Written by Natalie Snapp