Weekend read – Love thy self: Building self-esteem in young children

Recently I was watching TV and a commercial came on for Dove’s self-esteem project for young girls, and more specifically their #TheSelfieTalk. I was moved by the message of the commercial, perhaps because of my hormones but more so the fact that I am and will be raising three girls.

My teen years were the age of Instant Messenger, TRL, idolizing pop stars like Britney Spears, and wanting a closet filled with Abercrombie & Fitch clothes. The Internet was available for use, but only when your parents didn’t need the landline and you better believe that did not mean endless hours of the night could be spent scrolling MySpace. Physical violence on reality shows was grounds for dismissal for characters and going to your friends house required hitching a ride from your reluctant older sibling or parent in the family car, not Uber at the drop of a hat. Through an adolescent lens this all seemed difficult and “impossible” for our parents to understand. However now that I look back on those years as an adult, I realize that we had it relatively easy.

Thinking about the age in which my daughters will be teens gives me anxiety and worry. I cannot imagine being 14 and having friends with smartphones, 24 hour access to the Internet, the Kardashians, Tik Tok, and whatever other trivial social bars are set to “live up to” – ones that seem so important to a young developing mind. (Fun fact: the brain isn’t fully developed until about the age of 25, but good luck using that bit of knowledge on a teenager when you try to reason with them. Oof.)

I write all of that to say that this campaign is crucial in raising not only girls but all children. As the adults in their lives it is our duty to help them strengthen their confidence and feelings of self-worth. Thankfully Dove has paved the way for many of us who are otherwise clueless, and graciously provided us with the tools needed to raise awareness and promote healthy conversations with our children. Dove is encouraging and enabling us to guide young ones build their self-esteem in an age when social media makes it nearly impossible for even the most secure to not feel insecure online and in real life. If you go to their website, both #theselfietalk and Self-esteem Project campaigns, you will find a plethora of videos, classes, downloadable documents, and guidance on how to start your conversations. Let’s join the movement and help our children and ourselves learn to love and appreciate who we already are.

Image is property of Canva*

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