In our job as family counselors, we often meet parents who are at a loss of what to do when it comes to their daughters. The daughters are not thriving, they have low self-esteem and no matter how often the parents tell them that they love them and they are beautiful it doesn't seem to have any effect.
Unfortunately, this is a disturbing growing problem in the modern world today. Research shows that way too many girls’ mental health is in a bad shape. The heartbreaking statistics show that almost a quarter of teenage girls exhibit depressive symptoms. And the depression symptoms are shown in e.g. eating disorder, and suicidal thoughts.
And the reason given by commentators tend to be the same: pressures of social media, body image and school. (We know by experience that this is not the whole truth but we come to that later).
The girls themselves express it in the following way:
#1 They feel a pressure to look good
Being thin having an unrealistic perfect shaped body and they see it all the time on the social media.
#2 They care too much about what others think.
What their friends think, how they present themselves on social media and so on.
#3 They have way too high expectations for themselves
They find it difficult to accept when they are failing. They want to perform well in all situations, in school, with friends and so on. And there is no room for mistakes.
Luckily it’s not only up to the social media to influence our daughters - there are so many things we, the parents can do to empower your daughters, to build their self-worth and self-esteem and to make them feel perfect just the way they are.
Through our work as family counselors we’ve seen it over and over again: you can change your daughter's behavior by changing yourself!
Connect with her in a positive way every day during her childhood and show her there is an exciting world outside the social media that needs her help and attention. Teach her more about well being than good looking. Help her belief in her own abilities and help find some important things to fight for.
Let's raise a new generation of brave girls with high self-esteem!