It’s bikini season. Summer always means there will be women (and young girls) wearing skimpy clothing that leaves nothing to the imagination. Dads, you know what is appropriate and what is not for your daughter. But you must know she is constantly bombarded with these images, both in real life and on television. The toll that perfect airbrushed, photo-shopped pictures have on a young girl’s self esteem have been well documented. Body dissatisfaction, depression, low-self esteem and unhealthy weight are all rampant among girls.
Here’s what you can do to help boost your daughter’s self esteem and remind her that bikini models aren’t the norm.
Give her physical affection. Hugs, pats on the back and kisses mean the world to your daughter. A daughter’s self-esteem is best predicted by her father’s physical affection.
Tell her that you love her. Not just on special occasions, but regularly. This might be easy when she’s a precocious five, but she needs to hear it even more when she’s a moody 15-year old. Why? Because when a daughter hears “I love you” from her father, she feels complete.
Be careful with your comments. If you comment on her weight, physical appearance or athletic abilities, she’ll focus on her “external self “and worry about retaining your love through her achievements and appearance. Admire her deep, intrinsic qualities. Don’t tell her “You’re beautiful and I love you.” Tell her you love her because there is no one else in the world like her.