Today we are going to talk about a topic very rarely discussed in today’s media , schools, magazines or the “self help” industry – role models that affect our daughters.
I found many articles dealing with kids “hating themselves” for a variety of issue’s, but only as a observational term paper or a Psychiatrist trying to get published. We have a serious problem on our hands and no one wants to talk about it!
We have 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15 year old children walking amongst us, living in our homes, bagging our groceries, flipping our burgers on weekends and living beside us who actually HATE THEMSELVES! They are their own BULLIES!
In most cases it’s our daughters. Magazine perfection. TV stars perfection. Music video perfection. Commercials on TV and the Web perfection. They see photo-shopped, air brushed, personal trainers on call perfection and judge themselves accordingly. How can they possibly compete with these images?
They compare themselves to these images and feel lost. Ugly. Un-worthy. Which over time creates, self doubt, lack of confidence, isolation and worse. They analyze every aspect of their face, body, speaking voice and stage of development. Now , all we have discussed is their own fears, self-doubt and indecision. Add in the fact that girls between 10 and 15 can be more vicious than a GREAT White Shark and you have a mix for disaster. Self-loathing. Cutting. Anorexia. Bulimia & Suicide.
So these children are their own biggest BULLY? They don’t need anyone bullying them they do it to themselves.
How do we as parents combat this; by doing the following:
- Talk to her every day about her beauty, self worth and accomplishments.
- Tell her how important she is to your family EVERY day! It only takes 2 minutes of your time. There will be times when she is riddled with self doubt and needs you to TURN OFF the TV and TALK!
- Be a parent. Do it. Hold her if she needs it.
- Do something out of the ordinary by taking her for lunch at a restaurant she never heard of.
- Shock her. Cut work, pull her out of school at noon, with lunch in the car and go to a park.
- Let her tell you everything!
- Be prepared because she will probably unload once she gets started.
- You may learn things you never considered before and you may be surprised. The kids of today have a lot of unknown pressures that we didn’t have growing up.
- You may not like what you hear but on the up side, you will become best friends again!
Next week we will talk about boys and how they also feel they need to live up to the unrealistic role models of today.