Friday, May 28, 2010

Building Self-esteem in Little Princesses

My step-granddaughter is the seven-year-old joy of my heart. Although we live 500 miles from one another, not a day passes that I don't think of her with loving intention. She is my little princess. She has been a little "royal" since she was old enough to hold her first Barbie doll and wear a plastic tiara.

Little girls come to this planet already knowing they are special and they expect to be treated kindly. Unfortunately, some of life's experiences and abusive or neglectful parenting can knock the wind out of our sails by the time we become adults. Most parents want to protect their children (both boys and girls) from these harsh realities.

One way to ensure that our kids develop a healthy self-esteem is by showing them respect while they are young. If you expect them not interrupt you while you are speaking, then set the example and don't interrupt them while they are speaking. If you want them to believe in themselves, sincerely tell them how wonderful they are and how glad you are they are in your life.

Another way to show that you value your child is by spending time doing what the child wants to do.Give them your undivided attention. Just think of all the errands they go on with you. Do you think they enjoy waiting in line at the grocery store or sitting in a chair twice too big for them while you get your hair cut? Probably not, but any time or situation can become quality time if you make it educational and fun. You just might get better cooperation from the wee ones as a result.

While Keilie is just as at home climbing her backyard fairy tree as she is playing in her doll castle, I know her heart and self-esteem are still fragile at this age. It is our responsibility as parents and grandparents to admire rather than tease our little princesses as they primp in front of the mirror or put on a beauty pageant for anyone who will sit still long enough for her to change into her next costume.

It is especially important for dads to show approval to their young daughters. In the pre-adolescent years, girls are forming their opinion of how men are supposed to behave toward women. The examples you set and attention you pay her now will go with her the rest of her life.

I am thrilled to see a new way of parenting that has emerged in the generation of parents that are the ages of my adult children. Fathering has taken a huge step forward and the absent father of my childhood is now spending quality time with their children. My daughter is the bread winner in her home as her husband stays home and cares for their baby. Scott told me last week that Liam likes to play under tents made from blankets and sheets. Hmmm . . .  I wonder how he knows that? They have a beautiful relationship that I never dreamed possible with my own dad, who hid behind his newspaper most of the time he was home.

Who says men can't change diapers and make formula just as well as a woman? Why shouldn't women make as much (or more) money than men? Why shouldn't boys take ballet lessons? What's wrong with girls playing soldier? This is a healthy shift in consciousness that I feel certain will bring about an empowered new generation.

Any little girl who wants to play dress up in my closet is welcome. Catherine loves to wear my boots! I'll even help her with her hair and makeup before we sit down to tea with the teddys. Or maybe, we'll go outside and make mud pies with fresh earth worms!

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2 comments:

  1. What a lovely personal story. I thoroughly agree with treateing children with respect and showing them how to show the same to themselves. I'd like to mention you on my blog about overcoming low self-esteem.com

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  2. Wooww..thanks for this wonderful article, you made me inspired while reading this post:-). Because of your nice and wonderful article I will give you some article that will help you on how to building self-esteem and this is my secret of my success.

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