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mveloz
mveloz asks:
Q:

How can I help my teen age daughter buiild her self esteem?

Hi,
my daugter just turn 13yrs and she has a very low self-esteam...
In school they always make fun of her she gone to the extrem of cutting her own hair and now they make more fun of her...

She came home the other day telling me she wants to try weed because a girl in school is influencing her..

How can I help her build her self-esteem?
She feels she ugly and fat and doesn't care how she looks
In Topics: Self esteem and identity, Friendships and peer relationships
> 60 days ago

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Expert

lkauffman
Jan 25, 2008
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What the Expert Says:

Hi Michelle,

It sounds like your daughter is really struggling to find her identity and recognize her unique, positive attributes. As you may know, it is not uncommon for teen girls to experience a significant drop in self-esteem and self-confidence, but this doesn't make it right. It sounds like your daughter is vulnerable to negative influences because she has not yet determined what she is worth.

First, is your daughter involved in any after-school activities (sports, drama, etc)? Does she have a hobby or passion? Teen girls often derive quite a bit of pleasure and confidence from the experience of using their body and mind in a challenging and fun task. For instance, girls who play sports often demonstrate higher than average self-esteem. However, if your daughter is not interested in sports, she might enjoy practicing an art at home or in formal lessons. Activities such as these would give her an opportunity to learn about herself and be successful at something.

Second, you might invite your daughter to keep a diary or journal of daily experiences. Getting in touch with her feelings will help her to understand herself better. In addition, you might invite her to engage in a little exercise with you in which you and she review and write down all of the things that she likes about herself. Instruct her on the art of focusing on achievements, not failures. You could contribute to the list, including the things that you love about her daughter and what makes her special in your eyes.

Finally, you can coach your daughter to practice confidence. People who act as if they are confident often feel more confident!

Just a few tips to get your started. Perhaps others have more suggestions?

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