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In today’s world developing healthy self esteem is a challenge for many pre-adolescent and adolescent girls. Our relationship with God, family, friends and the media all contribute to the development of our sense of self. Today’s media has a particularly disturbing influence over how girls view themselves and their bodies. In a recent survey of fifth through twelfth grade girls it was discovered that 59% were dissatisfied with their bodies (29% were actually overweight), 66% wanted to lose weight, 47% reported that looking at fashion magazines made them want to lose weight now, and 69% said that media shaped their view of the ideal body.
What is self esteem really? Self esteem is believing in yourself despite what others say or believe about you. But it is much more than that! We can not help our daughters achieve a healthy self esteem by trying to make them feel invincible. They will not find self esteem when we continue to tell them they are the smartest, prettiest, or most athletic girl we know. True self esteem comes from accepting ourselves for who we are, knowing that we are resilient when confronted with failure and developing an optimistic, hopeful attitude about the future.
If you feel your middle school daughter could use help in the areas of developing positive self esteem, creating a healthy body image and finding healthy relationships please consider enrolling her in the upcoming Summit group called Middle School Success for Girls. Our next 6 week group begins on Wednesday, January 12th. Click here to learn more!