It’s daunting to be responsible for our daughters, who hang on our every word and deed. We try to be a good example for her to follow, but we are human, and by definition, imperfect. That’s okay, because perfectionism is not a requirement for being an Awesome Mom.
>whew!< That’s good news for me! (and my daughter)
In my last post, Unintentionally Influencing Our Daughters, I addressed how incredibly powerful our perceptions of ourselves influence the self-perceptions of our daughters. Since you want the best for your developing darling, what do you do if your own self-perception is not exactly glowing?
First of all, I’ll bet you’ve never met a woman who admires everything about herself.
Second of all, to have a better self-perception, all you have to do is see yourself the way your admirers see you.
Still too much of a stretch for you?
I’m telling you the truth when I say all you have to do is look outside the box, or, uh, body. Why not begin by positively reframing your self-perception? It’s better for you, and, it’s better for her.
You’re going to make a list of your best characteristics, starting with your head, and working your way down your entire body.
Begin with your hair. Ask yourself, “What is the BEST characteristic of my hair?”
You’re not making a list of your best characteristics (that’s a different exercise). This is a list of the best of everything.
Suppose you don’t like your hair. You still must choose it’s BEST characteristic.
- Is it a nice shade of _____?
- Is it a good length?
- Does it move nicely in the breeze? Or does it nicely resist the breeze?
- Do you like the way it feels to the touch?
- Does it smell good?
- Are the strands strong?
- Are the strands nice and thick? Or nice and thin?
- Does it have many colors in it?
- Is it healthy?
- …You get the idea.
Be strict with yourself. Force yourself to minimally identify the one best feature of each section of your body, and write it down. You can do it! And, if there’s more than one thing to admire, write them all.
Post the list where you will see it every day so you will remember to read it to yourself. Add your other good points when you think of them. Emphasize the positive aspects of yourself daily for 2 months, even if you feel awkward doing it.
As your appreciation for yourself grows, so will grow her appreciation for herself.
Occasionally mention something that you like about you in front of your daughter. This simple tactic can have a hugely positive impact on both of your lives… if you let it.
You represent your daughter’s first model of a beautiful woman. She spent her infancy staring up at your face and into your eyes. Of course she’s going to see the beauty there. You are the yardstick by which she measures herself.
However, if your daughter resembles her handsome dad, or is adopted, or is the product of an ethnically blended family, she won’t see how incredible she already is because she won’t resemble you the way she thinks she should. It’s doubly important to focus on the things you have in common and emphasize how much you admire them in both of you. Consider taking extra steps to help her foster a healthy self-image in this way.
You can find more like this topic in my book, How To Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door (shameless plug).