In today’s world, building confidence in our daughters is an important responsibility. Read on to see how I try to instill self assurance in my daughter, and how the Adora Doll, which I received for review, helps me in that process.
Several months ago it seemed like articles kept popping up on my Facebook newsfeed and Pinterest homepage about the dangers of telling your daughter she is beautiful, and how damaging it can be to her self esteem. The general premise of these articles was that by telling my daughter that she is beautiful I was inadvertently telling her that her value was dependant on her looks. As a mother of a young daughter, my initial reaction was “Oh no! I have completely ruined my little girl by telling her she is beautiful. I hope I have time to remedy the situation.”
As I gave this issue some serious thought, something just didn’t sit right with me about banning the words “you are so beautiful” from my conversations with my little girl. While I fully agree with the concept of making sure girls feel empowered beyond how they look, I want to let my daughter know what an amazingly beautiful person she is, in her looks, ideas and actions. I thought back to my own childhood. I have always been a bit on the bigger side, fairly clumsy, my hair was (and continues to be) unruly and I have always had blotchy skin. However, I have always felt beautiful and never lacked the confidence needed to try out for all the plays, sports teams, student government positions and everything else I chose to do growing up.
As I reflect back I believe that this confidence started with my parents telling and showing me that I was beautiful, inside and out. They would tell me that I had a beautiful intellect, a beautiful personality, beautiful talents, was a beautiful friend, sister and daughter and even that I looked beautiful.
I am sure that every parent can see the harm in telling their child that they are ugly, lazy, stupid or worthless. It’s easy to see how a person who is told something over and over again would believe it to be true. If that is the case, I wish to tell my daughter over and over again that she is beautiful (inside and out) in hopes that she will know it to be true.
Along with telling my daughter that she is beautiful, I strive to do things on a daily basis to show her that this is true, so that she will internalize this belief and use it to live a strong and confident life. Here are a few of the things I do to try to inspire her confidence daily:
Share in her interests: My daughter loves mud! I do not! However, I want to show her that she should feel confident enough to explore whatever captures her interests. So, I get down and make mud pies right along with her! We dig holes, find worms, get dirty, and hopefully build confidence together!
No Negative Self-Talk- I have come to realize that part of having kids (especially a daughter) is having a little someone who watches and mimics my every move. The other night at dinner I realized what an impact this can have. I had spent all evening putting together a delicious meal for my family and had slightly burnt the edges. The meal was still tasty and nutritious and even if it wasn’t, I had spent a lot of time preparing it. Regardless of all that, and despite the fact that my family seemed to be enjoying it, I found the need to point out all of the faults about the meal, and criticize myself for it’s imperfections. No one mentioned anything, and I didn’t think much of it until I heard my son using the exact phrases that I had in putting down my meal, about a project he had been working hard on for days. I then realized that if I want my kids to be confident and accepting of the imperfections in their lives, I need to model that behavior myself! Whether its my cooking abilities, my body, my hair, or my less-then-Pinterest-worthy craft projects, I need to learn to that there is no place for negative self talk.
Something Wonderful You Did Today– One of my favorite times of day with my kids is bedtime. Every night as part of our nightly routine I tell my kids “something wonderful you did today is…” And take a moment to recognize something special that they did that day. I hope this will help them to learn to be proud of their daily accomplishments, and recognize the talents that make them special.
*Celebrate Uniqueness– We are all so unique, but sometimes we just want our unique qualities to fade away so we can be just like everyone else (particularly true for girls). As a mom I think some of the most wonderful things about my kids are the most unique things. I want my children to embrace their uniqueness and grow up to show the world what cool individuals they are. So I love any opportunity to celebrate the the wonderful things that make them so special such as unique talents, hobbies and activities that they enjoy.
One of the things I love are the Adora Friends Dolls (retails for 59.99) which can be completely customized to be just as unique as your own daughter. Adora also believes in building self confidence in young girls, and to show it, they launched the Designed by Kids for Kids program. Adora selects a Young Designer to work with their team to create an outfit for the 18” Dolls! What better way to instill confidence in a young girl, than by allowing her to create something fun and very real, which will be distributed all over the world! The winner/young designer will also get a financial donation to the charity of their choice, on behalf of Adora!
If you have a daughter then you can get in on this action too! Adora is now taking submissions for their next Young Designer for 2014. Candidates interested in submitting should visit the Adora Dolls Blog for complete details.
Adora Dolls are available with a variety of different hair colors and skin tones, to help your daughter feel confident in her own physical features. Another thing that I love about these dolls are that they have realistic body proportions. The arms and legs, as well as face and neck are a little thicker then some other dolls, helping girls to have a more realistic view of themselves. These dolls come in a standard 18″ so you are able to dress and accessorize this doll in virtually any type of clothing, making your daughter’s doll a reflection of her own uniqueness. Whether your daughter is a ballerina or a chef, a musician or a soccer player she can learn that her unique interests are beautiful and that she doesn’t have to fit into any certain mold in life!
I am learning that raising a daughter is its own special type of responsibility. With all of the ways that the world tries to blur the self image of girls it can even feel slightly daunting. However with a lot of love, reassurance and everyday awareness I hope to instill in her the type of confidence that will allow her to show the world what an amazing person she is!
I’m super excited for what’s next! One Clever Housewife reader will get to choose an 18″ Adora Doll of their choice!! *Please note that if you choose Lola, there will be a delay on shipping as she’s brand new.
The giveaway will end at 11:59pm PT on 2/15. To enter, fill out the form below. Each entry will be verified when the winner is chosen.
Leanne Cox is a guest writer for CleverHousewife.com. She is a stay-at-home mom to two kids, and a credentialed preschool teacher. Leanne teaches “mommy-and-me” and “preschool style” music & movement classes through her business “Little Stars Music & Movement Classes” . She is passionate about encouraging early childhood education through hands on learning and exploration