Recent studies show that self-esteem issues for girls begin as early as age 5 (Source). I am all too familiar with this as I’ve watched my oldest (age 6.5, 1st grade) compare herself to her friends since her second year of preschool. I’ve watched her go in the bathroom, stand on a stool, and look at herself in the mirror…I’ve heard her complain that she doesn’t like her hair…
For the most part, I belive both of my girls have a pretty good self esteem. After all, my husband and I try to foster it whenever we can. We repeatedly tell them (and try to show them) that we love them. We tell them they are beautiful, we praise them when they succeed at things, and we encourage them (and let them know it’s ok) when they fail at something.
Sometimes we struggle though. It’s hard to find just the right words or life and time get away from us and we forget that kids need encouragement every day. I know it will be even harder as my girls grow into the teenage years. They will rely less on me and more on their friends. I, the mom, will be the person who “doesn’t get it”.
I’ve often listened to the radio, heard a song, and thought to myself, “that would be a great song for my girls to listen to when they get down on themselves. I know I would have related to it.” I got to thinking one day, “why not start them listening to these songs now? Why not use music to tell them something that I just can’t seem to put into words.” Soo…I started downloading some inspirational songs onto Nutty’s MP3 player. Mixed in with the popular hip-hop tunes are songs from past and present meant to give Nutty (and Tottie when she’s allowed to play with the MP3 player) a little bit of “feel good about yourself” without her really even knowing it.
Much to my pleasure, I often hear Nutty singing along with these songs. What she doesn’t know is that she is hearing herself saying “you are beautiful” and “you are perfect”. She may not be completely conscious of it, but I hope one day when she’s feeling down, she’ll remember the words she sang.
A little food for thought:
- Girls with low self-esteem less likely to receive praise from parents but more criticism
- 34% of girls with low-self esteem feel they are not good enough of a daughter.
- 57% of girls have mothers who criticizes her looks
- 57% of girls don’t tell mothers things about them because of they don’t want them to think bad of them (Source)
Do you sometimes use music to try to get through to your kids? What other songs would you add to this playlist? What songs would you use in a playlist for boys?