With Caitlin in middle school, I have been looking for ideas in building self-esteem in your tween. Caitlin has an infectious smile and laugh, is very smart and has a kind heart. Caitlin is also a klutz (like her mom and older sister), talks a lot and can be a bit bossy. When you put all these qualities together, you get a very self-conscious girl who isn’t sure how to navigate the waters of her impending womanhood. I am so thankful to have an older daughter that can talk to Caitlin who can relate to her situation 100%. Chelsea has grown into a very beautiful woman who is one of the smartest, self-confidant and intelligent women I know. Caitlin looks up to her and I have encouraged Chelsea to strengthen her bond with her sister. I am good mom who loves her children fiercely, but I wasn’t sure how to help Caitlin boost her self- esteem. I went searching for help online and if you have a young woman in your life that may need some confidence boosting, here are some great tips:
Building Self Esteem In Tweens
- Strengths: Sit down with your tween and make a list of all of her strengths. Is she gifted in a certain area or does she excel in another? Is she friendly, funny or always looking out for younger kids? These are all wonderful qualities to have and your tween should feel confident in these abilities. Talk with your tween how and when these qualities would be most effective.
- Know Your Limits: We cannot be good at everything, buy many teens feel as if they should be. Help your tween get a reality check so they can be safe within their boundaries. While one tween may sing beautifully, she may not be athletic. Help you tween be realistic and to have confidence her those items she is good at and to not try to be everything to everyone.
- Positive Thoughts: Nothing builds confidence like a heartfelt pat on the back or a compliment. I never let a day go by that I don’t pay my kids a compliment. We are human and we need to hear that we matter to others. More important than a compliment from another, is the ability to pay yourself a compliment! Many people feel awkward in admitting they are good at something or have done something admirable. There is a fine line between confidence and cockiness, so help your tween know the difference.
- You Are Not Alone: Make sure your tween knows they are not alone. One of the biggest issues that push teens to isolation is thinking no one else could feel as they do. Make resources available to your tween to help them see how many other kids their age are struggling with the same issues as they are. While I was looking for resources, I came across a goldmine for tween girls; Discovery Girls. This is a safe place your tween girl can go to connect with other girls her age. If there is one thing tween girls needs is to be surrounded by positive peers.
Books For Tween Girls
Caitlin loves to read and I am always looking for appropriate books for tween girls. What I wasn’t prepared for on this search is how one website could offer as many positive avenues for your tween to take as I did with Discovery Girls. When you visit this website, you will see a series of books just for tween girls, a magazine just for tween girls and a ton of tips and advice from one tween girl to another. This is a community that was developed by tweens for other tweens that offers support, humor, interesting topics and fun. Caitlin is always comparing herself to other girls and I have been trying to help her feel secure in herself and not to compare herself to anyone else. You can subscribe to the Discovery Girls magazine ($19.95) that comes out 6 times a year. You can purchase the Discovery Girls books ($9.95), a series that covers many of the prevalent issues that face tween girls today. Here is a synopsis of the books in the series:
- Friendship Hardship: This is a great book to help your tween avoid the mean girl cliques and form healthy and true friendships.
- Sticky Situations: This book includes over 70 of the stickiest situations your tween is likely to encounter in her teen age years.
- My Worst Day and How Survived It: This is a great book filed with true stories and how real girls handled them. This book includes true stories of girls who were bullied, had parents divorcing, experiencing death and many more.
- Ask Ali: Discovery Girls advice columnist, Ali shares her advice on dating, school, parents and many other areas tween girls need advice on.
Caitlin has already finished the “Friendship Hardship” book and is now reading My Worst Days. I love that these books allow a line of communication that your daughter can feel comfortable in opening with you or her peers. If you have a tween girl in your life, this is a great resource for her.
One reader will in the four books in the Discovery Girls series as well as a one year subscription to Discovery Girl Magazine ($57.80)