It’s Make a Change Monday!

For today’s Girl Scout Week theme, we are going to focus on our mental health! It’s Make a Change Monday, and we thought it was the perfect time to talk about self-esteem. Our volunteer, Alyssa, a lifetime Girl Scout and working on her Occupational Therapy Doctorate, is going to walk through some ways to create positive self-esteem!

Self-esteem is the way that we view and value ourselves. It can be affected both by the people around us and by our own inner thoughts and feelings. When girls have positive self-esteem, they will feel more confident, independent, and have healthier relationships with others. Here are some ways that you can help your girl develop positive self-esteem.

Ways adults can help promote positive self-esteem:

  • Express how much you love and care for her.
  • Ask for her input in conversations or about topics. Be prepared for her to possibly disagree with you. Listen and understand her point of view.
  • Have genuine conversations about her interests. 
  • Help her learn new skills.
  • Allow her to make some of her own decisions. Start out smaller with younger girls (for example, picking between two activity options for the day) and progress to larger decisions as they get older.
  • Praise her for achievements, not just on appearance. 
  • Give her opportunities to be successful. Girls don’t grow if you do everything for them! 
  • Teach her that it is okay to make mistakes and have bad days sometimes. 
  • Teach her how to problem solve and be independent. 
  • Have positive conversations about body image. Emphasize how wonderful our bodies are and how they allow us to participate in fun activities. 
  • Avoid making negative comments about your own body around her. She absorbs a lot more than you think!

Activities you can do with your girl to promote positive self-esteem:

  • Create a set of self-affirmation cards.
  • Write self-affirmations in commonly seen places such as bathroom mirrors, on the fridge, and in her living space. 
  • Create a gratitude list or start a gratitude journal.
  • Engage in goal writing. Be sure to include short-term achievable goals, as well as long-term goals. 
  • Engage in kapers. She may not like them in the moment, but it will give her the feeling of independence and achievement in the long run. 

Recommended additional readings on positive self-esteem: 

  • Dear Girl, A Celebration of Wonderful, Smart, Beautiful You!, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Paris Rosenthal
  • What I Tell Myself FIRST: Children’s Real-World Affirmations of Self Esteem, by Michael A. Brown
  • Being Me: A Kid’s Guide to Boosting Confidence and Self-Esteem, by Wendy L Moss Ph.D
  • I Am, I Can: 365 Affirmations for Kids, by Wynne Kinder
  • The Magic Is Inside You: Powerful & Positive Thinking For Confident Children, by Cathay Domoney
  • Believing in Me: A Child’s Guide to Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem, by Poppy O’Neill and Amanda Ashman-Wymbs
  • I Can Do Hard Things: Mindful Affirmations for Kids, by Gabi Garcia and Charity Russell
  • I Am Enough, by Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo
  • The Ultimate Self-Esteem Workbook for Teens, by Megan Maccutcheon, LPC
  • The Self-Love Workbook for Teens: A Transformative Guide to Boost Self-Esteem, Build a Healthy Mindset, and Embrace Your True Self, by Shainna Ali