On Friday, I attended the Zoom virtual meet hosted by Dove titled #CourageousConversationsForKids and walked away, after listening to all the conversations being profoundly touched by one specific topic.

WORDS MATTER

One of the things that the speakers all touched on was how the words spoken to them as children still profoundly impacted how they thought about themselves today as adults. This is absolutely true for me too.

As a young girl, after one too many persons incorrectly assumed that my parents had two sons, I truly started to believe that I was wholly unfeminine, something I still struggle with today. I also absorbed all the messages that I wasn’t very bright and that I was fat and that this somehow impacted my value.

As a 48 year old woman today, I still struggle with the same issues. I still believe I am the most unattractive, unfeminine, stupid, and less worthy because I’m fat persons.

But What About My Daughters

Just like any parent, when I’d become a mother, I’d committed to doing better. To being better. When you know better you do better right? Every one of us, our parents included did the very best they could at that time, even they were trying to do better than what had been done for them, that’s how we evolve as a society.

But I failed in one area miserably. As a baby and young child, Hannah was incredibly difficult. She is exceptionally sensitive and she battled for a long time trauma post-placement and other sensory issues, I swear she cried nonstop for about two years. And we honed in on those issues and created cutesy nicknames around them. At the time I didn’t think much of it. We called her Fatties and Moanies (a play on the supermarket pasta brand) and even My Pestie. They were never intended to be hurtful names but after Friday’s session, I can’t help wondering how they may have shaped how Hannah thinks and speaks of herself.

The Good News

For the past  16 years, Dove has been doing research with experts and working with parents, mentors, teachers, nd youth leaders as part of the Dove Self Esteem Project and one of the findings is that you can improve your child’s self-esteem by just discussing their self-esteem with them and having this be a focused conversation you have with them regularly.

Positive Affirmations For Girls

So I went in search of some positive affirmations for girls to start doing with Ava and Hannah and I loved these:

“I can learn hard things.”
“I am a problem solver and I will find a way.”
“No one can make me feel inferior without my consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Failure is great feedback.”
“You have to be a beginner before you can be an expert.”
“What I tackle, I conquer.” – Richard Gilmore from Gilmore Girls

“I will only compare myself with the best version of myself.”
“I will show kindness, even when it seems hard.”
“Sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.” – unknown

“I am allowed to feel my feelings.”
“I will be compassionate to myself and others.”
“No one looks stupid when they are having fun.” – Amy Poehler

“I am a girl who has lots of ideas.”
“I will accept my flaws.”
“Feel the fear, do it anyway.” -Susan Jeffers

“It’s okay to be sad.”
“What I have to say matters.”
“Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.” -Bob Bitchin

I have bolded my favorite affirmations. Which are yours?

To find out more about the Dove Self-Esteem project, visit this website for all the info and resources – https://www.dove.com/za/dove-self-esteem-project.html

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