10 Ways to Build Your Daughter’s Self-Esteem, Part One

sarah - edited

She didn’t think she could do it.

In fact, my husband offered to pay her fifty dollars if she would.

For years, she refused.

Then one day, she climbed up the ladder and my third grade, heights-fearing daughter slid down our backyard curly-slide.

Turns out, she could do it. She just allowed fear to tell her she couldn’t.

So it got me thinking . . . How many other ways has she limited herself simply out of fear?

I’m sure more than I could ever imagine.

Next, I wondered how often I limited myself simply out of fear.

I’m sure more than I could ever imagine.

Personally, I believe fear lies at the root of every negative emotion.

For a girl who suffers from low self-esteem, the fear could be rejection by her peers. Or others finding out she isn’t perfect. Or the fear she isn’t normal.

I also believe fear is how the enemy does his greatest work: he immobilizes us into complacency so we won’t let our light shine as brightly as it could.

Here are five ways (in no particular order) mothers can encourage their daughters to shine their lights a bit brighter (the next five will be featured next month):

1. Assess your own self-confidence. You know the saying, “monkey see, monkey do”? Well, it’s true in parenting as well. It’s amazing what they notice, isn’t it? They watch and listen to us more than we know. So if she hears you trashing yourself or being afraid to try something new, she just might trash herself and be afraid to try something new as well.

2. Avoid saying “You always . . . ” and “You never . . . “ Your daughter likely hears she’s hopeless when she hears these phrases. Whatever negative behavior follows these two statements, it can become her identity if she “always” does it. When others have named who we are and we begin to believe it, it’s called the self-fulfilling prophecy. And it’s not a myth.

3. Encourage her relationship with her father. The power a father has in shaping his daughter’s identity is immeasurable. In her book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, Dr. Meg Meeker stated that girls with absentee fathers have higher rates of drug-use, engage in premarital sex at an earlier age, have a higher likelihood of experiencing eating disorders, and a higher chance of suffering from depression. However, if your daughter doesn’t have an earthly father, don’t despair. During my childhood, my grandfather stepped into this role for me. If this is not an option, then keep communication lines open.

4. Recognize the importance of pillow talk. This is a great time to check-in with the state of your daughter’s heart. Simple questions like “How’s recess going?” or “Who did you sit with during lunch today?” are great questions that often lead to other discussions.

5. Point out the good things she does. It took me a few years as a parent to realize my children didn’t come out of the womb knowing exactly what to do and say and when to do and say them. They are still learning (we are, too – we’ve just had a head start!).  So I could constantly dwell on things like globs of toothpaste around the sink or the muddy footprints throughout the house or I could focus instead of what my children do well. This doesn’t mean we ignore offenses; but it does mean we balance this out with encouragement.

Before we sign-off for today, I need to tell you: there is never any condemnation in Christ Jesus. If you are reading some of the above and think “Oh, no . . . I just said “You never” to my daughter last night!” don’t beat yourself up. We all have less than stellar parenting moments. Each day is a new day with new mercies – praise Him for this!

What about you? How do you build your daughter’s self-esteem?

Join us next month as we continue our discussion of building up our daughters . . .

 

 

 

Keep Parts of Your Heart a Secret by Lynn Cowell

my-lips-are-sealed

Keep Parts of Your Heart a Secret

Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, Snap Chat…(when does it end), it’s easy to follow each detail of your sometimes roller coaster life. Girl flirts with boy. Boy returns the favor. Girls spills her guts to said boy. Boy breaks up. Girl spills more – only this time it is pain. This scenario isn’t just girls; it could easily be reversed.

Because you now have access to each other non-stop, the “getting-to-know” period is now on steroids. A girl and guy can literally know everything there is to know about each other in just a matter of days. This lack of “becoming a couple” position you in a place of extreme vulnerability. Yesterday you’re strangers and now someone holds your deepest and darkest secrets.

When two people spend large amounts of unhurried time together, it builds relationship. But when they cram that unhurried time into too short a time period, they also build a false sense of safety. The new hotter-than-hot relationship turns cold incredibly fast as one of them discovers there are things they didn’t know; and don’t like. Similar to standing outside in a snowstorm without gloves, your heart is now completely exposed to whatever may ensue.

It is imperative you to guard your heart; it is your greatest asset.

 

Looking for help figuring out this whole love thing? Check out a sample chapter of “His Revolutionary Love” at www.LynnCowell.com. Just click on “books”.

Embracing the Now

By Catherine Bird

Fall is notoriously a busy season. School starts, then BOOM! It’s Thanksgiving. Then right behind Thanksgiving, Christmas comes speeding around the corner. Five months of the year—gone in a blur. Does this happen to you?

How many of us live and breathe by calendars? Schedules are a necessity, no doubt. But how many of us are ruled by them? I’m guilty. How many of us spend more time planning and preparing than we do embracing the now? Again, guilty!

My youngest darling once counted the days in bedtimes—which I loved. She would ask, “How many bedtimes until Nani comes for a visit?” or “How many bedtimes until school starts?” Even though I knew she couldn’t wait until those bedtimes ran out, my daughter did and does continue to embrace contentment with the now.

1 Timothy 6:6 (NLT) tells us, “Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.”

I don’t know you about, friends, but God has recently opened my eyes to how much time my family and friends (myself included) spend planning for tomorrow. Again, planning is important—but so is living and enjoying today.

Have you read Jen Hatmaker’s 7? If you haven’t read it, please add it to your reading wish list. Jeez, talk about feeling convicted! My husband and I prayed that God would open our eyes to the way in which He wanted us to cut down on our excess. We’ve been praying through several areas, but scheduling was at the top of the list. Or rather, our over scheduling was at the top.

If you don’t have this challenge, you are so blessed! Friends, since my husband I have made a prayerful and conscious effort to spend less time adding to the calendar and more time embracing each day, God’s blessings have overflowed! Those blessings have come forth in the form of family time, lower stress and quiet time. I’d almost forgotten what that was like!

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT)

This passage brings me such solace, because it reminds me that it’s okay to embrace today. God, our Sovereign King, is the ultimate planner. He’s got it all under control. As this holiday season approaches, will you join me in embracing the now?

Boomerangs & BREs – Part 2

by Nancy Bentz

“What’s Grace Got To Do With It?”

 Boomerang medium with WEG logo part 2

Yesterday I alluded to fifty shades of stinky when I mentioned my shame-filled epiphany. It became a defining moment in my life when I recognized and admitted to myself that I had a negative ongoing pattern operating in my relationships.

One such shade of stinky was attitudinal in nature. As in, flesh nature. Rude, dismissive, irritable, impatient, sharp…

Whether with the general population or at home, my stinky attitude was shame-filled fuel for the fire of painful relationship issues that needed redeeming. My shame-based beliefs had resulted in an adaptive behavior of pride that had to be rooted out by the Lord, with my (sometimes slow or resistant) cooperation. 

For me, that meant a long journey of recognizing, admitting, owning, confessing, and repenting of living life through the shame grid by which I judged and reacted both inwardly and outwardly toward myself and others.

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”  Hebrews 12:14-15 NIV

There came a time when the first half of that scripture made a dent in my ‘pride wall’ and I realized it was speaking directly to me. Nancy, I’m talking to you. You make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy.

Talk about conviction! But that conviction was a good thing. A gift of grace, really. I knew one thing for certain – I had grown to not particularly like the ‘me’ I had become. Furthermore, I kept reinforcing that dislike due to those infernal ‘boomerangs’ – my internal bitter root expectancies. Through practice, I had honed shame’s opposing operational functions:  the process of shutting down even while adapting behaviors designed to protect.

I had been hurt by other’s attitudes and spoken words. In turn, I grew to become prideful (not even recognizing that for the longest time!) in a felt need sort of way in order to protect myself. Somewhere along the line I also grew to expect that this is the way I would be treated so, sinfully and without tutoring, I learned to give it back. It came all too naturally. Therein was the problem…

When Holy Spirit through the Word of God gets your attention, it is with good cause for, every scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action)…”   II Timothy 3:16 AMP

In return for the loss of our BREs and PB&Js, God’s other column on His eternal statement is all about profitability. God’s way is a much richer way to live for He did not create us to be shame paupers.

I think the profitable for’s in the above II Timothy passage shed light on the steps we need to take toward losing our BREs and PB&Js in order that our loss might become our gain, just as Paul described in Philippians 3:8.

So when I had the scriptural epiphany, how did I go about reconciling that with my stinky attitude epiphany? 

For starters, I had to lower my defenses (as much as I didn’t want to!) and be willing to listen and learn what Holy Spirit was trying to get through to me, ie.profitable for instruction.

Then, recognizing and admitting that the ways I was acting and reacting, both internally and externally, did not align with what scripture described as one who belongs to Christ. I was missing the mark (sinning) which meant I needed Holy Spirit’s truthful yet loving reproof and conviction of sin.

We weren’t done though. My PB&Js (personal bitter judgments) and BREs (bitter root expectancies) could only be counted as loss through correction of error in my ways of thinking and through discipline in obedience to God’s higher way of thinking and relating. Which, by the way, meant lowering myself in order to be lifted higher by Him.

Bearing in mind that pride goes before a fall, we will come down from Pride Mountain one way or another.That, too, is God’s grace.

All these steps are for training in righteousness. Learning to live holy is the antidote to the shame that ails us.

Dear Lord, I don’t want to keep reaping bitter fruit. Bring your grace to bear on my heart that I may be willing to be conformed to Your will in my thoughts, purposes, and actions. Thank you for Your grace. ♪ 

Nancy ~

Photo credit: Cansstockphoto

Have you heard about Whatever Girls Live and the 10:3 Campaign?

Boomerangs & BREs – Part 2

by Nancy Bentz

“What’s Grace Got To Do With It?”

 Boomerang medium with WEG logo part 2

Yesterday I alluded to fifty shades of stinky when I mentioned my shame-filled epiphany. It became a defining moment in my life when I recognized and admitted to myself that I had a negative ongoing pattern operating in my relationships.

One such shade of stinky was attitudinal in nature. As in, flesh nature. Rude, dismissive, irritable, impatient, sharp…

Whether with the general population or at home, my stinky attitude was shame-filled fuel for the fire of painful relationship issues that needed redeeming. My shame-based beliefs had resulted in an adaptive behavior of pride that had to be rooted out by the Lord, with my (sometimes slow or resistant) cooperation. 

For me, that meant a long journey of recognizing, admitting, owning, confessing, and repenting of living life through the shame grid by which I judged and reacted both inwardly and outwardly toward myself and others.

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”  Hebrews 12:14-15 NIV

There came a time when the first half of that scripture made a dent in my ‘pride wall’ and I realized it was speaking directly to me. Nancy, I’m talking to you. You make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy.

Talk about conviction! But that conviction was a good thing. A gift of grace, really. I knew one thing for certain – I had grown to not particularly like the ‘me’ I had become. Furthermore, I kept reinforcing that dislike due to those infernal ‘boomerangs’ – my internal bitter root expectancies. Through practice, I had honed shame’s opposing operational functions:  the process of shutting down even while adapting behaviors designed to protect.

I had been hurt by other’s attitudes and spoken words. In turn, I grew to become prideful (not even recognizing that for the longest time!) in a felt need sort of way in order to protect myself. Somewhere along the line I also grew to expect that this is the way I would be treated so, sinfully and without tutoring, I learned to give it back. It came all too naturally. Therein was the problem…

When Holy Spirit through the Word of God gets your attention, it is with good cause for, every scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action)…”   II Timothy 3:16 AMP

In return for the loss of our BREs and PB&Js, God’s other column on His eternal statement is all about profitability. God’s way is a much richer way to live for He did not create us to be shame paupers.

I think the profitable for’s in the above II Timothy passage shed light on the steps we need to take toward losing our BREs and PB&Js in order that our loss might become our gain, just as Paul described in Philippians 3:8.

So when I had the scriptural epiphany, how did I go about reconciling that with my stinky attitude epiphany? 

For starters, I had to lower my defenses (as much as I didn’t want to!) and be willing to listen and learn what Holy Spirit was trying to get through to me, ie.profitable for instruction.

Then, recognizing and admitting that the ways I was acting and reacting, both internally and externally, did not align with what scripture described as one who belongs to Christ. I was missing the mark (sinning) which meant I needed Holy Spirit’s truthful yet loving reproof and conviction of sin.

We weren’t done though. My PB&Js (personal bitter judgments) and BREs (bitter root expectancies) could only be counted as loss through correction of error in my ways of thinking and through discipline in obedience to God’s higher way of thinking and relating. Which, by the way, meant lowering myself in order to be lifted higher by Him.

Bearing in mind that pride goes before a fall, we will come down from Pride Mountain one way or another.That, too, is God’s grace.

All these steps are for training in righteousness. Learning to live holy is the antidote to the shame that ails us.

Dear Lord, I don’t want to keep reaping bitter fruit. Bring your grace to bear on my heart that I may be willing to be conformed to Your will in my thoughts, purposes, and actions. Thank you for Your grace. ♪ 

Nancy ~

Photo credit: Cansstockphoto

Have you heard about Whatever Girls Live and the 10:3 Campaign?

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