The Raising of Confident and Responsible Daughters
Parents naturally want the best for their daughters:
- good friends,
- the wisdom to make applicable decisions,
- strength and ability to weather life’s storms and
- vision to pursuit their goals and
- acknowledgement and appraising personal rewards as life continues on...
However much of the news about girls these days isn’t good. As teen years approach, many confident girls turn into sullen shells. Self-esteem plummets. Friends turn on each other. And the mysteries of social networking make everything scarier.
What’s a parent to do?
This article provides perspective and advice for parents raise confident daughters ready to thrive in today’s world.
Get familiarized with the Confidence busters
For starters, parents can take time to understand what their daughters are going through.
One of the overriding messages for girls is that if they’re confident, they’re conceited. Girls need to know that claiming their strengths doesn’t mean they’re stuck up. Girls have confidence wane as they move from childhood into adolescence. When anyone asks girls what they want to be, fourth-grade girls will cite careers such as a veterinarian or surgeon.
By middle school, girls looks enter the picture. Middle-school girls say: I can’t be a surgeon.
By 10th grade, girls focus almost exclusively on looks. They would say ‘I want to be a size 2.'
Its awesome to show concern-- Just not too much...
It’s a distressing picture, yet overly concerned parents can be as much harm as good.
Parents who believe low confidence is inevitable set their daughters up to expect less of themselves.
For many girls, puberty and the transition from elementary to middle school hit about the same time. Just when they’re changing schools, changing peer groups, and facing higher academic demands, their bodies start changing too. The result is a tremendous amount of stress all at once.
Parents, especially moms, can understand their girls put the stress of this period in perspective by sharing their own stories and how they got through confusing or difficult times. When girls know that they’re not the first or only ones to struggle, and that things do get better, they often start to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Praise the Process
Well-intended efforts to boost your daughter’s self esteem can backfire, depending on what you say. Focusing praise on your daughter’s looks rather than her activities can reinforce the message that her appearance matters more than things she does.
Surprisingly, research shows that praising intelligence can also undermine a child’s confidence. In one recent study, two groups of fifth graders received two different kinds of praise after taking an IQ test. Kids in one group were told, -Wow, that’s a good score. You must be really smart at this.- Kids in the other group were told, -Wow, that’s a good score. You must have worked really hard.'
Kids in both groups then had the opportunity to do a challenging task, with the promise they could learn from it. The kids in the 'smart' group weren’t interested. The kids praised for their effort took it on. Not only that, the kids in the second group performed better over time, outpacing their 'smart' peers on follow-up IQ tests.
It appears that seeing intelligence as a fixed trait instills fear of failure that makes kids less able to handle setbacks.
Support your daughter through the tough times...
Your teen daughter may act like she doesn’t need you, however the opposite is true. Numerous studies show that parents structure, advice, and guidance play a pivotal role in teens sense of wellbeing and resilience.
Jacqueline S. watched her older daughter go through a surprisingly difficult time when she won the race for class president in her junior year. Rather than congratulate her, other kids stopped talking to her. “It was like her friends thought she didn’t need them anymore,” As a mother, Jacqueline supported her daughter as best she could.
Though the situation at school was unexpected and hurtful, Jacqueline's daughter ran for class president again, and won again, the following year.
Foster confidence - building communication
As your daughter gets older, she’ll likely encounter pressures she’s never faced before. Parents usually want to step in when they see their daughter struggle.
And as your daughter gets older, intervening is often not possible or even healthy. Many of the girls just need to talk things through.
In general parents should let their daughters know they can listen without lecturing or intervening.
Granted your hair may stand on end. What if your daughter tells you that someone has posted suggestive photos of her online, for instance?
Should she bring it up, she wants to talk with you about it, instead of lecturing or getting upset, parents should create a healthy environment for open communication and conversation by simply asking non-judgmental questions, such as:
Let me know what happened.?
This doesn’t mean taking a passive role. When your daughter is putting herself as risk, it’s time for you to step in as a parent. Just do so in a way that lets her know she can always come to you to talk things over.
Keep online activities on your radar...
Social networks like
- MySpace, and
- Twitter can increase the divide between parents and kids. You may be out of your element talking about it, however a large number of social interactions take place between teenagers online, and the interactions are highly public.
The good news is, many teens are savvy about protecting their personal information online, more so than adults. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of teens restrict access to their online photos sometimes or most of the time, compared to only 58% of adults. Encourage this behavior in your daughter. You may even ask her to review your online presence and make sure you’re protecting your own privacy.
Still, the Internet raises the stakes for many kids. Conversations that used to take place in person or over the phone are now online for everyone to see. Keep the channels of communication open about online activities so your daughter knows she can come to you when things get too intense. When you suspect bullying behavior, ask your daughter to let you look at her site. You can contact the Web site administrator and report behavior you consider dangerous.
Share your daughter's passion...
In general, parents can make a profound connection with their daughters by paying attention to their interests. Showing interest in your daughter’s passions sends the message that what she likes, matters.
Listen for the things that light your daughter up and let her be the expert in these areas. When she talks about things that matter to her, ask her to tell you more. You might learn something new.
Be in it for the long haul...
Raising confident daughters is long-term process. Some days you may think you’re doing great, other days you may feel adrift at sea. When so, you’re not alone.
The goal is to raise daughters who can handle whatever situation comes at them, knowing how to make a decision with confidence and responsibility to themselves first then to others.
Between 13 and 19 years old
In the first part of the twentieth century, we made a startling discovery. There were teenagers among us! Until then, we had thought of people in just two stages: children and adults. And while childhood might have its tender moments, the goal of the child was to grow up as promptly as possible in order to enjoy the opportunities and shoulder the responsibilities of an adult. The girl became the woman, the boy became the man. It was as simple and significant as that.
Or was it? The reforms of the early twentieth century, preventing child labor and mandating education through high school, lengthened the pre-adult years. In earlier times, a person reaching adult size at age thirteen or fourteen was ready to do adult work. Now adult size was achieved as soon as ever, and preparation for adult responsibilities lasted until age eighteen or later. Thus the years ending in -teen became something new and distinctive. Depending on your point of view, these years were either to be savored as the best of times, combining childhood freedom with adult physical maturity, or endured as years of hazard, combining childish irresponsibility with adult urges.
To match our gradual recognition of this new phenomenon, we adopted new terminology. First, in the 1920s, we began to use teenage to speak of clothes and activities, girls and boys, in the latter cases recognizing the teen years but still assigning them to childhood. About two decades later, against the backdrop of depression and war, teenager was born. The exact date has yet to be determined; the word makes a matter-of-fact appearance in a 1941 issue of Reader's Digest, but being derived from long-established teenage, it must have been around at least a few years earlier.
The teenager remade our world. The concept is profoundly democratic by right of chronology: every child, regardless of wealth or merit, can look forward to an age of vigor and independence. And it is subversive: why should any teenager enjoying freedom submit to the authority of adults? With the discovery of this new age, ours has been the century of the teenager ever since.
As you enter your teenage years, physical appearances begin to matter. The prospect of experiencing complexion problems: pimples, zits, blemishes, faces you down. Unfortunately, it might not be a matter of if you get acne, but when get it. As your body matures into adulthood, hormones called androgens cause the oil glands to produce in excess and too much oil is a major cause of breakouts. Around 85 percent of teenagers get acne each year.
Taking the necessary steps to start taking good care of yourself you may be able to prevent acne using simple method with a personalized home care regimen specially created just 4U.
Acne is a skin condition that causes pimples or "zits." This includes whiteheads, blackheads, and red, inflammed patches of skin (such as cysts).
It takes years for damage to show up on the surface of your skin, which is why it’s so important to start learning – and practicing – a healthy personalized skin care routine early.
Acne occurs when tiny holes on the surface of the skin become clogged. These holes are called pores.
Each pore opens to a follicle. A follicle contains a hair and an oil gland. The oil released by the gland helps remove old skin cells and keeps your skin soft.
When glands produce too much oil, the pores can become blocked. Dirt, bacteria, and cells build up. The blockage is called a plug or comedone.
When the top of the plug is white, it is called a whitehead.
When the top of the plug is dark, it is called a blackhead.
When the plug breaks open, swelling and red bumps occur.
Acne that is deep in your skin can cause hard, painful cysts. This is called cystic acne.
Acne is most common in your age group and being a teenager, however anyone can get acne, even babies.
Three out of four teenagers have some acne. Hormonal changes may cause the skin to be more oily.
Acne tends to run in families.
It may be triggered by:
• Hormonal changes related to puberty, menstrual periods, pregnancy, birth control pills, or stress
• Greasy or oily cosmetic and hair products
• Certain drugs (such as steroids, testosterone, estrogen, and phenytoin)
• High levels of humidity and excessive sweating
Research does not show that chocolate, nuts, and greasy foods cause acne. However, diets high in refined sugars may be related to acne.
Acne commonly appears on the face and shoulders, but it may also occur on the trunk, arms, legs, and buttocks.
• Crusting of skin bumps
• Papules (small red bumps)
• Redness around the skin eruptions
• Scarring of the skin
Exams and Tests
Acne can be identified by looking at your skin. Testing is usually not needed.
Steps you can take to minimize your acne:
• Clean your skin gently with a liquid cleanser specially formulated for you. Remove all dirt or make-up. Wash once or twice a day, including after exercising. However, avoid scrubbing or repeated skin washing.
• Shampoo your hair daily, especially if it is oily. Comb or pull your hair back to keep the hair out of your face.
Preventive method for acne care
Wash your face at least twice a day using a gentle liquid cleanser specially formulated for your needs. Avoid harsh soaps, scrubs can do more harm than good. Scrubbing the face too hard with oil-stripping products can exacerbate oil production--which in turn could lead to acne. Let your face air dry.
Read cosmetics and skin and hair care labels carefully. Look for the words "oil-free," or "noncomedogenic,". This means that the ingredients in the products won't clog the pores in your skin. This is particularly important if you're a girl and use a thick, cream-based foundation and blush.
If your mother has ever told you: "You don't need to wear all that makeup," she's absolutely right, thick application of makeup can cause acne or make existing pimples much worse.
Keep it light and natural-looking the least make up the better for you. Specially during the time you are following your personalized Image-Health-Beauty home regimen plan.
Avoid accessories that press up closely against the skin. Caps, hats and headbands might be the latest fad, but they also trap sweat and oil that causes acne personalized liquid cleanser and washing your skin if you've been sweating, particularly if you've worn a cap or helmet. Again, don't scrub the sweat off, as this can exacerbate your skin into producing more oil.
Tell your parent when you do get acne and it's dragging you down. Specially when acne causes you to suffer from poor self-esteem or when you find yourself withdrawing from social situations because you're embarrassed about your acne, it's the right time to make your own personal commitment in caring for your skin and preventing your acne to continue or to spread. Your Image-Health & Beauty treatment plan will include natural and organic topical or oral foods that will benefit your skin as well as your digestive system.
What NOT to do:
Avoid to squeeze, scratch, pick, or rub the pimples. Although it might be tempting to do this, it can lead to skin infections and scarring.
Avoid wearing tight headbands, baseball caps, and other hats
Avoid touching your face with your hands or fingers.
Avoid the use of over the counter greasy cosmetics or creams.
Always follow your night and day skin care regiment and take off your make-up at night. Using your noncomedogenic or noncomedogenic personalized products will not clog your pores and cause acne.
Some products that you will be using directly to your skin:
• They may contain benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid.
• They work by killing bacteria, drying up skin oils, or causing the top layer of your skin to peel.
• They may cause redness or peeling of the skin.
A small amount of sun exposure (Vitamin D) may improve acne a little, however mostly it just hides the acne. Keep in mind that, too much exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet rays has been known to increase the risk for skin cancer.
Drinking a cup of hot water before you go sleep and early in the morning before you brush your teeth is absolutely important for the benefits around your overall Image, Health & Beauty care.
When pimples are still a problem, and your parents may decide to have a health care provider prescribe stronger medications.
The medications could be:
Antibiotics may create some benefit for some people with acne:
Oral antibiotics (taken by mouth) such as tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, erythromycin, trimethoprim, and amoxicillin
Topical antibiotics (applied to the skin) such as clindamycin, erythromycin, or dapsone
Also, some creams or gels applied to the skin that can be prescribed:
Retinoic acid cream or gel (tretinoin, Retin-A)
Prescription formulas of benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid
Topical azelaic acid
Minor procedures or processes may also be helpful:
• Natural & organic skin peeling,
• removal of scars by manual dermabrasion,
Under a physician care people who have cystic acne and scarring may take a medicine called isotretinoin (Accutane). You will be watched closely when taking this medicine because of its side effects.
Keep in mind that acne usually goes away after the teenage years, though in some cases it may last into middle age. The condition often responds well to treatment after 6 - 8 weeks, and it may flare up from time to time.
Scarring may occur if severe acne is not cared for. Some people, especially teenagers, can become very depressed as a result.
The problem: Many teens falsely believe the stronger the product, the cleaner and clearer their skin will be.
Call us when:
• Self-care measures and over-the-counter medicine have not helped after several months
• Your acne is severe (for example, you have a lot of redness around the pimples or you have cysts)
• Your acne is getting worse
• You develop scars as your acne clears up.
• You are ready to make the time and commitment to yourself.