The American Psychological Association’s study confirms what many parents feared: All those raunchy, sexy girl messages do indeed have an negative impact on our daughters and are correlated eating disorders, lower self-esteem, and depression. The Today Show asked Michele Borba to address what parents can do to counter those negative messages.
Here are a few solutions she offered to help us raise strong, healthy, emotionally secure young girls who can buck those raunchy images and come out on top.
Get savvy about our new culture. Remove those blinders and take a realistic look at the new X-Rated world. Sexy, raunchy images of girls are everywhere. TV shows push the limits, magazines flaunt photos young party-going girl celebrities, the Internet has no rules, and CD lyrics are darn-right scandalous. But watch out: these days marketers are targeting even our youngest girls. The new “Hooker Look” (I can’t think of a better term) is the hot new fashion. (Did you know that last year seven-to twelve year- old girls spent $1.3 million on thong undies????) Toy makers are designing new long-legged, doey-eyed looking female dolls in slinky outfits ready for the hot-tub for our preschoolers. You do control the purse strings and that remote!
Find healthier outlooks. Discover your daughter’s natural passion and talent whether it be surfing, basketball, art, yoga, soccer, and then support her involvement. Those positive activities will help you focus more on her talents and interests, and show her that you value her for her strengths, not appearance. It will also help her develop a stronger identify based on her passions instead of ones borrowed from young, rich celebrities on magazine covers.
Tune into your daughter’s world. From television shows, video games, movies, music and Internet sites, stay involved in your daughter’s lifestyle choices. Monitor what she watches and listens to, and who she seems to admire. Doing so will help you understand her values at that moment, as well as help guide your next discussions about your family values. If you don’t like a TV show, movie, CD, video or an outfit explain “Why” instead of just saying, “No.” Your daughter needs to learn how to make wise choices and needs someone (that’s you!) to be her sounding board as well as perspective maker.
Downplay popularity and appearance. Girls need to hear messages that convey: “Who you are is far more important than how you look.” So zip your tongue and halt those comments likes: “She’s lost so-o-o-o much weight!”, “I love her hair!”, “I wonder what moisturizer she uses?” “Did you get invited to the birthday party?” Also, watch your gossip and how you talk about other women-especially in front of your daughter. Your kids are scrutinizing your behavior, and they do copy what they see and hear. Always be the example you want your daughter to copy.
To read the complete article from Michele Borba, visit her Blog – click here. Visit the slideshow below for more resources on parenting teen girls including books by Rosalind Wiseman, Dara Chadwick and Rachel Simmons.
Purchase Michele Borba’s latest book, BIG Book of Parenting Solutions today! It is a perfect gift for all parents of girls and boys, as well as makes a perfect holiday gift for anyone that works with children today.
Don’t forget to see my sneak peek series inside this valuable parenting book.
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