Did you know that a little girl’s self-esteem peaks at the age of 9* and then plummets from there? All sorts of things – from her hormones to her heightened sensitivity to what she watches in the media – begin to shape the way she feels about herself.
This is why it is important to equip her with a high sense of self-worth before she reaches that critical turning point.
As a style platform for babies, toddlers and little girls age 0-9 we get excited about dressing her up on the outside but can’t ignore the need to build her up on the inside.
We asked a few moms for their thoughts on how style can be used as a confidence-building tool. Here’s a summary:
1. Don’t Project Yourself on Her
Children emulate their parents – the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s important to be aware of your own self-esteem issues (yes, we all struggle with them) and be careful not to inadvertently project these ideas onto your little girl.
2. Let Her Make Decisions
Allowing her to exercise choice at a young age (within reason, of course), even with something as simple as choosing her own hair bow, gives her confidence in her own judgment.
3. Nurture Her Evolving Aesthetic
Don’t downplay her unique sense of style just because she’s young. Letting her wear that mismatch outfit could potentially pay off in the long run, especially if she feels loved and supported for her special tastes and interests.
4. Ask Her For an Opinion
When you are getting dressed, see what happens when you engage her in your own outfit choices. Allowing her to pick out one of your accessories, for instance, could empower her and may make her feel as if she makes a difference.
5. Use Dress Up to Bond
Of course the morning rush may not be the appropriate time, but find other times to build special moments around styling. This can be an opportunity to relay words of wisdom and other—- that she’ll cherish for a lifetime.
*According to clinical psychologist Robin F. Goodman for the New York University Child Study Center. Images of Scout the City via Unsplash.