7 Ways Strong Moms Can Raise Daughters Who Love Themselves

Your daughter is watching.

hippie mom with guitar, snuggling young daughter in a field SofikoS / shutterstock.com 

Think about where you learned to love yourself. What role models did you have growing up? If you are like most of us, you didn’t have the mom that looked in the mirror and relished in her own beauty. Instead, she would be pointing out her flaws — maybe not publicly, but you heard or felt her constant dislike of herself.

The way she stressed over the extra 5-10 pounds she put on or the fact that she's older and not looking like she used to. She was always on a diet, never truly happy with herself or felt good enough. She definitely wasn’t flaunting every curve and celebrating her beauty, at least that was not my reality growing up.


"Concerns about weight and appearance are easily transferred from one generation to the next. As women age, they tend to adopt eating, weight-control, and appearance-enhancing behaviors similar to those modeled by their mothers," explains a research study done in the Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research.

It was no wonder that many of us grew up feeling insecure with low self-esteem and poor body image thinking we were never skinny enough, pretty enough, or good enough.

A mom’s disdain for herself can be a direct reflection on her daughter without even knowing it. She begins to judge herself as her mother did. She adopts the behavior by modeling her mom, peers, and what we see others do. She begins to question her self-worth based on how she looks.

We teach our daughters by being role models for them, and yet many women never had an ideal one, therefore making it quite difficult until now.


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Here are seven ways we can help our daughters develop true inner confidence

1. Become the role model you want your daughter to follow.

No longer does the old motto, “do as I say, not as I do” work for today's generation.  It’s all about matching and mirroring our behaviors as to what is acceptable.

Moms, you need to learn to F.L.Y. — First Love Yourself — as you are right now. Not when you lose ten pounds or get a facelift. Start with being grateful for all you do have and not what you don't. Watch your self-esteem improve and your daughters will follow suit.


2. Talk yourself up.

Look in the mirror every day with enthusiasm and tell yourself 50 things that are extraordinary about you when you show up at your personal best. Have your daughter do her own 50 and recite them together daily.

It takes 20 positive statements to counteract even one negative. Give yourself a head start for the day. You will both start feeling more empowered within a short period of time.

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3. Cut back on media of all sorts.

Trashy magazines and pop culture that tells you how you should look need to go. You are already perfect. It’s when we compare ourselves to the 2% of the population that looks different that we question our own self-worth.


Kick the bad influences out of your life as soon as possible.

4. Tell your daughter how truly amazing she really is on a regular basis.

Girls need to know you love them all the time! Tell your daughter how wonderful she is whenever you have the opportunity. Encourage her, be her raving fan, and show appreciation for her gifts of humor, courage, ingenuity, curiosity, and intelligence as she expresses herself.

Take the focus off physical attributes.

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5. Take imperfect action!

Perfect doesn't exist.

According to Oxford Dictionary, The definition of perfection is “having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.”


Who’s to say what is “perfect” and what isn’t anyway? Instead, just take imperfect action often and celebrate the activity — not the result.  

6. Do your very best in all that you do.

Celebrate the journey in life and not the destination. Our worlds are not black or white, but a rainbow of colors, and living in that beautiful place gives one freedom to experiment, enjoy, rejoice, have fun and grow.

With this philosophy, you can foster creativity, ingenuity, and excitement for yourself and your daughter.

7. Be there with love.

There is no greater gift than a loving mom. One that is there to support you, cheer you on and be by your side. Love yourself and your daughter and know there will be trials and tribulations. Over time, the best gift we can give anyone is an ear to listen to and a shoulder to cry on and a hand to lift you up.


Be all of those things and more, let your daughter grow and find her own voice. Praise her and encourage her to figure things out and be there if she needs you.

There will be a time when you won’t be able to mend all her wounds. Give her the skills to heal herself along her journey.

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Lisa Lieberman-Wang is a relationship expert and the creator of Neurological Associative Programming (NAP).