It's Dr. Barbara here and I'm back with more information about your lovely young daughters. Once again, I am concerned that they are not taking good enough care of themselves, and you know how much that hurts me. I see an opportunity for you to intervene here and help these treasures, so I am back with more thoughts. Please bear with me.
I'm here with more trending news about your teen and tween daughters. Your daughters, I am sad to say, are going public with their vulnerabilities. I am here to tell you about a trend that is not brand new, but that continues and may be spiraling out of control. Your girls are posting videos to YouTube with inquiries about whether they are pretty or ugly. #YIKES See for yourself:
In the anonymous world of the Internet there is a lack of inhibition and responses to these inquiries will be harsh and will have little regard for the tender feelings of your young daughters. Self-esteem is hanging in the balance here. Your daughters may feel pretty or less than pretty, but I think that what they are really asking is whether or not they are acceptable and fit in. These are not questions that should be posted and answered on YouTube. More importantly, they are also NOT the right questions. Perhaps your daughters need a little input from you about the ingredients that define their self-worth.
Consider suggesting that they ask the following questions of themselves and perhaps about themselves:
1. Do I treat myself and others well?
2. Am I a kind friend and good daughter?
3. Do I behave in a authentic manner consistent with my true feelings?
4. Have I learned something new today?
5. Have I made someone feel good today without compromising my own set of values?
6. Is my body healthy and am I taking good care of it?
7. Have I expressed gratitude today?
8. Have I been a good and helpful member of my school/neighborhood community and behaved in an inclusive manner?
9. Am I able to resist peer pressure and remember to act in accordance with my own sense of what feels right?
10. Am I proud of the way I have acted today?
My advice is that you steer your sweet girls away from questions about their looks and remind them that they are the ultimate judges of what is right and wrong with them. And, what is right and wrong about them is not necessarily appearance-related. In fact, it is sometimes easy to look good while all other measures of character may be slightly or even moderately problematic. I implore you to redirect your daughters toward these 10 more meaningful assessments of self-worth. Appearance is one thing, but it is far less important than a whole host of other factors that make one a wonderful person with a solid sense of who one is. I would love to see your daughters be the ultimate judges of their self-worth without having to rely on assessments of their appearance from virtual strangers who are responding to YouTube videos. In fact, I would rather they refrain from any and all social media questions about themselves.