If you’re raising young girls, you may grapple with how best to communicate with them in order to help them become strong, happy and successful adults. The way we talk to kids, after all, can have a big impact on them. Which is why Mamamia, an independent women’s media group based out of Australia, created this video, which explains how to talk to little girls in a way that fosters a healthy sense of self-worth.
The video touches on people’s tendency to focus on girls’ appearances and clothing and suggests instead that adults talk to girls about more substantive and personal matters, like their opinions, feelings, interests and aspirations. It also cautions against asking young girls if they have a boyfriend.
Watch the whole video, which was posted on Mamamia’s Facebook page, below:
After suggesting that little girls be asked questions on topics such as what books they’ve read lately or what their favorite sport is, the narrator says that these questions send the message that their inner thoughts and feelings matter.
“When you ask me these questions, I feel more than what I look like, what I’m wearing and what I am in relation to boys,” the video’s narrator says.
The video has been viewed more than 3 million times and shared more than 46,000 times, and has more than 1,000 comments so, clearly, it’s hit a nerve. And in fact, experts agree that de-emphasizing appearance in favor of talking about girls’ desires, accomplishments and feelings is integral to enabling them to build healthy self-esteem.
“I think that we need to make a very conscious effort to balance our compliments about a girl’s appearance with compliments about who she is and what she DOES in the world,” Anea Bogue, author of “9 Ways We Are Screwing Up Our Girls and How We Can Stop” and the creator of REALgirl, a program dedicated to empowering young girls, told the Child Mind Institute.
“Challenge yourself to match every compliment you give about your daughter’s appearance with at least two compliments about something non-appearance based, and do the same for other girls who cross your path — your daughter’s friends, nieces, etc.,” she suggests.
This is some advice we can really get behind.