By Mindy Black
Licensed Esthetician and CEO of Feisty Girl
(Feisty Girl is a program that provides young girls transitioning into adulthood with lessons in skin care, makeup, and self-esteem. To learn more about Feisty Girl, visit www.thefeistygirl.com.)
Think back to when you were your daughter’s age; worried about friendships that may have changed over the summer, the start of tougher courses, and the constant pressure of looking and acting a certain way. As she prepares to start the new school year, it’s important to show her guidance that will lead her into a confident start. Ease your daughter’s mind with these 10 back-to-school tips.
There is nothing more beautiful than a girl who knows who she is and what she wants. Remember, Mom, this has a lot to do with you! Think about it … Are your words lifting your daughter up or contributing to her insecurities? When you hear her comparing herself to others, correct her by identifying her strengths so she can start embracing and loving herself. Confidence never goes out of style, so make sure she’s wearing it at all times!
Try something new.
Encourage your daughter to join a club or sports team, even if she doesn’t think she’ll be good. Who knows? She could end up being a rock star! Plus, she’ll learn more from taking a leap.
Keep the makeup simple.
The tween and teen years are the perfect time to begin sharing makeup tips with your daughter. Of course, it’s your decision when to let her start wearing makeup. But when you do, remind her that the goal is to enhance her features, not to drown them out. Lip gloss, cream blush on the apples of her cheeks, and a stroke or two of mascara goes a long way. As long as she’s confident and isn’t hiding behind her makeup, there’s nothing wrong with a little pop of color!
Take care of your skin.
This is your chance to teach your daughter what you wish you would have known. Let’s face it. We all wish we would’ve started taking care of our skin earlier. First and foremost, encourage her to wash her face every morning and night with something other than a bar of soap. If puberty is causing unwanted pimples, invest in an acne spot treatment and encourage her not to pick, to prevent scarring.
Lead by example. If you’re judging others, your daughter is going to follow in your footsteps. If you find yourself being judgmental, stop yourself. This can be difficult, but it’s life changing. Instead of judging people for what they do or how they look, try to understand them. Put yourself in their shoes. Love the person for who they are, not who you want them to be. Accepting the beauty and uniqueness of others is a powerful lesson.
Make new friends.
Impressions are long lasting. Remind your daughter that while it’s great to have a few best friends, it’s important to make new friends as well. Encourage her to talk to strangers – No, not the bad kind! If she’s hosting a sleepover party, ask her to invite a new girl from her class. Even if they don’t hit it off, it will help her to develop an open, loving heart.
Experiment with style.
You were her age once! Let her wear a new, trendy style even if it’s not your favorite. While back-to-school shopping, remind her that just because all of her friends are wearing a particular something, it doesn’t mean she has to. Encourage her to wear things that make her feel amazing. After all, it’s how she feels on the inside that matters most.
Kill the mean girls with kindness.
Nobody likes a mean girl, but everyone loves a nice girl! Teach your daughter to speak softly and to do something thoughtful for a mean girl, no matter how hard it may be. The mean girl will find it hard to yell and be nasty to her if she isn’t nasty back. Plus, it will prevent her from becoming a mean girl herself.
Speak up about bullying.
Give her the courage to stand up for herself. Sometimes confronting a bully is enough to make their behavior stop altogether. But if that doesn’t work, make sure she knows it’s OK to get an adult involved – especially if she’s being threatened or physically assaulted.
Every year counts. Your daughter has the choice to either sit back and let this school year pass her by or to take control. Before the year begins, encourage her to list things she wants to achieve. This can be anything from getting a new job to making the dean’s list, or maybe joining a new club. Throughout the year, keep her on track and affirm her when she’s achieved her goals.