zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Activities to Promote Self-Esteem in Girls

by
author image Barbara Dunlap
Barbara Dunlap is a freelance writer in Oregon. She was a garden editor at "The San Francisco Chronicle" and she currently specializes in travel and active lifestyle topics like golf and fitness. She received a master's degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has been a Knight Foundation Fellow.
Activities to Promote Self-Esteem in Girls
Girls swim team hugging. Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

Overview

One look at the popular media and you can see why low self-esteem is a problem for many girls. In magazines, movies and television shows, the feminine ideal is tall, gorgeous and razor thin, while real girls come in a variety of looks, shapes and sizes. The trick to building self-esteem is to engage girls in activities that identify--and use--their skills and strong points. The goal is for them to develop confidence and control so they don't need to strive for skin-deep, media-induced goals.

Self-Evaluation

Girls can improve their self-esteem by taking a good look at their strong points. The Education World website suggests having them make commercials that tout their best qualities as if they were trying to convince an employer to hire them. This lets girls realize the real-world importance of their existing skills, such as creativity, sense of humor, compassion, intelligence or sports ability. Another activity is to ask girls to write down their six most-prominent personality traits on strips of paper and place them in a row. They should remove up to three traits and analyze how that affects who they are. This gives them an appreciation of the what they like about themselves and what they would like to change.

Art Projects

Art projects offer a visual, hands-on way for girls to express their feelings and build self-esteem. The Scholastic website suggests having girls make two collages--one showing people they respect, such as friends, relatives, sports stars and public figures, and the other one featuring magazine photos of models and movie stars. Comparing the collages shows how the real world differs from the world depicted in the media. The Education World website also recommends drawing self-portraits with lines down the middle. Half a girl's face should show how she feels about herself, and the other half how she thinks the world sees her. The result can be a discussion-starter or the topic for a journal entry.

Physical Activity

Physical activity--particularly organized sports--can enhance a girl's self-esteem in many ways. Athletic programs help girls feel more in control, more self-confident and less anxious, according to ERIC Counseling and Student Services Clearinghouse. ERIC reports that competitive sports also leads girls to seek leadership positions in other fields. New York University says a girl's sports participation leads to better health, better grades, lower drop-out rates, less stress and greater feelings of strength and competence.

Variety of Experience

Girls can boost their self-esteem by engaging in a wide variety of activities, including nontraditional choices. Girl Scouts recommends creating opportunities based on the girl's interests, whether those interests are in community work, outdoor activity, fashion or art. The Healthy Place website says to offer girls experiences that are often thought of for boys, such as building or computer projects. New York University agrees, suggesting that girls' interests shouldn't be limited by adult perceptions. As girls explore new fields, they increase their feelings of self-esteem, competence and control.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media

Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please take a moment and read it here.