You should be the biggest positive influence in your daughter’s life. Health educator Carla Stokes, PhD, MPH, shares these tips to help build her self-esteem:

Parents need to have quality communication with their daughters. Make an effort to listen without judgment, and be supportive and engaged.

Praise her
Emphasize her inner beauty instead of always focusing on her outer appearance. It’s important to appreciate what makes your girl special and unique. And don’t forget that while getting her involved in outside activities is key, it’s also important to encourage her to take on activities that interest her and for which she has aptitude.

Watch what you say
Both male and female parents should be conscious of what they say about bodies, especially their own. Are you criticizing yourself in front of her, or are you making disparaging comments about a radom woman walking down the street?

Don’t neglect her spiritual side
Studies show that black girls who participated in church activities reported an improved sense of well-being. Faith-based activities offer girls a chance to build their spirituality. These activities also enable them to focus on issues other than their outward appearance.

For more tips on how to bolster self-esteem go to