By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern
When your Mighty Girl was young, you probably marveled at her incredible confidence: no matter what she wore, said, or did, she did it with a big grin that said, “This is who I am, like it or not!” But as kids get older, they start to be affected by the opinions of others, especially their peers. So the 3-year-old who proudly declared, “I’m the best!” can turn into a 5-year-old who says, “Nobody at school likes me!” or “I can’t do that — it’s for boys!”
Fortunately, while it’s normal for children to have bumps in the road where they question their worth, parents can do a lot to make sure that the bumps are small and that their daughters pass them quickly! By reading books about girls who face challenges to their self-esteem — either from questioning themselves, or brought on by disapproval from others — and overcome them, parents can teach their daughters that everyone struggles with self-esteem sometimes but that everyone is valuable and special in her own way.
For more reading recommendations, also check out our post on Confidence-Building Books for Mighty Girls. And, if your Mighty Girl experiences self-esteem struggles related to body image, you may also find helpful resources in our post on Ten Body Image Positive Books for Mighty Girls.
Believing in Yourself
Appearance is often the first thing we think of when talking about self-esteem. In Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon, by Patty Lovell and illustrated by David Catrow (age 3 - 8), Molly Lou is tiny and buck-toothed, but it doesn’t doesn’t bother her one bit while Grandma’s around. Grandma always says, “Believe in yourself and the world will believe in you too!” But then Molly Lou has to move far away from her old friends — and beloved Grandma — and soon the local bully is calling her “shrimpo” and “bucky-toothed beaver.” Fortunately, Molly Lou remembers her Grandma’s words and sets out to prove herself — and in the end, even the bully is won over by her talent and determination.
In Crafty Chloe, by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Heather Ross, Chloe isn’t good at a lot of the things her friends like — dancing, video games, sports— but she’s great at making crafts! So when London manages to get the perfect gift for their friend Emma’s birthday, Chloe declares that she’s going to make Emma an even better present you couldn’t buy in a store. But London’s response — “Good luck with that!” — rattles Chloe’s confidence and pride in her talents. Soon she’s not sure she’ll ever come up with a good idea. In the end, though, not only does Chloe get the inspiration she needs, but what she makes just might help save the day for London too. Continue reading Continue reading