Protecting My Kids Self-Esteem In Our Society

Earlier this week I wrote about how things are different for our kids now, as compared to when we were growing up. Most of the points shared were fun and featured outdated technology — but I started thinking about the more negative changes that have happened. Particularly when it comes to self-esteem and growing up in a very visual society.

I did not have the best self-esteem growing up. It feels like uncertainty mixed with a bit of anxiety is just who I am.  I know for sure that I do not want my girls to grow up feeling that their perfect bodies are anything less then that. My son too.

Things are different now then 20 years ago — at least it seems that way to me. I don’t know if it is because I am no longer seeing the world through the innocent eyes of a child and have put on my concerned, observant parent glasses, but it feels like the world expects our kids to grow up faster, bombarded with images that can play a role in how the view themselves. Here’s what I mean …

  • Album Covers Then 1 of 8
    Album Covers Then
    When I was growing up album covers were basically just images of the artists face -- they let their singing to the "talking"
    Image: Arista Records
  • Album Covers Now 2 of 8
    Album Covers Now
    Now album covers reveal a lot of skin and are highly photoshopped. We get that as adults but kids might not understand that.
    Image: Capitol Records
  • Toys Then 3 of 8
    Toys Then
    When I was growing up toys were a lot more simple. Yes, she does not have the realistic body type of the average woman but her hair and makeup is not overly sensationalized.
    Image: 65290859@N05 via Flickr
  • Toys Now 4 of 8
    Toys Now
    Now toys come with hooker boots, evening wear make up and mini skirts. This is a strange message to send our kids.
    Image: dolls-vikk via Flickr
  • Magazine Covers Then 5 of 8
    Magazine Covers Then
    When I was growing up magazine covers carried stores of inspiration or interesting topics. Featuring covers that were not offending or groundbreaking (most of the time).
    Image: People
  • Magazine Covers Now 6 of 8
    Magazine Covers Now
    Now magazine covers love to gossip and point out the flaws in celebrities. What makes this worse is in the supermarkets these are placed right in the checkout lines - visible for all us to see.
    Image: Star
  • Fashion Ads Then 7 of 8
    Fashion Ads Then
    When I was growing up fashion ads featured clothing of the time (which was not skimpy) and had models who were closer to representing the average woman.
    Image: pzrservices
  • Fashion Ads Now 8 of 8
    Fashion Ads Now
    Now fashion ads have gotten a lot more risque in both the clothing and the image featured. The models are now further from what the average woman looks like.
    Image: Chanel

I know that ultimately the way my kids are raised will have a great impact on their self-esteem too. How I self-talk around them and now we try our best to make sure they know that they’re more then looks and body types are all important.  I am not oblivious to how much society and their friends will impact them as well and that worries me. Don’t even get me started on how much more violence there is for our kids now.

:: What do you to do help ensure your kids will grow up with self esteem? Do you talk about the images you see and how it makes your kids feel? ::

Read more from Devan on Accustomed ChaosUnspoken Grief
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Article Posted 5 years Ago

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