If your daughter speaks negatively about herself…

March 13, 2013 in communication,lessons for daughters

Helping with self criticism

*image courtesy of Sira Anamwong/Free Digital Photos.net

“I am so dumb!”

“I am so ugly!”

Has your princess sobbed such phrases into her pillow? It doesn’t matter if she says them aloud or in her head. Such phrases, repeated over and over again, diminish the strength of your girl as she starts to believe the lies she mutters.

Moms, don’t shrug these comments off to the moodiness of girls. You need to address them. While you could explain the health benefits of the power of positive thinking, that isn’t really the goal. We can’t force our daughters to desire healthy thoughts anymore than we can force them to desire healthy food.

But if you’ve taught your girl to love God, the creator of the world, she needs to know how he views those statements. Negative self talk is not just an issue of feeling better or self esteem, it is the clay telling the potter he messed up. Such  statements suggest God didn’t know what he was doing when he made her.  (If your daughter says such critical things about her  siblings, the same lessons apply.)

The girls and I discussed negative self talk this morning after reading our devotion. They thought the negative statements were a means of venting extreme self-pity. They never dreamed they were criticism of God.  We talked about the power of these statements and the difference between acknowledging our sin (I am lazy but can change with God’s help) and criticizing our maker (I can’t do anything and so I am going to yell and cry into my pillow.)

The first time you address negative self talk, don’t do immediately following an ugly explosion of pity. Talk about it on a good day, when friends, hair, and school are all going well. To get you started on your discussion, check out these verses:

  • God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.-Genesis 1:31 Know when God pronounced creation good? After he made the land. And after made the sun and moon and stars. And after he made the plants. And after he made the animals. And after he made Adam and Eve. He believes his creation is good, that means you.
  • Woe to those who go to great depths
        to hide their plans from the Lord,
    who do their work in darkness and think,
        “Who sees us? Who will know?”
    16 You turn things upside down,
        as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
    Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,
        “You did not make me”?
    Can the pot say to the potter,
        “You know nothing”?–Isaiah 29:15-16
  • Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.-Matthew 10:29-31

And moms, if your daughter really struggles in this area. Check your own heart and repent where necessary. She will recover with speed when you are transformed by the Holy Spirit and share the process with her.

Tell me, is negative self talk an issue you or your daughter struggle with ?


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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Mothering From Scratch March 13, 2013 at 10:42 pm

{Kathy} Yes! Thank you for writing this! It is so important. I am sharing immediately….


pruningprincesses March 14, 2013 at 11:51 am

Kathy, thank you. I think it is important too. Not many people saw this post, I appreciate that you shared it.


Chris Carter March 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I always use psalm 139 for this very reason. My daughter has been taught the message of her creation in a little different way. She and I remind ourselves with every negative self attack that “we are fearfully and wonderfully made”. I love the foundation of this truth. And when she shares how she hates this or that about herself, I have this truth to remind her that every detail of who she is was formed perfectly. Great post!!


pruningprincesses March 24, 2013 at 2:58 am

Psalm 139 is great encouragement. For my daughter, knowing how she is made is easy to say, harder to grasp on some days. A bell went off for her when I suggested she was criticizing God by criticizing herself. I think negative self talk is something some moms never address because they think it is just part of growing up. I am so glad you’ve already got it covered! I’ve been by you site a few times, it so encouraging. What a nice surprise to see you here.


Rabia @TheLiebers March 23, 2013 at 1:12 pm

My DD9 hasn’t started this sort of thing yet, but I am preemptively trying to avoid it by not ever saying such things myself. I hope that by not hearing it from me, she won’t try saying it herself. I know she’ll hear it from friends at some point, but maybe she can be a positive influence on them at that point..


pruningprincesses March 24, 2013 at 3:01 am

You might have a daughter who is born with confidence and will never go through a period of negative self talk. But you are right, she will hear it. And I pray that she can point her friends in the right direction. My youngest doesn’t say these negative things, but she is shy and quiet and thinks many things without saying them. So we’ve discussed self talk with her too, just in case she is holding it all in! Thank you for taking the time to comment!


Positively Alene March 23, 2013 at 2:14 pm

I always love stopping by your place. It takes me back to days I loved with my little ones, but you also remind me of wisdom we each need for our lives. Hope you are doing well friend. Stand strong — negatives kill. Blessings!


pruningprincesses March 24, 2013 at 3:05 am

Hi Alene, so nice to see you here! I’ve been cutting back on my online life a bit. I can’t see to find time to do it all and with homeschooling I rarely have time to follow good blogging practices (you know at least 3 posts a week, visiting friends regularly). But when I have time I still love to check you out and see what challenges you are tackling. I think of you as being full of wisdom. *Hugs*


Traci March 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Great post! I have never thought of how that affects my daughter from His eyes. I will definetely start to teach her that more and more. Love your blog–thank you so much for the insight and great help in raising my tween.


pruningprincesses March 24, 2013 at 3:14 am

Oh Traci, I love it when my posts encourage someone. Thank you for taking the time to share with me. I checked out your blog. It is lovely. And cooking is an area I do not excel at. Hopefully your advice will help!


Andrea March 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Great advice. I have teenaged nieces who may not outright say, “I’m ugly”, but with society’s standards of beauty and the value of women being forced down their throats I pay attention to their self-esteem and reinforce their beauty and value. It’s rough for our little ones. Nice post. Andrea @ be-quoted.com #sitsShareFest


pruningprincesses March 24, 2013 at 3:15 am

Andrea, you are wise to hear what is underneath their words. You must be a wonderful aunt.


Heather March 23, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Curbing negative self talk early is soooo important! I’m spending time in my adult life undoing those bad habits from growing up. It’s exactly why I blog in fact 🙂 this week, I posted about self love with an Irish twist. I how you have a second to check it out http://exaltedpeacock.com/self-love-the-irish-way/ happy sharefest.


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