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*** Monthly Feature Column ***
Building Assets in your Kids
by Kelly Curtis, M.S. from Pass the Torch
As I haul out from storage the shorts and tank tops I wore last summer, I’m acutely aware of the pounds I’ve accumulated since I wore them last. So when I was asked to review the teen book, Picture Perfect: What You Need to Feel Better About Your Body, (giveaway here) I thought the timing was impeccable. If adults feel these insecurities, surely girls do as well – especially those in the midst of puberty and all the changes that go with it.
Search Institute has identified Self Esteem as one of the 40 Developmental Assets, which means research shows it’s a characteristic of healthy, caring, resilient kids. The more assets youth have, the more likely they’ll resist risky behaviors in the future.
Author Jill Zimmerman addresses the many self-conscious feelings experienced by preteen and teenage girls. Chapters are based on case studies from her work as a psychotherapist, and real conversations with girls learning to deal with body-image issues. She also offers suggestions for the self-talk that can help girls to redefine perfection and focus on what they like about themselves, rather than focusing on the flaws that are simply a part of everyone’s life.
She encourages girls to create their own personal statements that help themselves to refocus their thoughts toward purposeful and positive thinking. Some of the personal statements adopted by girls featured in the book include:
• One step at a time – I like my nails.
• I’m a creative chick, not a carbon copy.
• Size is just a number.
As mothers, identifying our own personal statements models the behavior for our daughters. My blog’s tagline states, “The better me I can be, the better mom I can be.” And seldom has this been truer than in consideration of this topic.
So what do you love about yourself? What’s your personal statement? I’ll start:
I have an eye for photography. And I like my nose.
Thanks for joining in to build assets in your kids! I look forward to seeing you again next month for Positively Speaking.
Kelly Curtis is a Wisconsin school counselor and author of Empowering Youth: How to Encourage Young Leaders to Do Great Things. To read more about Kelly, please visit her Weblog, Pass the Torch.
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