How to Teach Your Daughter Body Confidence
Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
- 2016 Aug 18
Do you know the difference between raising a “body-conscious” daughter and a “body-confident” daughter?
Recently, I had the privilege of talking with author and speaker Dannah Gresh on how mothers can help their daughters develop a positive body image.
Most moms of teenage girls know what it’s like to watch their daughter break down into tears in the middle of a department store because none of the jeans fit right. Dannah explains that at the core of every girl’s battle with body image are these questions: “Am I beautiful?” “Am I worthy?” “Am I noticeable?”
The trouble is, it’s easy to focus on outward modesty – the length of shorts, the depth of a neckline, and the thickness of eyeliner. But the rules don’t teach our daughters the most important thing – the image of God their body was truly created to reflect.
That’s the difference between raising a body-conscious daughter and a body-confident daughter. “Body-consciousness” is your daughter’s awareness of her body and other bodies in comparison. “Body confidence” is your daughter’s awareness of her body’s purpose.
Outward modesty and purpose are both important, but only one provides your daughter with the value and worth she is so desperately searching for.
Genesis 1:27 tells us that God formed us in “His own image…” Dannah says when you discover your body’s purpose is to reflect God’s image, “you don’t make too much or too little of yourself because your goal in life is to make much of God.”
During our conversation, Dannah shared a creative way for mothers to help their daughters understand what it means for their bodies to reflect the image of God.
She suggested taking your daughter for a moonlight walk – along the beach, in an open field, or just through your neighborhood. Along the way, stop to look up at the moon and explain to her that the moon doesn’t project any light of its own. It simply reflects the light of the sun. So when you’re looking at the moon, you’re actually seeing the sun.
What a beautiful illustration of what it means for your daughter to reflect the glory of God. As she develops the inner confidence found in her body’s purpose and learns to use it to reflect the SON, the outer forms of dressing modestly, eating healthy, and expressing her femininity wisely will come more naturally to her.
I hope you’ll join us for our conversation with Dannah today on “Developing Body Confidence in Your Daughter.” Listen on your local radio station, anytime online, or via our free, downloadable mobile phone app.
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Publication date: August 18, 2016