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Teaching Girls Social Skills for Positive Self-Image

Janis counseled many populations during her career, including children and families in need of parenting skill assessment and interventions.

Positive self-image is directly linked to good self-esteem.

Positive self-image is directly linked to good self-esteem.

Positive Self-Image Makes a Good Impression

In our American society, the media appears to give more attention to bad behavior than to basic decency. The images portrayed by young women are shocking, scary, and mostly, just sad. The prevalence of reality television has skyrocketed with the larger percentage of images being that of women and young girls behaving badly. Over the last few years alone, social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat have influenced definitions of beauty, self-image and style.

The emphasis is put on what's most entertaining, salacious, and marketable. Unfortunately, we are falling short of our responsibility to teach young girls the behaviors and values that are acceptable and appropriate in the real world.

They are not aware of the term " first impression" and how your reputation is the most valuable asset you possess, leading you to success with dignity. In the long run, it pays to embody grace, poise, and class in speech, style, demeanor and overall presentation.

Feeling special helps girls feel valued, and it shows in their happy expressions.

Feeling special helps girls feel valued, and it shows in their happy expressions.

Five Social Skill Areas to Enhance Success and Build Positive Self-Images in Girls

Detailed below are five areas to consider when teaching young girls how to carry themselves in a more acceptable, dignified manner:

1. Style

  • Know your audience and your environment; strike a balance between your unique style, your setting, and what's acceptable at that moment.
  • Be aware of what's tasteful and appropriate; sex appeal can be successfully accomplished without excessive exposure of skin.
  • Avoid loud fashion trends; understated style with a unique flair creates a more polished, mature presentation in the real world.

2. Demeanor

  • Smile, even if you're not in the best mood; a smile is inviting and connotes a good-spirited person.
  • Monitor your attitude; maintain a positive outlook avoiding negative talk, complaining, gossip, and heated arguments.
  • Watch your voice volume; speak naturally with a tone and pitch that is pleasing to the ear.
  • Renew a spiritual connection through meditation, faith, prayer, volunteer work or religious affiliation.
Poise and grace are attributes young girls should strive for and exhibit.

Poise and grace are attributes young girls should strive for and exhibit.

3. Speech

  • Regardless of your language or culture, learn proper grammar and strive to speak with eloquence.
  • Speak clearly, using proper diction and pronunciation.
  • Be polite; use proper etiquette by always saying, "please," "thank you," "no thank you," etc.
  • Avoid using foul language and curse words.
Being active builds healthy body images.

Being active builds healthy body images.

4. Physical Appearance and Health

  • Watch your posture; sit up straight with head held high; walk with back straight, long neck, head up and stomach muscles firmly tucked in.
  • Exercise, eat healthfully, and maintain good hygiene, treating your body as a sacred temple.
  • Enhance your hair, skin, and nails with good cleansing and conditioning products; use quality make-up as minimally as possible; less is more; natural beauty is timeless and more attractive.
  • Avoid excessive use of alcohol and drugs; using substances affects good judgment and ability to make the best choices while under the influence; some behaviors and decisions you make cannot be reversed after the fact.
Learning a skill or hobby builds self-confidence and worth.

Learning a skill or hobby builds self-confidence and worth.

5. Education

  • Stay in school, get a degree, or learn a trade; a smart and poised woman is educated and has something to back her up besides her pretty face.
  • Increase your knowledge about trends and happenings; a smart and poised woman is articulate and knows how to hold a conversation.
  • Have a skill or hobby that gives you the ability to show that you can create something; a smart and poised woman is resourceful and productive.
  • Identify good examples of who and what you aspire to become; a smart woman is poised to honor and follow in the footsteps of the great ones who came before her.

Lasting Impressions

Teaching our young girls to embody style and grace through proper etiquette is our responsibility as parents, teachers and leaders in our communities.

Instilling the points from the five areas above can help them discern and adjust their perceptions of what is considered good and bad images around them.

Keep the lines of communication open with your girls about creating a good self-image. Teach her the importance of preserving a good reputation as a lady who is mapping out the success of her future with every impression she makes.

Cultivating style, poise, and grace in our girls will give them an advantage in the future.

Cultivating style, poise, and grace in our girls will give them an advantage in the future.

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Causes of Poor Self-image in Girls

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Janis Leslie Evans


Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on January 07, 2019:

I appreciate the question. Have you tried homework? Maybe assignments using the lessons you give and having them report on it in class. It may take time for you to see the changes you would like. Be patient with them and patient with your ability to impact a child's home environment where they spend the majority of their time. Thanks for reading this article and making a difference in the lives of girls.

Shriya Badjatya on January 06, 2019:

Its nicely written.. But i want to ask about the girls who are from urban areas, i take their class, they speak little little but they do speak, but when they reach home, they are back to the same..? Can u suggest what we can do to maintain their fluency so that i dont have to go to the basics daily..?

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on August 10, 2015:

Thank you very much, Raine. I'm so glad you liked it. You are absolutely right about it never going out of fashion. I appreciate your visit.

Raine Law Yuen from Cape Town on August 10, 2015:

Thanks for this wonderful hub. I think you made some excellent points. Good manners and etiquette never go out of fashion.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on August 08, 2015:

Thanks, Word55. I appreciate that.

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on August 08, 2015:

The idea of your article is quite eminent today. How much readership did it receive since you 1st published it? I'm tired of looking at the news and seeing/hearing of tragedies about our youth ending up in unfortunate situations or death because of neglect or improper guidance. I'm going to re-share it!

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on August 08, 2015:

Thank you for your generous comments, word55. Our similar experiences seem to have given us the same passion about this subject. My first full-time job was a counselor in a group home for female adolescent wards of the state with histories of abuse and neglect. My hope is that this hub is found by those who work directly with young girls to make a difference and change the tide. Excellent idea that we need an article for boys.

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on August 08, 2015:

Hi Jan, I enjoyed reading his hub. It's a top of the charts type. It should have been a HOTD... Living in the U.S. we know what society needs. Yes, you and I were on the same page regarding the female image. I used to work with children also but in a group home environment. It is a load to care for boys and girls after parents have abandoned them in one way or another. Only God knows our sacrifices and care given. Your hub was as good as mine. My hat's off to you for even mentioning that you had a similar hub to mine. We must do all we can to save the living and following generations. Keep up the great work and God bless!

P.S. Someone needs to do one for the boys to men.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on April 21, 2013:

Thank you so much, Tonette, for the lovely comments. I see that we find the same things to be important. I'm very grateful that you are sharing this hub. I appreciate the visit.

Tonette Fornillos from The City of Generals on April 20, 2013:

Hello Jan. A very elegant article, loved reading it. I so agree, an elegant woman is articulate, in the sense that she thinks before she acts, and she considers others first before her own. There's a saying that to be elegant doesn't mean to show off one's finery, its in good manners. I am sharing! Keep up and thank you for the elegance. -:=)-Tonette

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 09, 2013:

Thank you so much for reading this one, Ebonny. Your point is well taken. I appreciate your stopping by.

Ebonny from UK on February 09, 2013:

Unfortunately, there are many who bow to pressure believing the only way to appear attractive to the opposite sex is to reveal more skin. Many excellent points made here.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 05, 2012:

Thank you so much, thundermama. I'm so glad you liked it and can appreciate the importance of the message. Thank you for sharing!!!!

Catherine Taylor from Canada on November 05, 2012:

This a wonderful hub with such a positive message. I especially like the section on speaking properly. Cursing and bad grammar are huge pet peeves of mine. Well done! Sharing.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on October 19, 2012:

Thank you so much for your generous comments. I really appreciate that you took time to read it and found it useful to young girls.

PallaviGaurav from South Africa. on October 19, 2012:

This hub is a must for every girl whose confidence is drooping down because of rising of the affluent world . It calls for a fresh start to renew back the things which are lying dormant within.Really motivational..voted up!!!

Sherri from Southeastern Pennsylvania on October 11, 2012:

Just today my daughter and I engaged in a conversation about gentlemen and ladies. I asked her about the young men in her life who treat her like a lady...she knew exactly what I was asking, because she was raised to be that "lady", that young woman of dignity and presence who does not tolerate disrespect. Sadly, she could name few young men in her life who measured up to the older gentlemen she knew as a child.

If you raise your girls to expect respect and not settle for anything less, chances are, they will. But you have to be the example for them to follow.

So, we women can groom our daughters this way, but it's a two-way street. Adult men need to be grooming their boys this way.

Your five points are critical to a girl's success. And to a young man's.

There are plenty who will disagree with you and me. They will say, well, style, demeanor...blah, blah, blah...finishing school? But they are missing the underlying essence of what's going on here: how to get along in a tough world that is not kind to girls, but also, so directly to your point, how to give girls the skills to stand up for themselves.

Style, demeanor, speech, appearance are all important, but above all, education is key.

Super hub.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on October 02, 2012:

Marvelous! Thank you for your generosity. I LOVE her, too!

Backwater Sage from Old Elbow Creek on October 02, 2012:

I have two girls in their twenties. Where were you when I needed you. This is excellent, and I am sending it to them, anyway.

Michelle Obama is the best first lady ever. She is not stingy with hugs.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on September 26, 2012:

Mark, thank you so much for reading and getting it. Your observations are spot on. There's a crisis going on with our girls, it's the least I could do to write about it. I hope others will share the message. I really appreciate the comments.

Mark from Alabama,USA on September 26, 2012:

This is an awesome hub - I voted it up and awesome,I loved it and agreed with all the points you made in it, I loved the example of Mrs. Obama ,to me she is every bit as American & classy as Jackie O.Also the point about reality TV really hit home, there is actually a show called girls behaving badly, it is sad how un ladylike these actresses are and most of them are young. I'm glad there are still good people like yourself to help educate & remind young women how to act.

Kudos - Mark

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on September 25, 2012:

Thanks so much and you're very welcome.

U M Hiram from Midwest on September 24, 2012:

I really love what you wrote because I believe that it is important for our young girls and women to walk as well as exhale in their uniqueness in an eloquent and positive manner. Great Hub, voted up :o)

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on September 21, 2012:

Thank you so much for the comment and taking the time to read it. You're so right about the modern generation. They definitely get a mixed bag of images of role models :-)

Abby from Ireland on September 21, 2012:

Interesting lens, I agree with most points :) I feel sorry for the newer generations, they really do lack modern day role models that encourage them to be unique, talented and happy.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on September 21, 2012:

thanks midget38. I appreciate the comment and the support. See you again soon.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on September 21, 2012:

Girls are so susceptible to low self esteem. An excellent write! I share this and vote up!

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on September 12, 2012:

Thank you very much, Flo. Glad you liked it.

Flo Carter on September 12, 2012:

Kudos!!!!!!! I am glad this program exists and feel it is a wonderful idea. Keep up the good work.

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