1.  Use the word ‘beautiful’ to describe godly behaviour in your daughter or the women around them, such as…

  • “It was beautiful when you shared your toys.”
  • “Saying sorry is beautiful to God.”
  • “That woman is such a beautiful woman. She always looks out for people who are sitting by themselves at Church.”

2.  Mothers, be honest. Tell your daughters what parts of your own body you like and what parts you don’t like. Encourage them to be honest. Then ask God to help both of you be thankful to God for the way he has made you.

3.  Consider your own modelling. How much time does your daughter see you spend in front of the mirror?

4.  Teach your daughter about modesty from a young age. When buying clothes ask…

  • “Is this modest?
  • Is it too tight?
  • Is it too short?
  • Is my belly showing?
  • Is it too low in the front?” etc.

Little girls who dress modestly will be more likely to grow to be women who dress modestly. Show your daughter how important modesty is. Be prepared to buy a more expensive outfit if it means your daughter will be modestly dressed.

5.  Stop and think about how often you talk about weight? Your own weight, the weight of family members, and so on.

6.  Come down hard on teasing or “friendly joking” based on weight or body “imperfections.”

7.  Change language. For example, talk about eating a healthy balanced diet, not the fat content of every item in the fridge. Talk about self-control rather than keeping thin.

8.  Celebrate God’s gifts—being a woman, being creative, the sheer variety of colours and fabrics God has given us to use and enjoy, etc. Balance is very important.

This is the second article in this short series of articles on ministry to children. Like the previous article, this one first appeared on Sandy’s website: Kidswise, where this series on Ten Tips continues.

Recommended Resources

Dobson, James, Bringing Up Girls (Carol Stream Ill: Tyndale, 2010)

Campbell, D. Ross, How to Really Love Your Child (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2003)

Melinda Tankard Reist’s web site is an excellent place to begin to looking at the issue of the sexualisation of girls in the media and how we as parents can combat this: www.melindatankardreist.com and www.collectiveshout.org