When your daughter turns on the TV, flips open her laptop, logs into her tablet, or clicks into her phone, she’s going to be exposed to negative influences. Negative influences on girls can come from her peers and from what she sees in the media. It’s normal to feel worried about the influence of peers and the media on your child’s self esteem and overall behavior. Many media advertisements are geared towards the tween and teen age groups, causing teens and tweens to be very aware of brand names and the images brands relay to them. However, some elements of the media are more indirect in the way they relay their messages (whether positive or negative) to young girls.

Body Image and the Media

One negative influence associated with the media is the widespread image of the “ideal” female form. For young girls going through puberty, seeing images of thin, athletic, and Barbie-like women can seriously damage their self esteem. Sometimes these images can cause girls to develop eating disorders or depression. Media’s negative influences on girls can change your daughter’s entire perception of herself as an individual. It’s a hard thing for you to help her avoid. Negative images in media are pretty much unavoidable in today’s media-saturated world. However, there are a couple of things you can do to prevent your daughter’s self esteem from being affected by these negative influences on girls. These include:

  • Monitoring what your child is watching: Take note of what TV shows, movies, actors, and actresses your daughter likes. Ask if you can watch some of these programs with your child to see if there’s anything displaying a negative message.
  • Talking to your daughter about the messages the media portrays: Strike up a conversation with  your daughter about the negative influences of the media on society in general. She’ll be more aware of the influences these messages have on her and her friends.
  • Limiting what she watches: There’s no use in banning her favorite shows and movies. Instead, talk to her often about the messages these shows portray and limit how much she can watch them.

Peer pressure

Another negative influence on girls has to do with peer pressure. If your daughter is hanging around a negative crowd, she may be pressured to do things she wouldn’t do otherwise. This is a serious threat for your daughter because it can influence her future success dramatically. Talk to your daughter about the people she’s hanging out with. Get her involved in extracurricular activities like sports or theatre where she can meet new people who won’t be negative influences.

Asheville Academy for Girls can help

If your daughter is struggling with self esteem issues due to the negative influences in her life, whether that be through the media or peer pressure, Asheville Academy for Girls can help.
For more information about Asheville Academy for Girls, please call 800.264.8709
Image source: Flickr user- melnic