Teaching girls how to love themselves

Raising Girls Who Like Themselves.

Melissa Meehan

Now that the glass ceiling is smashed, girls are told they can do anything they want – but the fear of embarrassment or judgement can often create a hurdle to success.

But if we can teach them to like themselves and have the confidence to achieve anything then the sky is the

limit, according to a new book by Kasey Edwards and Dr Christopher Scanlon.

In a world full of parenting books that can often leave you feeling overwhelmed and guilty, Raising Girls Who Like Themselves tells girls their flawed is refreshingly different.

Not only does it work from seven basic ideas, but it clearly shows ways to introduce them into an already busy family life. And, authors Kasey and Chris, who share two daughters themselves, have proven it’s possible – because they’ve done it all themselves.

“We were very aware of the issues ahead, some of the statistics for girls are really scary,” Kasey said.

“We were talking to a friend about it at a party and she said, we don’t have time to research and find all those things out, can’t you put it in a book? “And that’s how it started.”

Thanks to their ‘day jobs’ as

researchers and journalists, the pair had the privilege of being able to call on leading parenting experts as well as those with a great knowledge of social and cultural issues.

“Mainstream advice at the moment doesn’t seem to be working. We all want to raise girls who thrive, but we still have horrific rates of anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-harm,” Kasey said.

“Girls are drowning in anxiety and doubt. The prescription at the moment just isn’t working,” Chris added.

So what makes their book so different to the rest? “Girls need to like themselves,” Kasey said. “We believe that if she knows who she is and genuinely likes who she is – they will achieve every dream and


Chris said: “They’ll have the confidence to achieve and won’t be defined by failure. And from there they

will have good physical and mental health because it’s natural to care for what you love.”

And by extension, she will expect the same from those around her.

Both Kasey and Chris agree there is so much parenting information out there, but by following their seven qualities and getting them right between toddlers to tweens your daughter’s life will be easier.

Because she loves herself. And you won’t feel guilty once you finish the book, because the steps are

practical and easy to slot into already busy family life and all that comes with trying to be a good parent.

Alarming statistics

■ More than 55 per cent of Australian girls aged eight and nine are dissatisfied with their body

■ A quarter of 14-15 year-old girls have had thoughts about self-harming in the previous 12 months

■ Fifty-one per cent of girls say that girls often feel pressured to take ‘sexy’ photos of themselves and share them

■ The third most common chronic illness for young females is eating disorders.