A mom’s self-esteem is a terrible thing to waste.
Back in the 1970s, the UNCF had a commercial that stated: “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.” The commercial’s premise was that a young child needed to have access to role models and knowledge to reach their potential.
The commercial depicted role models actively and positively engaged in their chosen vocations. They actually looked happy and fulfilled even while busy.
There’s something to be said for having access to role models.
And for young daughters, this is especially important. Why? Because the stakes are high.
- Teen girls are twice as likely as boys to struggle with depression and anxiety.
- Girls are six times as likely as boys are to drop out of sports involvement by the time they are teenagers.
By virtue of familial ties, most daughters have some kind of access to their moms as their first role model.
But what are moms modeling in front of their daughters on a daily basis?
A Mom’s Self-Esteem Depends On Her Self Definition.
Women have made great strides in the past 100 years redefining themselves and their potential contributions to society. Part of those strides for equality and recognition is found in the fact that women:
- outnumber men on the planet (not just in the U.S.)
- are more educated and obtain their academic degrees at a faster rate than men.
- Make approximately 80% on the dollar for every dollar a man makes (up from 70%).
But, concurrently, women are increasing in the …
- Amount of mental health issues experienced.
- Degree of economic pressures
- number of single moms
On a 2015 episode of Undercover Boss, Shawnon Bella COO of Crest Foods & Nestle Tollhouse, talked about her not having obtained a college degree. Her (overcompensating) drive and focus became to “outwork” and “finish faster” than her peers. With that determination, she rose up the ranks to COO.
She defined herself by her high-ranking leadership position.
Shawnon stated that she was divorced and a single mom of two (one boy and one girl). And she also mentioned that she was “very strict and hard on (her) kids…showing them what a leader is.”
During the episode, the camera crew showed Shawnon speaking to her daughter. As she stiffly listed what she’d accomplished in her day, Shawnon’s daughter spoke to her mom as if she were “reporting for duty.”
By the end of the episode, Shawnon realized that she’d lost sight of her “softer side” and needed to connect with her kids more on an emotional level.
Shawnon’s defining herself according to the status of her executive position was unintentionally undermining aspects of her mother-daughter connection.
Your Self Definition Will Impact Your Daughter.
From watching the show, Shawnon seemed to be overcompensating for her lack of a college degree. Her lack of a college degree contributed to her low self-esteem. Her low self-esteem led her to overcompensate to the point of driving a wedge in the connection between her and her employees.
And the realization of that “disconnect” made Shawnon more attuned to the potential wedge developing between her and her daughter.
Shawnon was more focused on overcompensating through her actions instead of acknowledging and esteeming qualities about her self as a person. Thus she could only reflect/mirror to her daughter aspects off herself that she felt she lacked. Had Shawnon not come face-to-face with the effects of her decisions, this would have contributed to her daughter seeing herself as “lacking,” too.
…and thus the cycle (& potential) conflict of mother-daughter relationship interaction would continue.
If you would like to learn tailored strategies for improving your daughter’s self-esteem, apply to The Life Mirror Remedy® (TLMR®) Personal Training Program. This program is for seriously motivated moms who want to help their daughters improve their self-esteem.
©Dr. Michelle Deering | All rights reserved.