At the heart of Dove, the brand we all love, is the Dove Self-Esteem Project, one of the largest self-esteem education projects in the world, reaching over 60 million young people.
Every year they work towards a world where beauty is a source of confidence and where young people aren’t held back by low self-esteem. The message of self-esteem is one that every young person needs to hear and be empowered with.
With the understanding that it takes a village to raise a child, Dove has partnered with experts in the psychology and body image space to develop world class tools to aid parents, teachers and peer groups to begin the journey of self-esteem with young girls and boys around them.
Usually Dove Day involves going into schools and running body confidence workshops. A lot has had to change in 2020, but their mission to empower young people remains the same.
This year, they needed to do things a little differently and introduced #DoveDayAtHome.
Along with my kids and other families we spent an afternoon in an uplifting and encouraging session with some amazing speakers hosted by Hulisani Ravele.
The topics discussed included:
- How to build Confidence and Self-Esteem
- Help your child defy body trends and beat the body-shamers
- How to have a great relationship with your child
Hulisani opened by sharing her story and reminded us that we are all unique and how it took her understanding that the word unique meant “special to me” to get her through a trying time in her life.
The first speaker, Sthandiwe Kgoroge, encouraged us to focus on the words we use around our children. She shared how the words used by others in her life both built her up and broke her down. She shared how important it is for us to have conversations with our kids at a young age to equip them with ways to address the world we live in with respect.
Along with her daughter, Sthandiwe proposed we do affirmations with our kids. These are important and aids in our kids being called into their purpose with words that build them up. Words can affect your self confidence greatly and if we can start from a young age calling them leaders instead of fatty boom boom, they have a greater chance of living up to be a leader than being held back.
Rolene Strauss, the second speaker, helped us understand what body shaming is and gave us tools to equip us and our kids to not allow it to define us. She shared an easy way for us to explain to our kids that body shaming is “when someone says or does something that makes you feel self-conscious.”
She did an exercise with the kids and had them image a shield or beautiful dress that they will use to fight off the bad words thrown their way and explained how they make their shield stronger by talking to mom or dad about their experience.
Rolene also shared knowledge from a book called Love and Respect by Dr Emerson Eggerichs. I cannot wait to give it a read. In a nutshell, it goes about how different boys and girls think and how the needs are different.
A pearl of wisdom from Rolene was to avoid commenting on a child’s appearance and physical features because it links what they look like to their self-worth. Rather comment on their actions or what they have done so they can make the link between being kind and self-worth instead.
Last, but not least, Terence from Afro Daddy had a wealth of knowledge to share. Two things that particularly stood was how you don’t need to be your child’s best friend to have a good relationship with them. Secondly how important it is to be the safe space for our kids. If our kids are in trouble, they should know that its better to come to us and that the consequence will be better and safer than the situation they find themselves in.
Tip: When someone puts your child in an uncomfortable position, take their side, make them know you always will if someone makes them uncomfortable, it’s a sure way to cultivate a safe space.
Dove has a wealth of resources that help encourage and navigate the right kinds of conversations with our kids. They can be found at z.humans.ai/desp