As my daughter prepared to begin middle school this fall, I knew that she would face moments of uncertainty in which her confidence and self image would be put to the test. I remember those moments from my own middle school years all too well.
I also know that her friends will become more and more important and that she will rely on me less and less. That’s okay. She has a wonderful group of friends whom I adore and I couldn’t be happier knowing that these girls are the type of people that she chooses to surround herself with.
They get together once in a while and explore topics that are important to them: skin care, healthy after-school snacks, etc. During one such gathering they talked about their sense of identity, shared what they think their own and each others strengths are, and what makes them good friends. They used this self-image “primer” to get them thinking. Then they painted self portraits. This wasn’t so much an exercise in art techniques but an activity to further explore self-image. With messages of strength, friendship, and encouragement added from their friends, they became wonderful keepsakes and reminders about what makes each of them unique and that they each have special people to cherish and turn to for support and reassurance in those moments of uncertainty.
The girls loved this project and as a parent I gained much insight by being witness to their process and finished portraits.
Would you like more inspiration for self-esteem portraits and related activities? These links might provide just what you are looking for:
- We took our inspiration and printable “I am” statements from here.
- Find some lovely activities and journal prompts in this post.
- Here’s an interesting version of self-esteem portraits.
- I love this collage.
- This website has an extensive list of books about brave and confident girls.
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