If you’re a parent of teens or have ever been on social media then you’ve seen it–the epitome of teenage self-glorification, better known as, the selfie. Young women– in overdone make-up, pouty faces, provocative poses– not so subtly fishing for compliments. Teenage (and pre-teen) girls seeking validation. Pressured by society and their peer group into rampant self-promotion. Showing off their faces, their clothes, their figures– to their friends and to the world. (And selfies are not limited to young women, guys post selfies, as well.) Modesty has seemingly left the building. How are we to raise humble kids in this selfie society of ours? And what are young women today missing that they feel the need to promote their own, often sexualized, images on Instagram, Twitter, and Snap Chat? Are they truly that self-confident? Or is it simply a cover-up for insecurity?
Whatever happened to humility and what’s a concerned mother to do?
Well, there are tactics we can use to instill not only humility in our girls, but also purity of heart, mind and spirit.
Here are some tips on instilling humility and value in your daughter:
- Teach her that inner beauty is much more valuable and lasting than outer beauty. Make this your mantra. (Yes, actually say this to her!)
- Instill in her the importance of character qualities like kindness, compassion, forgiveness, service, and grace. Help her develop into a good person! Give her praise when she exhibits these positive character qualities.
- Remind her that her value and worth come from God himself. There is no need to seek acceptance from friends, guys, the secular world. God loves her with an everlasting love and accepts her just as she is.
- Teach her that purity is about more than just physical intimacy. It involves purity of heart and mind, as well. Encourage her to filter the input bombarding her mind every day and to make wise choices when choosing entertainment. Help her to understand that purity is also a matter of speech, language, and attitude.
- Help your daughter to choose her friends wisely. Her best friends should be those who know and love the Lord (or for very young children, those whose families know the Lord). Mom, you play a big role here in the early years. Peer influence plays a huge role in social media habits.
- Teach your daughter to dress modestly. (No, that doesn’t mean she must wear Amish attire!) Set the standard early and stick to it. No skirts cut up to there or shirts cut down to you know where. Remember, you’re the parent. You make the rules. And by the way, your example in dress and attitude is really important. You are a powerful influence on your daughter’s actions and attitudes.
- Give your daughter lots of unconditional love and respect. Develop a good relationship by spending quality time with her. Dads, too. Girls who feel loved and secure at home are less likely to seek validation elsewhere. Even when your children are in the teenage years, make family time a priority.
- Talk to your daughter about humility versus pride and what the Bible has to say about it. (It says a lot!) Tell her that when we constantly promote our physical selves rather than let our inner spirit shine we do a disservice to the God who created us. It is our inner beauty that will draw others to Him, not our pouty-faced selfie!
- Just be straight with her; constant selfies and provocative body shots are not allowed on social media!
There is hope for raising humble girls in this selfie generation.
With a concerted effort and lots of prayer, we can raise young women who, find their security and worth in the Lord, value inner beauty more than physical beauty, and understand that humility is a trait to be treasured.
I don’t know if teenage selfies will ever become a thing of the past, but, with a concerted effort and lots of prayer, we can raise young women who find their value in the Lord—women who understand that humility is a trait to be treasured.
“Let another man praise you and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips” Proverbs 27:2 (NKJV)
“A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.” Proverbs 29:23 (NKJV)
“The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way.” Psalm 25:9 (NKJV)
“And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:12 (NKJV)
“Do not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging your hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel–rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NKJV)
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30 (NKJV)
“I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well.” Psalm 139:14 (NKJV)
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!…” 1 John 3:1 (NKJV)
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. John 15:9 (ESV)