In our celebrity-obsessed, TV- influenced culture, there is no deficiency of dialogue about who got fat, who lost weight recently, and what actress is wearing what. Standing in a checkout line of a local neighborhood grocery store could convince any easily influenced, young woman that appearance is the most important news to hit the stands for the past century.

Sometimes it can feel like an on-going battle to teach your daughter that there are more important things in life than the measurement of her thighs. Media pressure excluded, there are ways you can teach your daughter to regard herself in ways that will boost her self-esteem, and safeguard her self-image as she gets older. The path of your daughter’s life can be altered in more positive ways than one by focusing on her creativity and intellect, and the quality of her conduct.

Your daughter can be extremely impressionable to your words. Remember, praise your daughter not only for a job well done, but also for effort—always be truthful. By nurturing your own self-esteem, your daughter will have an exemplary role model. It’s important for any mother to identify her daughter’s irrational beliefs about herself, whether those beliefs are about perfection, attractiveness, ability, or anything else. Helping your daughter set more accurate standards, and be more realistic in evaluating herself will help her have a vigorous self-concept.

Your love and support will go a long way to boost your daughter’s self-esteem. Give hugs—and constantly tell your daughter you’re proud of her. She will always be able to tell whether something is truly genuine, natural, and expressed devoutly from your heart.