7 Tips To Help Your Daughter Build Confidence
What do girls
need to succeed? To feel confident, capable and whole. For starters,
they need to learn how to feel comfortable in their own skin, to
develop the inner strength to deal with the demands of peers, school
and society and to love themselves just the way they are. But it's
difficult. Because girls receive so many conflicting messages that
it's difficult to distinguish between what really matters and what's
media fed hype. On one hand girls are told, "You can do and be
anything if you believe in yourself and follow your dreams." On the
other hand they are given the message that the ideal girls is one
who behaves like a sex object or acts so composed and masculine that
she scares off anyone who crosses her path. If girls are made to
feel like they do not have any real value beyond their looks or that
they have to fit the media's cookie-cutter image of a "real girl,"
or they have to act like men to be taken seriously; then they will
grow up confused and insecure. The good news is as a mother and
woman with life experience under your belt, you already know a lot
about what it takes to help girls become strong and secure. Here are
seven tips to help your daughter build confidence.
1. Help Her To Believe In Herself
believe in themselves and have a healthy sense of identity, they
will be able to assert their needs and see themselves as capable and
lovable individuals. Show your daughter that you her and enjoy her
company. Give her special tasks that enable her to feel significant,
noticed and successful.
2. Value Her Uniqueness
needs to be accepted for who she is. This builds her confidence and
her ability to stand her ground when pressured to stray away from
her values. Let your daughter know what you admire about her.
Encourage her to pursue her own unique interests. Make a conscious
effort to understand her, even if you don't agree with her. Teach
her how to speak up for herself, even if others disagree with her
point of view.
3. Help Her Feel Like She Belongs
Girls have a
profound need to be accepted, to be part of a social circle that she
fits in with. When she fits in socially, it meets her need for a
social identity and helps her not to feel like an outcast. Help her
meet her need to belong in a positive way by including her in family
decisions. Get her input about decisions that will impact her. Help
her to find social clubs, community groups and extra-curricular
activities that allow her to nurture her interests and expand her
social world. Be on the look out for signs of loneliness and social
4. Acknowledge Her Feelings
fundamental. They help us make sense of the world. The sooner a girl
learns that it's ok to express her feelings, the better able she
will be to communicate with others and stand up for herself.
Acknowledge your daughter's feelings and give her feelings validity.
Share in her joys and struggles. Help her to put a bad day into
perspective and not obsess over what other people think. Help her to
trust her intuition.
5. Understand Her Social World
world of girls presents many opportunities and challenges. Ask her
about her friends and interests. Teach her how to handle emotional
bullying, sarcasm and the other kinds of subtle and not so subtle
behaviors that girls often engage in to exert their influence, boost
their status within the peer group and socially intimidate other
girls. But also explain to her that there are many girls who do not
engage in this kind of behavior and the best rule of thumb to live
by is: Treat others as you would like to be treated.
6. Deal Sensitively With Peer Pressure
history girls have been faced with the pressure to confirm. But
nowadays this pressure is happening at a younger and younger age.
Help your daughter to feel accepted as she is. Discuss the issue of
peer pressure and the dangers of engaging in behaviors that go
against your values or lead to negative outcomes. Try not to be
overly critical of her. This only makes her want to be more
Realistic In Your Expectations
has her own set of expectations for her children. However, it's
important that your expectations are age and ability appropriate and
not so rigid and unrealistic that your daughter feels like nothing
she does will ever be good enough for you. If she feels like she can
never measure up, she may stop trying all together. Encourage her to
put her best foot forward, but give her room to be human.
by Cassandra Mack.
Author: Cassandra Mack is a girls empowerment expert and the
author of, "Cool, Confident and Strong: 52 Power Moves for Girls."
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