The Secret to Raising a Confident Girl
Confidence is important for any child: it sets them up to be happy, mentally healthy, and successful. It equips them to handle challenges, manage emotions, and feel comfortable in their own skins.
For young girls, however, confidence can be particularly important. Although women have made great strides in society, there is a widening “wellness gap” between girls and boys. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, girls experience depressive episodes at triple the rates of boys, and anxiety, stress, and depression among young girls continue to rise.
One way to change this is by helping your daughter develop into a confident individual. But how can you accomplish this? Start by trying the following strategies.
Be a Confident Role Model
Kids mirror the attitude and behavior of their parents. So if you want your daughter to be confident, show her what confidence looks like.
Try not to talk down on yourself in your daughter’s presence. Point her toward other positive, confident female role models too, whether in her daily life or on TV, movies, or in books.
Help Her Find Her Interests and Passions
Children build confidence as they explore their unique interests and passions, particularly as they find activities they excel at.
Give your daughter the freedom to explore anything that sparks her interest, including activities that aren’t conventionally “female.” Showing your child that you accept her interests and talents, whatever they may be, is another way to boost her confidence.
Praise More Than Her Appearance
Tell your daughter she’s beautiful, by all means, but show her that there’s much more to her than her appearance.
Offer her specific, genuine praise on her skill with fractions, her effort and determination, her good sportsmanship, her kind heart, and more.
Develop Her Competence
Feeling competent is one of the key components of self-confidence. Create opportunities for your daughter to feel competent by giving her age-appropriate chores and choices.
Depending on your daughter’s age, she can pick up toys, make the bed, fold clothes, help with dinner, set the table, feed the dog, etc. Demonstrate how to do the chores first, then let her take over, even if the chore isn’t done perfectly every time.
Also offer choices, like where to go for dinner, what to wear to school, which book to read for bedtime, etc.
Building confidence is a lifelong journey, but these four tips are a great place to start with your daughter. Help her feel loved, accepted, and competent, and her confidence will soar.