Nowadays, girls get a lot of mixed messages. We would like to teach them to be leaders and to be confident, but we do not want them to be too “bossy.” It is important to remember that our words and actions have a significant impact on our daughters. They can undermine our girls’ confidence and inadvertently reinforce gender stereotypes. On the other hand, words can also boost girls’ confidence and empower them. If you are interested in knowing how to nurture confidence in your daughter, then this article is for you.
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1. Teach her to believe in herself
Catch every opportunity, when you are reading the newspaper or watching the news to show her that women, can do anything and achieve anything they set their minds to. Tell her to look at all the confident female senators, astronauts, athletes, doctors and scientists around her. There is no doubt that she can be a leader capable of changing the world.
2. Show her empathy
Be empathetic and listen to her; you do not have to agree with what she feels, but it is important to make her feel important and give validation to her feelings. Tell her “I want you to know that I want to understand how this feels to you”. This is an important message for girls to hear and instills confidence allowing them to better speak up for what they want.
3. Encourage her to play sports
Helping her discover sports at an early age will teach her to appreciate what her body can do rather than focusing solely on her physical beauty. Such action will help her feel more confident from the inside out. The Journal of Sport Psychology found that regular physical activity is a highly effective way of building self-confidence.
4. Make her media literate
If you do not want her to watch a particular show, explain your reasoning why and be specific, instead of just saying it’s ‘bad’. Sometimes children get harmful messages from the media or TV. The best way to avoid this is to watch TV with her and point out when something is not right. Be sure to help her develop a critical eye to decode and filter media messages as this will help her build up confidence.
5. Encourage a healthy body image
Help her to love her looks by setting a good example. In order for your daughter to love her body you need to love yours. Many girls can get affected by beauty standards seen in models or on social media. If they start comparing themselves to models this may cause them to lose confidence in themselves. Girls need to understand that models in magazines do not look like real women as in reality many are altered. In fact, Jennifer Kunst, author of Knowing and Growing Yourself from the Inside Out, stresses that “No one is perfect”.
6. Give her more genuine compliments
It is important that parents compliment their daughters when they achieve something new or challenging. Parents can also compliment their child’s efforts even if the result is not the best. Be sure to compliment her intelligence, wit and kindness not just her beauty. Remember, a good compliment can keep the confidence ball rolling.
7. Let her have her style and own look
Parents can complement their daughter’s sense of style even if they don’t exactly agree with their taste. When it comes to putting together an outfit, do not judge her but, let her be herself and have her own style.
8. Encourage her to make decisions herself
Encourage her by asking, ‘What do you want?’ Listen to her and let her make a choice and honour that choice. Even though sometimes she may make mistakes, let her learn a tough lesson on her own and be sure to talk to her about it afterwards. Your daughter may regret her decision, but it will give her great insight and boost her confidence by exposing her to the ‘real world’.
9. Model confident behaviour
Most of the time, your daughter looks up to you to set an example, so make sure you are careful about the way you talk about your own body and appearance. Never bash your own body and appearance in front of your daughter, instead, talk about it positively. Remember that your child is listening and observing you. She will notice the words you say and how you treat yourself. If your daughter catches you being confident and loving your body and appearance, she is more likely to grow up confident and love hers.
10. Speak highly of other women
It is important to model behaviours on how to compliment other women, instead of dragging them down. Focus on the positive side of a person and show empathy. Do not talk bad or gossip about others, especially about their body, appearance, weaknesses and difference of opinions. If you talk badly about women, chances are your daughter will grow up doing the same. Teach her to celebrate other women’s successes and accomplishments instead of dragging them down, it will raise confidence in your daughter.
To find more about how to raise a more confident girl, visit the source information at the Forbes website.
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