Confidence sets kids up for lifelong success. And if you’re in the market for the secret to raising a strong and confident girl child who has a positive image, rich self-esteem, competent and super confident in her abilities, these six tips are a great place to start:
1. Tell Her You Believe in Her
Confidence comes from believing in oneself, and your kids get a first dose of this from you. This means that your position as a parent provides you a powerful influence on how your girl child(children) learn to view themselves.
To raise a confident girl child therefore, you should make it a point of duty to point out the strengths that you think makes your girl child unique and orient her to hone these qualities patiently.
Tell her that “she can achieve anything she sets her mind to,” and sing this message into her ears from time to time.
Showering her with praises is another way to do this.
You can find opportunities to praise her when she impresses you by finishing a demanding task, does something thoughtful from a place of empathy, or when she shows courage by performing in front of a crowd.
2. Build Her Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is a person’s ability to understand their feelings as well as those of others.
You can teach your children to validate their emotions and provide them with a safe space to express their feelings by withholding your judgment and responding in empathy whenever they do so.
It will lay a great foundation of trust and gives your girl child(children) a sense of security; they know they can always turn to you without reservations whatsoever.
This is especially important, as your girls enter the perturbing teenage years where they tend to keep their feelings to themselves, as they navigate rockier situations such as peer pressure, academic stress, relationship drama, and all of that.
It’s also important to build their empathy muscles by training them always see things from different perspectives.
For example, people sometimes act out of their insecurities and try to project it unto others.
Having the sensitivity to recognise this can help her not to take spiteful words personally, and instead, recognise it is a cry for help.
3. Be A Confident Role Model
It’s no news that kids mirror the attitude and behavior of their parents.
So, if you want your girl child to be confident, show her what confidence looks like.
But you and I know that modeling confident behavior in today’s world is easier said than done.
Regardless, keep in mind that your daughter is constantly observing you and looks to you to set an example; and so, you must always be aware of how you act and speak.
She will notice when you bash your body, critique yourself or say things like “I can’t” or use inappropriate words.
She’ll pick up on when you feel beautiful and feel proud of your accomplishments.
By all means, 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, on TV, movies, or in books; start by making references to them.
When she observes you are confident, she’s more likely to grow up confident herself.
4. Praise More Than Her Looks
By all means, tell your daughter she’s beautiful; but teach her that there’s much more to her than her appearance.
Offer her precise, genuine praise on her math or problem-solving skills, her proactiveness, effort and determination, her good sportsmanship, empathy, and more.
5. Help Your Girl Child Find Her Interests and Develop her Talents.
Children build confidence as they explore their unique interests and talents, particularly as they find activities they excel at.
Also, it is one powerful way to build a connection with your daughters- when you pay attention to their interests.
Convince your girl child that her interests are taken seriously by showing an interest in and help build on and deepen them so that ultimately, she has a passion for something.
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Be supportive and listen to what they have to say, but try not to lecture.
Help them make sense of what’s going on in their world, share stories about yourself when you were young.
And don’t forget to share your approach to confidence-building with the regular housekeepers, nannies, and babysitters in their lives.
It’s important your daughter hears a consistent theme from all the major people in her life.
In the end, having confidence is about how we feel about ourselves and our talents. Children naturally gain confidence when they find something they like to do.
And this feel-good experience always starts in the home.
Give your daughter the freedom to explore anything that sparks her interest, including activities- basketball, music, science projects, arts, anything.
Showing your girl child that you accept her interests and talents, whatever they may be, is a surefire way to boost her confidence.
6. Curb Media To Small Doses
Almost every form of media – social media, television, movies, magazines and even books – portray women in objectifying ways. They’re too sexy, too feminine, too soft, and too many other tags.
Exposure to media may create harmful effects such as comparing herself to others, body shaming, and even online bullying.
Too much exposure and it will be the only thing she thinks about.
Be careful to screen movies and consider what messages/sites you allow your daughter to have access to.
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