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4 Ways to Teach your Daughter Confidence

by Mary Visconti 06 Sep 2019

image via @_jenyae

If you’re raising a daughter, you probably know how important it is to instill confidence and self-love in her. If she’s grade school-aged, it can be a real challenge to keep all the great things you try to teach her intact - it can feel like it all gets undone when you send her off to school and she experiences the rest of the world. Since our daughters do not live their lives inside of perfect little bubbles that keep them sheltered forever, the best thing you can do is equip yours with what she needs to be confident in her own abilities. Empower her to navigate her world and you’ll be setting her up to become a confident woman. Here are some ways you can do that: 

image via @dancerkmk

Stop Focusing on Looks 

This one is so so important. Society is saturated with images of perfect-looking faces and bodies and there’s an extra push towards women and girls to live up to those standards. There are too many messages in the media about the importance of being able to attract a man and please the eye. Your daughter will most likely continue receiving these messages throughout her life, so it is on you to teach her about loving herself no matter what.  Start by being an example. Don’t ask things like “Does this make me look fat?” or complain about things you don’t like about your face or body. When you talk to her, don’t focus on things she’s wearing. Try not to just compliment her on how “pretty” she looks or how nice her clothes are - try to talk about other things like how her last soccer game was, how she’s doing in chemistry, if she learned anything new in Spanish class, etc. 

image via @totally__tatum

Don’t Call Her Bossy

The double standard in society right now is treating boys with a tendency to tell others what to do as having “leadership skills” while the girls are labeled as bossy. Because of this, you should try to never use the word yourself. If she runs into issues with friends or teachers where she is being rude or overly authoritative or condescending, help her understand better ways to communicate and give her ideas about how to collaborate with others. Over time, she will get better at this and later on, it will develop into a very valuable asset. 

image via @wildbeautifulworld

Include Her in Decision-Making    

If you want her to be a strong, assertive woman who makes her opinions and thoughts heard, a head start in her grade school years is certainly a great way to prep her for it. Let her weigh in on what you all do for family night or where you go for a family vacation; if you go out for dinner, ask her where she’d like to go; If household chores are being assigned, listen to her suggestions. Even have fun with it and go on a mommy-daughter date. Let her pick what you both wear with a matching mommy-daughter outfit! Whether it’s a dressy outing where you’re both wearing fancy, matching mommy-daughter shift dresses or maybe you’re both hitting the gym in cute floral printed leggings and tops, whatever it is, let her make the call. Of course, that doesn’t mean just stop parenting altogether and let her decide every little thing. Have intelligent, informative discussions about all the decision making. She will also need to learn what it is to throw in a suggestion that doesn’t get picked, but letting her know why it’s not being chosen is important. Or if it is, she will learn what it is to deal with the consequences of her decision making. 

image via @the.classic.kate

Get her Involved in Extra-Curricular Activites

Studies have shown that girls who play sports have higher self-esteem than those who don’t. Playing sports or being part of a theater group, or participating in dance, the school news team, etc. is going to allow her to explore her interests and passions; it will teach her teamwork better than you or any teacher ever could; and she will learn resilience - how to push through challenges to reach better results. A very valuable trait that will serve her for the rest of her life. 

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