How to Raise a Happy Confident Girl
I have two daughters and my desire is to raise girls who are confident, assertive and happy. Growing up I struggled a lot with confidence in my teen years despite being a very popular girl in school. There were times I used to feel inferior and not beautiful enough. Luckily for me, I used to read a lot of stories from successful women and I realized early enough that for a woman to be successful, confidence is the secret.
Years later and I am a very confident person. I am happy and making more improvements in my life without doubting myself. It is for this reason that my utmost desire is to raise my girls in a way that places them strategically for success in whatever they choose to do.
Let me share a few tips on how you can teach your daughters to be confident and happy with themselves.
You are your daughter’s first role model
The first female role model for my daughters is me so how I conduct myself will greatly impact how they view themselves. My 8 year old loves to look good; she is so very keen in her dressing and derives lots of her confidence in dressing. This I realized she has taken from me. In a recent survey by United Kingdom Dove, girls as young as 7years old were reported to imitate their moms’ behaviors like tucking in their tummies. So how you view your body image is most probably how your daughter will grow up viewing hers.
Dressing up and looking good boosts my confidence so much. However, I teach her that her looks are very important but it is not everything. That she must derive her confidence in other areas of her life like her abilities and achievements.
According to a recent survey, of 1100 girls of ages between 13 to 18years by Keds and Girls Leadership, 63 percent of girls reported that their role model is their mom while 48 percent turn to their moms for emotional support whenever they have problems. Only a mere 15 percent turn to their friends first for advice. Younger girls are even more dependent on their Moms. Further reports show that the way a mother acts in front of her daughter largely influences the child’s behavior. This is evidence that as mums we need to watch what we say, how we think and how we conduct ourselves before our children. Even the company we keep has an impact on how my daughters view us.
Help her be unique
It is important that you do not compare your daughters to their friends or worse off to boys. Help her realize that she is unique in her own way. Comparing her will make her lose her confidence and identity faster than anything.
Help her develop her interests and passions even if they are different from anyone else’s in the family. Work with her to hone her interests. My daughter loves fashion, modeling and dancing from when she was little. I have signed her up in a modeling agency and she is set to start her modeling classes. If she is yet to discover what she loves, ask her and give her lots of chances and opportunities to explore and finally figure out what she loves. It can be time-consuming but as the mom, your duty is to invest in your daughter.
Be her cheerleader
We all want someone to be our constant cheerleader, to push us when we doubt ourselves. Our daughters want the same so go ahead and cheer her up. Attend her sports, swimming galas and even training or beauty pageants, your presence means a lot to them. Let them know that you support them no matter what even when their ideas are crazy or they are not performing so well. Your support will push them to be better.
Be a constant support system and encourage them to try new things, to go out of their way and to get out of their comfort zone.
Encourage her to love herself as she is and embrace her strengths as well as her weaknesses.
The greatest thing you can do is teach your daughter to be assertive, to speak out her mind and to express herself. Teach her to stand her ground, to say no confidently without fear. She will grow up knowing her worth.
Be specific and realistic with your compliments
Compliment your girls every so often to boost her confidence. Avoid blanket compliments though, be specific, like instead of telling her “You are smart”, and tell her “You have a very good memory”.
As you praise her be realistic, don’t exaggerate the truth.
Let your daughter learn to do things by herself; don’t be too quick to help. Let her do it wrongly then you can show her to do it the right way. This will sharpen her competence and teach her that it is okay not to know everything, it is okay to make mistakes and it is okay to ask for help.
Help her learn to take rejection
Teach your daughter to take in rejection gracefully without it affecting her esteem. That is it okay for her for someone not to be her friend, not to like her or not get invited to a party or be left out in a game. The sooner they learn the better they learn to work through friendships and relationships. Make her realize that it is not her fault and probably has more to do with the other person.
Teach her about women empowerment
Teach her that men and women are equal and that women deserve the same opportunities that men get. That she should not shy away just because she is a girl. Show her of successful women in your society and women leaders. Read her books with strong female characters to pass the message across.
Like me, you might not have had the opportunity to be taught all these so do your daughters a favor by preparing them for happy fulfilling womanhood. Teach them to be strong, assertive, successful and confident women in the near future.
Daisy Chepkoech is a Freelance Blog Writer, Social Media Manager and Trainer. She is also the Marketing Director at Dake Business Solutions. Daisy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Media Technology from Maseno University.