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How to Build Your Daughter’s Self-Esteem and Confidence
Children of both genders can suffer from self-esteem and self-confidence issues. However, girls tend to have challenges in these areas more often.
Research shows that girls are much more likely to develop eating disorders. They’re more likely to self-harm when stressed or depressed. Also, girls think about and attempt suicide at twice the rate of boys of the same age.
While all children need high levels of self-esteem and confidence, many girls are especially at risk.
Help your daughter have a happy and emotionally healthy life:
- Determine what she’s good at and help her develop that skill. Everyone feels good about themselves when they do something that they are good at. The better you are at it, the better you tend to feel. It makes you feel special and capable.
◦ As a parent, you already have a good idea of your daughter’s likes and strengths. From those items, identify something that your daughter loves to do and help her excel at it. Her confidence and self-esteem will soar.
- Sign her up for team sports. Team sports have been shown to benefit girls by making them more confident. Team sports are a great way to learn new skills, make new friends, and build a social circle.
◦ Winning and learning how to handle defeat are both great for one’s self-esteem and confidence.
- Ensure that your daughter understands that your love isn’t conditional. Every child needs to understand without a doubt that they are loved regardless of their choices or success.
- Let her have her own style. Allow your daughter to have her own unique style. This includes things like music, hair, and clothing. While her choices might not match your own, finding an identity can create emotional stability. This foundation can be a wonderful footing for self-esteem and confidence.
- Be a good example. Your daughter is always watching, even if she isn’t always listening. If she sees her mother judging her own body in a negative way, this sends a negative message. Fathers can also say inappropriate things about women that have a negative effect on girls.
◦ Consider how your behavior and comments are interpreted by your daughter.
- Praise effort as well as outcomes. It’s not possible to be successful all of the time, so focus on praising effort. There are things your child simply won’t be good at. It’s counterproductive to be critical when your child did the best they could.
- Teach assertiveness. Confidence and self-esteem largely come from the ability to influence and direct your own life. Without assertiveness, your child is subject to the whims of everyone around her. Assertiveness teaches your daughter than her opinion and wishes are important.
- Encourage your daughter to try new things. New things can be a little scary. Overcoming that apprehension is a good thing. It also allows your daughter to add new activities, skills, and people to her life – all of which will boost her self-esteem and confidence.
Daughters often need a little more help and attention than boys do. If you’re having serious issues with your child, seek out professional assistance immediately. It’s worth the potential cost and discomfort.
There are many things parents can do to help their daughter thrive into adulthood. Building self-esteem and confidence in your daughter is an important responsibility.
What Can Albert Einstein Teach Your Kids About Confidence?
Psychologists often describe confidence as a person’s belief in their own ability to succeed. Naturally, every parent would like their child to be self-confident.
However, what seems to challenge parents the most is striking a healthy balance when encouraging confidence. They want to nurture their child’s confidence, but not let them get too arrogant.
Also, many parents have a challenge with self-confidence themselves.
The brilliant Albert Einstein said:
“If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
This is the key issue: many parents don’t know how to teach confidence to their kids.
- Where do we draw a line?
- Do we push our children to do more or give them all the space they need?
- Can our kids learn how to be self-confident if we are not?
Answers to these questions might seem complicated, but the good news is – you don’t have to do it alone. There are plenty of resources to help you gain direction and clarity.
Even if you aren’t the most confident person in the world, you’ll do a lot for your child if you offer them a healthy, positive role model. It can be someone they know, a fictional character, or a celebrity. The famous physicist, Albert Einstein, is a perfect example.
Here’s what your child can learn about confidence from Einstein’s life and work:
- It’s okay to have special interests. When he was nine, Einstein went to high school. There, he spent only 3–4 hours a week studying math and science. He was an odd kid, and eventually, he was asked to leave high school and he did it.
◦ His home was the only place where he could pursue his interests. Later in life, his special interests led him to win the Nobel Prize and become one of the most famous theoretical physicists in the world.
◦ Expose your child to a wide variety of activities and encourage them once they find something they love. Quirky hobbies can be particularly helpful for kids who don’t exactly fit in at school. The fact they are special at something will affect their confidence positively.
- Imagination is the answer. Albert Einstein was the biggest advocate of imagination and creativity.
“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.”
◦ Children have a particularly vivid imagination. Let them use it. Help them fantasize.
Encourage them to visualize they’ll be doing something important or fulfilling when they grow up.
◦ Their dreams might seem unrealistic at the moment, but don’t lower their expectations. It is important they are thinking about their goals.
- Persistence needs to be encouraged. When he was just a child, Einstein was considered dyslexic and a slow learner. In fact, many adults thought he was stupid. Later on, he had problems in school. Then, he failed in his first attempt to enroll into Zurich Polytechnic University. During the war, he was targeted by Nazis.
◦ As you can see, obstacles and challenges were all around him. However, he persisted and achieved his goals.
◦ Your child will come across many setbacks in life too. Avoid the temptation to be their savior. Let them know you are here if they need you but give them a chance to figure things out on their own.
◦ To become confident, kids need to learn that it’s okay to take risks and fail. Let them try and get up once they fall. This will make them resilient and strong enough to deal with life’s challenges.
If you think Albert Einstein is a too-advanced example of confidence for children at a young age, substitute someone else that can send similar messages.
Diversity is paramount, optimism and imagination are potent weapons, perseverance and autonomy are highly valued, and confidence is a path to a happy life!
How To Raise a Confident Child
Confidence is about being comfortable with who you are, willing to give things a go – even if you’re not sure you’ll succeed – and trusting your own judgement. How can we raise a confident child in such a a doubtful world? How can we instill this feeling in our children if it doesn’t come naturally to them? Or worse, if we aren’t confident ourselves? There’s no 100% guarantee that our child will grow up a confident man or woman, but there’s many tried and tested ways to cultivate it now.
Here are a few thoughts:
- Accept your child’s starting point!
This is HUGE. Every child is different and each one will grow at different levels. Start where are.
- Don’t force them into situations they aren’t comfortable with
Have you ever wanted your child to be ready for that thing or that occasion? Except, they just wouldn’t act the way you wanted them to? They just…weren’t, ya know, getting it? I know I’ve been guilty so many times of trying to rush a process. But that’s a problem. There’s truly a time for everything. Trying to put our kids in situations they aren’t ready for, is just a recipe for disaster and a surefire way to gut their confidence in half.
- Take small steps to encourage confidence
Give compliments every day. Words of affirmation. Speak out with praise when your kiddo does the right thing and not just judgment or consequence when they do something
bad wrong. Slow and steady. Taking time to be intentional each and every day is one of the best things we can do for our children. It creates a habit for us and is positive repetition and reinforcement for them.
- Work out what their fear is
This may or may not be a challenge for you, but simply put, you must get to the root of most problems. FEAR. Whether or not they admit it, or are able to coherently vocalize it, there is a fear that exists. Find it and CRUSH IT FAST. We all know how crippling fear can be if left untouched. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to rid every fear or that you need to, but instead, learning how to channel that fear into motivation.
- Keep praise special
I mentioned giving praise above as a great way to build confidence in small steps, but be careful with this one. I don’t mean you should praise everything your kid does. You know those parents. Just, don’t. Simply put, too much praise can lose its value with your child and you don’t want that.
- Find their forte and allow it to flourish
The most wonderful thing we could do for our children is nurture them. Especially in areas where they excel. If you’re blessed to see a strong suit in your kiddo when their young, keep supporting it. Give them everything you possibly can to allow them to flourish in whatever area they’re showing special abilities.
- Step back sometimes and let them have at it
Don’t rush ahead of them or dart to lend a helping hand. Certainly preaching to myself here! Step back and watch them. Allow them to take the lead. They just may surprise you!
What do you think? Did I miss any BIG points here? Share with us below!