Raise a Strong and Confident Girl Who Has a Positive Image, Self-Esteem and Confidence in Her Abilities. Raising a strong and confident girl takes these 7 steps. Confidence Sets Kids Up For Lifelong Success. Girl Power! Learn how to build up your daughter and establish a strong foundation for a confident future.
Positive affirmation cards for kids are one of my favorite ways to leave little daily reminders of how extraordinary my children are and the popular book, No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident and Compassionate Girls is a great read on this topic, too!
The Keys to Raising Strong and Confident Daughters
I’m not the most confident person, but I’ve come a long way since struggling with my own internal views of myself I formed growing up.
I’m raising two daughters who observe and soak in everything I model for them, so by default, this is something I must consciously work on daily.
I’m no expert at being confident but I’m a work in progress and it’s my hope the hard work I do for myself, will reflect onto my girls and make it easier for them to naturally accept themselves, how they speak to themselves, accept their abilities, characteristics, attitudes towards others, and even their own appearance with a kindness and love I never had for myself growing up.
I don’t want either of my girls to feel uncomfortable in their own skin and insecure with who they are. I see little bursts of confidence in them through the day and it makes me proud when they speak up and talk positively about themselves.
When my five year old clomps downstairs in rain boots, a mismatched tutu and top to some costume and proclaims, “Don’t I look beautiful today!” my heart bursts with pride in her innocence, and confidence.
When someone at school calls her dumb and she shouts, “I’m smart!” I resist pointing my finger and saying, “take that” because she sure is smart, as well as courageous and unafraid to be herself.
Growing Up Without a Confident Role Model Hurts Girls
Growing up, my mom only praised my ability to be a good athlete yet would make discouraging comments about my body to me and with others, play the comparison game between my siblings and myself when it came to school, relationships and other important life events growing up.
Yet, looking back as an adult, I could see her own remarks to knock me down a few pegs, was a knee-jerk reaction to not being confident with herself.
Unfortunately, I learned early what was important was how I looked, what I achieved and how others viewed me. It wasn’t about how I felt, any of my strengths or who I was.
- Was I smart?
- Was I kind?
- Was I thoughtful of others?
- Was I determined?
- Did I work hard?
I was all of these things, and this is where the attention should have been put in order to build my confidence and a positive self-image, but it unfortunately wasn’t and as a 30-something year old woman with two girls, the work to change the mindset I’ve had about myself for far too long is not an easy journey to have.
As a mother to two girls, as well as a son, it’s important for me to focus on what’s on the inside of my children, not on the outside or give undue praise to their achievements, instead of what it took to meet their goals.
I don’t want them to have to take the same path back to building confidence and finding themselves as I have. It took a long time to gain the confidence I do have now, and I certainly don’t want my daughters to take the same winding road as I had.
Is there a secret formula to instilling confidence? No, but there are two factors that help to raise confident girls; the child’s personality and the parent’s role in creating a sense of self-worth.
Here are some 7 surefire ways to raise a confident daughter who knows her own super powers.
1) If You Want a Confident Girl, You’ve Got to Model Confidence
No doubt, modeling confident behavior is easier said than done.
Your daughter looks to you, her Mama, to set an example, and so it’s important to be consciously aware of how you act, speak about yourself, speak to her girl, and speak of others.
Your children are always observing you even when you aren’t aware. The words you say and how you treat yourself isn’t going to go unnoticed. If you bash your body or how snug something fits, critique your appearance or work, and even say things such as “I can’t,” she’ll notice.
She’ll pick up on when you feel beautiful and feel proud of your accomplishments.
When the tables have turned, you’ll begin to notice the things your daughter says and feels about herself. Take note. Is it good, bad, negative or positive?
When she observes you are confident, she’s more likely to become confident herself. Positive affirmations for moms are just as important as they are for kids.
2) Talk About Your Body in a Positive Way and Be Proud of Your Strengths & Quirks
You daughter will hear the words you use when you talk about who you are, what you do and how you feel about your body. Girls pick up on body language and will notice if you are confident in your own skin, or if you aren’t.
It’s hard not to lament to those around you – or even when you think you’re alone – all the things you don’t like about your body. We’re consumed in a society with appearances and the pressure to look a certain way, act a certain way and be a particular way.
Of course, we weight our appearances against what we “think” we should look and feel like…. but then, do you want your daughter to feel this same pressure?
I may not be 100% comfortable in a swimsuit after my third baby, but I won’t use the word fat or complain about my thighs or tummy in front of my kids, or when I’m alone. I also won’t hide underneath cover-ups or avoid jumping in the pool, which sends the signal I’m uncomfortable in my own skin.
It’s also important to talk about food in healthy context and without the words “diet,” “fat,” “calories,” or “shouldn’t eat that.” These buzz words all mean the same thing but when you explain what eating healthy looks like and about good and bad food choices, but not for dieting reasons and to live a healthy lifestyle, then you change the conversation.
You should never use the words diet, skinny or fat in the presence of children.
The Bottom Line…
Being comfortable in your own skin will make your daughter feel confident in her own and until you genuinely feel this way, fake it until you get there, for them.
3) Don’t Make Appearances a Big Deal
Who your daughter is isn’t tied to how she looks or what she wears. You don’t want to raise a daughter whose self-worth is directly connected to her appearance and the way she dresses herself.
Worth instead, is based on who she is. Praise your daughter for her kindness, integrity, determination, problem-solving, effort and positive characteristics.
What do you admire about her? What are her strengths? Is she a good leader, does she work hard in sports or encourages her teammates? What does she enjoy doing and puts extra effort into?
One of my favorite ways to instill confidence in my kids, is with daily reminders using positive affirmation cards for kids. I tuck them in lunch boxes, in the front pocket of their backpacks and sometimes I just leave them on the top of their dresser or folded laundry.
4) Self-Worth Isn’t Built By Focusing on Accomplishments
When your child does well in sports and excels in school, it’s easy to want to praise her for these accomplishments. Instead, it’s more important to point out the effort and mental aptitude it took for her to have this successes and meet her goals.
Wins and achievements stem from hard work, perseverance, and having the fortitude and grit to face challenges. Point out the skills and characteristics it took for her to get to that place, which goes a lot further in boosting her confidence.
Your daughter isn’t a good grade or a star athlete. She’s a hard worker, she’s a dreamer, she’s interesting and devoted to learning.
5) Confident Women Raise Strong and Confident Daughters Who Don’t Compete with other Women
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. – Eleanor Roosevelt
A confident woman doesn’t need to gossip or put others down in order to lift herself up.
Never is this more important than now than when you’re working hard to model good behavior to your daughter.
Don’t talk badly or gossip about others especially of their appearance, shortcomings, difference of opinion or choices. Focus on the positive aspects of a person, send them love and always try to put yourself in their shoes to teach your daughter about empathy.
Modeling behavior that builds up others, finds positive traits instead of tearing them down, and cheering them on also teaches your daughter to find the good in others. Give compliments and talk brightly about women because if you speak badly about them, chances are your daughter will do the same.
You will be a great role model when you celebrate other women’s successes and accomplishments.
6) Foster Your Daughter’s Passions & Boost her Confidence
Children naturally gain confidence when they find something they like to do. Give your daughter the freedom to try sports, school-clubs and other activities until she finds something she loves to do and spends hours.
When kids – and adults – are passionate about what they do, they work hard to achieve goals.
Be sure to praise your daughter for those characteristics, not just the accomplishments. If she had to reach her goals through hard work, persevering through failure and periods of stagnation to improve – this is what you need to focus on.
7) Limit Exposure to Media and Social Media to Small Doses
Every form of media – social media, television, movies, magazines and even books – portray women in objectifying ways. They’re too sexy, too suggestive, too weak, and too many other negative connotations and social media is a cesspool for bullying and tearing others down.
Exposure to these types of behavior and words, will create harmful effects such as comparing herself to others, body shaming, gossiping, and bullying.
Be careful to screen movies and consider what messages you allow your daughter to have access to.
More Positive Parenting & Raising Confident Kids Articles:
- 9 Positive Parenting Solutions for a Yell Free Home
- Positive Parenting: How to Use Positive Discipline Effectively
- 9 Essential Tips for Raising Confident Kids & Nurturing Self Esteem
- Nurturing Children: 11 Tools to Help Your Child be Successful
- How Can I Help My Child Deal with Strong Emotions?
- How to Respond to Your Child’s Negative Self Talk & When They Want to Give Up
- Negative Language Hurts Kids – How to Improve The Way We Talk to Children