How do we manage that our daughters have the same confidence as the boys? We share seven tips to help you raise a strong daughter.
Girls today get all sorts of messages from society and the media. Yes, they should be ambitious, but please don’t show it, because that’s not very attractive. They should have a good body feeling, but they should still be slim. With these confusing statements, we manage to make girls feel less confident than boys by the time they hit their teens.
We want to counteract this and bring up a self-confident girl, i.e. a strong daughter. It won’t be easy, as we are often just as entangled in social expectations ourselves, but let’s see how we can balance this imbalance:
Tip #1: Role models are important
If the girls are shown how a strong and independent woman goes through life, they have it much easier. So let’s look in the mirror. Are we showing them that it is important to recognize and appreciate their own talents and achievements? Do we praise other women enough for their achievements and not just for their looks? When we gossip about other women’s looks in front of little girls or moan about gaining another pound, we’re emphasizing the importance of slim bodies, flawless skin, or small noses. Let’s just refrain from making one or the other comment!
Are we showing enough that there is life outside of relationships? Do the girls see that friends and hobbies are an important part of life that give us confidence?
Tip #2: Foster their passions
Be it music, sports, or other hobbies: Anything that allows your daughter to develop further and achieve success for herself boosts her self-confidence. And it also distracts from appearances. She needs challenges and defeats are important too. Especially in sports you learn to get back up and keep going. Don’t get confused, just focus on what’s important. And even if your daughter doesn’t become a concert pianist or an Olympian – as long as she enjoys it and does it with passion, everything is fine.
Tip #3: Encourage them to let off steam and take risks
Physical activity and well-being should not be underestimated. It’s a great thing for children to discover the capabilities of their bodies at an early age. The more physically confident your daughter is, the better it will be for her self-confidence. You don’t have to yell at them and throw them in the pool. Entice and encourage them to maybe ride their bikes down the hill or try skateboarding. Join us! Movement is good for everyone!
Tip #4: Encourage their team spirit
Children who have learned to solve problems in a team develop greater confidence to take on other challenges as well. It gives them a significant boost in confidence and a sense of accomplishment. You can encourage that. Share how teamwork has benefited you, and encourage them to collaborate and get involved. Let them build something or help out.
Tip #5: Listen to her
This is very important. Listen, take them seriously, and don’t say so much yourself. Admittedly, this is difficult, but how can she become strong if she is not properly listened to? She should think about what she says to herself. This works better if you let them talk and don’t interrupt them. If she wants advice, she’ll ask for it. But the most important thing is that you talk at all. Your daughter should always know that she can talk to you. By the way, there is a good book by Dr. Judith Bildau, who is raising five daughters herself and urges calm:
Tip #6: Praise her for who she is
Makes sense, but how often do we girls start off by saying what a pretty dress they’re wearing, how pretty their hair is, and how cute they look? Why not start by praising them for what they said or did? Or how confident they seem and how great it is that they did something without fear? It shouldn’t be that difficult!
Tip #7: Talk to her about expectations
The longer you can keep her away from social media and pop culture where Photoshop and Instagram are used to hammer her into how she should be, the better. But of course, that’s not very realistic. Sooner or later the girls get it and then talk about the stereotypes that are conveyed there. make her aware of this. This doesn’t mean that you should gossip about her idol, but feel free to point out what may be behind it. The awesome influencer might just want to sell stuff. Show her what Photoshop can do.
If the girls are older, you should also talk about sex. Teenagers are often given an unrealistic picture. Unfortunately, many of them saw pornographic images far too early. Talk to her about it, don’t leave it to others. She should know that sex is part of a loving and respectful relationship, but that it’s important to know your needs and to say no when you’re uncomfortable. She should take her time.
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