8 tips for raising a confident daughter
You watch your daughter growing day by day, turning into a young woman who will soon be ready to go out and embrace the world in her own independent way.
The easy way to teach her how to face her future with confidence is by example, so do your best to follow these eight golden rules and she'll be off to a great start.
1.Be positive about your body
Your daughter looks up to you and - even if you don't realise it - will mirror your daily behavior, which is why it's so important to lead by example.
Encourage a healthy body image by showing her you're appreciative of your body for what it does, and accepting it totally regardless of what it looks like.
Instead of berating yourself in front of the mirror, or complaining about body parts you dislike, praise your body instead by saying things like, "These long legs did a great job on that long walk", or "I'm grateful for these strong arms".
2. Let her see you being assertive
If you're unhappy with something - from a meal in a restaurant, to the way somebody speaks to you in the supermarket - be confident and assertive enough to rectify things politely.
Seeing you being assertive and confident means she will learn that she doesn't have to tolerate behaviour she's uncomfortable with, and will teach her how to deal with problems in an effective way.
3. ...And praise her when she is
It's great to teach your daughter manners, but it's just as important to instill a sense of confidence and assertiveness in her. If you see her asserting herself (perhaps a friend tells her she can't lead a school project when she's confident of doing so, for example) then praise her when she stands her ground.
But watch out for unwarranted displays of aggression or rudeness - as you know there's a clear difference, and you'll be able to teach her what that is.
4. Teach her good health is more than a dress size
Most young girls have an understanding of health and wellness, but too often the emphasis is on physical appearance. It's important she places value on her health, too - it's an important aspect of self-care.
Practice what you preach by being active day-to-day, and giving her the tools to take care of her body - once she knows how, she'll feel happy and confident.
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5. Let her see you feeling uncomfortable
Confidence comes from experience, and that means pushing yourself out of your comfort zone from time to time.
Don't feel you have to be unflappable 24/7; let her see you getting nervous about a work presentation, or working hard on a big project, for example. It will help her realise that results - and confidence - come from feeling uncomfortable, but not giving up on what you need to do.
6. ...But don't focus entirely on results
Whatever your daughter chooses to focus on - from sports to literature or coding - focus your praise on the effort she puts in, and the taking part. Don't place importance on the end result all the time. Build her up by helping her learn how to do things and gaining confidence in her skills and abilities, rather than a score or medal.
7. Nurture your female friendships
Placing emphasis on good female friendships is key when it comes to nurturing and developing your daughter's own self-confidence and happiness.
Let her see how valuable your friendships are to you, and how important choosing good friends is. It will mean she'll start to do the same, and reap the benefits of having a supportive, nurturing group of friends around her.
8. Ask her opinion
Show you value your daughter's opinion and she'll start to value it herself. Ask what she thinks of your work project, or a scenario on a TV show you're watching together.
Sharing and respecting each other's opinions is the first step to developing confidence - with the added bonus of bringing you closer together.
How do you help boost your daughter's confidence? We'd love to hear in the comments below.
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