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Physical changes are only one part of puberty. The brain develops too, affecting mood and confidence. Mums have a vital role to play in helping teens to maintain good mental health.
Many girls lose their confidence during puberty. Girls are more likely to blame themselves when something goes wrong, apologise when they are giving an opinion, overthink decisions and dwell on mistakes. You might recognise this from your own experience, but you can change things for your daughter. Arm her with what she needs to combat the confidence gap and show the world that doing things #LikeAGirl is simply amazing.
1. Encourage the right mindset
If your teenage daughter feels she can’t improve she often won’t even try. In psychology, that’s called the fixed mindset and girls are more at risk than boys. The growth mindset, on the other hand, is the belief that you can grow your ability with effort. This belief is great for kids — it helps them do better in school, seek harder challenges, and bounce back from failures – so encourage your daughter to develop it.
2. Compliment your teenage daughter carefully
You can help to build confidence in your teenage daughter by encouraging her growth mindset with compliments. But be careful how you do it. Praising results could make her feel pressured. She may feel she has to improve all the time and become nervous about failure. Instead, praise the way she goes about things. And how determined she is to win through. This is called “process praise.”
What to praise:
- Looking at all the options. Eg: “I’m impressed you thought of several ways to solve that problem.”
- Being ready for the challenge. Eg: “I’m proud you were up for it.”
- Keeping going. Eg. “You stuck with it until you figured it out! That’s great!”
What NOT to praise:
- Physical looks. Eg: “Your hair is so beautiful.”
- Being clever. Eg: “You’re so smart.”
3. Help your teen daughter reframe setbacks
Mistakes are a fact of life, but you can build confidence in your teenage daughter by making sure that setbacks and mistakes don’t stop her in her tracks! Encourage her to follow her passions, take risks when that’s the right thing to do, and shake off knockbacks. Tell her not to be hard on herself and to keep going.
- Feel her pain. Encourage your girl by saying “I know this is hard, and I’m sorry,” instead of “It’s not a big deal!”
- Encourage her every step of the way. Help her regroup and plan her next move by asking her to write down some new small goals.
- Set a good example. When a girl sees her parents rising to the challenge, learning from setbacks and being kind to themselves, it gives her the confidence to do the same.
As a parent, you can help your daughter take on all the changes of puberty and bloom into the confident young woman she was born to be, proving to us all that she’s unstoppable.
4. Enjoy Mum and daughter activities together
At Always we have some great ways of building confidence. They’re fun and, by doing them regularly, you can build her confidence together.
Puberty is difficult. Your girl needs to know things will be okay. If you really want to get through to her, you have to tell her how you got through it yourself.
5. Trade stories
When you admit you had a hard time during puberty too, it will make your teenage daughter feel positive about her own feelings. Explain how you rose above the problems, and she’ll understand that she will.
Nervous about opening up? Try putting things down on paper and trading letters or emails. The important thing is to keep communicating.
Don’t forget the growth mindset. That way of thinking when we truly believe our skills and abilities can improve with practice. It’s an important way to get through puberty. Introduce it by explaining that the brain is like a muscle that gets stronger with exercise, practice, and challenges.
6. Work on goals together
Help your teenage daughter step out of her comfort zone by asking her to think of a goal. Then write down three steps she can take to achieve that goal and celebrate together when she completes each step. Continue encouraging her to stick with it by reminding her that she is #unstoppable!
Your daughter will face risks with more confidence if she has a healthy attitude towards failure and understands it’s important to keep going.
7. Show her that role-models make mistakes too
You know the people your daughter admires. Do a little research and uncover a mistake on their path to success. How did that person deal with the issue? What did it take to pick themselves up and keep going? Remind your daughter of it next time she has a setback.
How do you build your child’s confidence?
Let us know in the comments below!