6 Tips On How To Build Her Conﬁdence
For girls, their first period is not just a body crisis, it’s a self confidence crisis. Studies have shown that once girls hit puberty, they start to have issues answering questions with confidence and passion. The phrases “I don’t know” and “I’m not sure” start to become prevalent as a response to simple questions like, “what do you care about?” and “what makes you angry?”
Raising conﬁdent daughters isn’t always easy – 56% of girls lose conﬁdence during puberty. You may know from your own experience that girls are more likely to blame themselves when something goes wrong, apologize when they give their opinion, overthink decisions, and dwell on mistakes. So, building self-esteem in girls is essential, and knowing how to raise a conﬁdent daughter can help them enjoy doing things #LikeAGirl.
Encourage the Growth Mindset
If a child feels like she can’t improve, she often won’t even try. In psychology, this is called the ﬁxed mindset, and girls are more at risk than boys. The growth mindset – understanding that your skills and abilities improve with practice – is key to building self-esteem and is an important tool in raising conﬁdent daughters.
What’s causing that to happen? Psychologist Roni Cohen-Sandler, author of “Easing Their Stress: Helping Them Thrive in the Age of Pressure,” observed a spike instress levels and psychological crises among young girls. She writes that young girls are “so busy living up to others’ expectations that they either don’t develop or eventually relinquish their own goals. They are so focused on achieving external emblems of success that they don’t get the chance to figure out what really excites them and gives them pleasure. They barely know who they are or who they want to become.”
Once they hit puberty, young girls are bombarded by messages, not just from the media, but also from their peers and friends about who they should be. It can be tough to sort out all those mixed signals, and stressful because it’s impossible to make everybody happy.
Encourage your daughter’s growth mindset through the kind of afﬁrmation you give. Rather than praising the end result, or a ﬁxed quality like intelligence, praise her effort, strategies, and determination – known as ''process praise''. This will make her feel celebrated for her persistence and help her bounce back from failures.
What to praise
Problem-solving strategies, e.g., ''I’m impressed that you thought of several ways to solve that problem.''
Seeking challenges, e.g., ''I’m proud of you for choosing to run that 10K race.''
Persistence, e.g., ''Well done! You worked really hard for that test''
What NOT to praise
Physical attractiveness, e.g., ''Your hair is so beautiful.''
Inherent intelligence, e.g., ''You’re so smart.''
In today’s time-pressured, hyper-connected world, all too often girls are chained to their desks or devices when they get home.
Part of raising conﬁdent daughters is about helping them test their boundaries – and where better to do that than outdoors. Rather than living life within the conﬁnes of a school or home environment, encourage her to head outside and try skateboarding, master cartwheels, or climb trees.
By testing her physical abilities – falling down and getting back up again – she’ll be able to identify her strengths and limits.
Helping your daughter identify and achieve her goals can help boost her self-esteem and improve her conﬁdence. Try this simple task to get her started:
Encourage her to step out of her comfort zone by thinking of a goal she has.
Help her write down three steps she can take to achieve her goal.
Keep her on track by celebrating together each time she completes a step.
What makes girls happy (and healthy and powerful) is being themselves. To inspire girls to be true to themselves, Simmons founded the Girls Leadership Institute. But what can you personally do for your daughter? Simmons told Always the best thing moms can do to help their daughters during this time is to be an emotional refuge by validating their volatile emotions.
“Your mother validates your emotions — it’s okay to feel insecure, or fat, or betrayed, or anxious. Girls are questioning their feelings,” Simmons said. “Adolescence is such a storm for girls. In the best case scenario, your mom is a good refuge for you.”
As her mom, you’re the constant that keeps her confident. But how can you be there for her when she’s distancing herself? Get tips on staying close when she pulls away here.
Raising conﬁdent daughters means making sure that missteps don’t stop her in her tracks. Follow these tips to help her shake off setbacks with self-kindness.
Puberty is a difﬁcult time, so help your daughter understand that it’ll be OK by:
“Easing Their Stress: Helping Them Thrive in the Age of Pressure” by PsychologistRoni Cohen-Sandler