You would think that in today’s world, it would not be hard to raise confident daughters. Women are more and more in the work place, holding key positions. However, young girls are growing up with a lack of self confidence that is evident in the choices they make. Just look at the young Hollywood stars. Money is no object, they can have anything they want. Yet, the choose drugs, alcohol, sex and even abusive relationships. Below is a list of ways to help your daughter not fall into these footholds.
1. When your daughter is still a toddler, shower her with lots of hugs, kisses and praise. One way to build a child’s self confidence is to simply build them up. If they know (and feel) they are loved and wanted it will build their self esteem.
2. Have boundaries and explain why you have them. For example, we never allowed our girls to start dating until they were 17-18 years old. Boys were not allowed to call the house, etc. But we told them this at 3 and 4 years old. Yes, at that age, little girls have already figured out what a boyfriend is. You would be surprised at the kids who come home from daycare and say they have a boyfriend! As they got older, we explained why they didn’t need a boyfriend at a young age. “This time of your life is for you! You need to enjoy being a kid, work on getting good grades, realize that who you are is not wrapped in “who you are dating.” They didn’t need the drama of a boyfriend at 10 years old.
3. Instead of messing with boys, we put them in soccer, ballet, piano lessons, voice lessons, etc. Do you get the picture now? We surrounded them with opportunities to succeed and be proud of what they could accomplish. With each thing they were able to accomplish, either a hard piece of piano music to learn, a ballet dance to memorize, they felt proud of themselves. Look for ways to set them up to succeed.
4. Brag on your kids. But do it when your kids are around so they can hear you. And it doesn’t hurt to brag on them when they aren’t around. My husband comes home from work a lot and tells our girls, ” I told this guy at work how you can drive a stick shift and how well you do. He was really impressed that you knew how. He said his son can’t drive a stick yet!”
5. Dress for success. This is a hard one for young ladies today. Most clothes that are in style for young ladies are, well, trashy! They are cut way to low, and I am not talking just about the shirts. Young girls clothes look like they are going out for a night on the town or bar hopping. It’s OK to say “no, you are not going to wear that”. But, don’t leave the conversation there. Explain why you don’t want them to wear it, and if possible, let the Dad do the explaining from a man’s point of view. “The first thing a guy is going to notice when he sees you in something like that is your breast. He’s not going to look at your pretty eyes, etc. He is going to be staring at your chest. And you deserve someone who will like you for the whole package…not just a certain body part!”
6. Always tell them the truth. It shows that you respect them as a person. They may not want to hear it or even like it, but they deserve it.
Remember, when they are young, you are laying down a foundation that they will build the rest of their lives upon. The more confidence they can have in themselves, and in you, the stronger the foundation!