How to Raise a Confident Daughter

5 Foolproof Ways to Raise a Confident Daughter

It wasn’t all that long ago when my little girl bounded confidently out of her room dressed in ladybug rain boots, a shirt covered in stars that announced something like, “Be Unique!”, and mismatched socks, and declared herself ready for school. Sometimes I really miss those days.

Now, the much more common scenario is my teen frantically declaring that she has “nothing to wear!” despite the huge piles of clothes that liter her floor.  And that’s only the beginning.

Research shows that during the tween years, a girl’s self-esteem drops significantly. The pressure to look a certain way, act a certain way, and perform to a certain level can be overwhelming and even detrimental to our girls. In the early years, she doesn’t know anything about those pressures. But much too soon the weight piled on top of her to meet and exceed the world’s expectations can be crushing.

How can we as parents combat this problem of low self-esteem? What can we do to instill confidence in our once innocent and carefree daughters?

mother and teen daughter

How to Raise a Confident Daughter

mother and teen daughter

Be a Role Model

Sure, I was a role model for my girl when she was toddling around in my heels and attempting to wear my make-up, all the while chatting up a storm on her toy phone. But now that she’s in her preteen and teen years, am I really someone she still looks up to? The answer is a resounding YES! While it may seem like our teenage girls only care what their friends are doing, research shows quite the opposite. Maybe they won’t admit it to you, but mom is the ultimate role model for the vast majority of tweens and teens.

When we speak negatively about our bodies, she hears. When we don’t take care of our bodies, she sees. When we gossip about others, she notices. When we’re dishonest about our fears and insecurities, she emulates.

We can’t be perfect, and pretending to be so will only further hinder your girl from becoming confident in who she is. Be honest about your own struggles while modeling how to continually be learning and growing as a human being.

Encourage her Uniqueness

If your daughter is still traipsing out of her room in unique attire or expressing interest in the non-traditional, great! Encourage her God-given passions. Resist the urge to correct her style {unless it is truly immodest}. Instead, praise her uniqueness. Even if she’s deep in the throes of teen angst, build her up by complimenting what makes her uniquely her.

Let her Experience Failure

When we’re always coming to our daughter’s rescue, how can she learn to face her own challenges and build up the confidence she needs to soldier on? Steer away from the expectation of perfection. Because, as I’ve said, none of us can achieve perfection. Expecting it of ourselves or our daughters will only destroy confidence and self-worth. Let her experience failure and disappointment while she has you alongside her to cheer her on. Give her opportunities to build her confidence through trial and error by teaching her simple tasks where she may mess up but can work to improve over time.

dad and teen daughter

Validate her Emotions

Even our teenage daughters struggle to manage and express emotion. As early as possible, talk with your girl about what she’s feeling, helping her put into words how she’s feeling then guiding her in how to handle those emotions. One of the worst things we can do for our daughters’ confidence is to tell them, directly or indirectly, that what they’re feeling is wrong. The feeling of emotion is never wrong. It’s how we handle and express that emotion that can lead to wrong behavior. Help her to embrace her emotions while leading her to handle them wisely.

Equip her for the World

Through all of these things, you’re equipping your daughter for life outside of your home. You’re instilling habits of confidence that she can carry with her throughout her life. The very best thing we can do for her, though? Love her unconditionally and without reservation. Nothing encourages our girls to face the world with confidence like knowing they have us in their corner, loving them through every aspect of life!

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