6 Tips on How To Raise a Confident Daughter

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Mother and a daughter lying on the bed while playing with makeupMother and a daughter lying on the bed while playing with makeup

6 Tips On How To Build Her ConfidenceFist bump emoji

Raising confident daughters isn’t always easy – 56% of girls lose confidence during puberty. So, building self-esteem in girls is essential, and knowing how to raise a confident daughter can help them enjoy doing things #LikeAGirl.

Girl writing in notebookGirl writing in notebook

1

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.

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.”

Woman standing in a autumn forest pathway with her arms wide openWoman standing in a autumn forest pathway with her arms wide open

2

Get her outside

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.

Portrait of a daughter and father smilingPortrait of a daughter and father smiling

3

Help her reach her goals

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.
Girl playing a guitar while sitting on a bedGirl playing a guitar while sitting on a bed

Content 2 columns  4

Teach the importance of perseverance

Your daughter will face risk with more confidence if she has a healthy attitude towards failure and understands how to persevere.

Try building self-esteem in girls with this activity:

Do a little research on a person your daughter admires and uncover a misstep that occurred on her hero's path to success.

A good example might be someone like JK Rowling, whose Harry Potter manuscript was rejected by publishers 12 times before she secured a book deal.

Whoever your daughter's hero is, what kind of issues did they face? What role did perseverance play in their achievements? How did they keep chipping away at the challenge?

Remind your daughter of this the next time she has a setback.

Mother and daughterMother and daughter

5

Help her shake it off

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.

  • Empathise.
    Encourage your daughter by saying ‘I know this is hard, and I’m sorry to hear that,’ instead of ‘It’s not a big deal!’
  • Encourage her to own her next step. Help her to regroup and plan her next move by asking her to write down some new small goals.
  • Model the growth mindset.
    When a girl sees her parents embracing challenges, learning from setbacks and being kind to themselves, it gives her the confidence to do the same.
Mother and daughter laughingMother and daughter laughing

6

Share your stories

Puberty is a difficult time, so help your daughter understand that it’ll be OK by:

  • Admitting that you had a hard time during puberty, too. It will affirm her feelings.
  • Explaining how you rose above it. That way, she’ll understand that she will, too.
  • Putting your experiences on paper or swapping stories in emails. This can be a great way to open up discussions if she doesn’t like to talk about her emotions.
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