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.
e.g. ‘I’m impressed that you thought of several ways to solve that problem.’
e.g. ‘I’m proud of you for choosing to run that 10K race.’
e.g. ‘Well done! You worked really hard for that test’
e.g. “Your hair is so beautiful.”
e.g. “You’re so smart.”
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.
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:
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.
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.
Share your stories
Puberty is a difﬁcult time, so help your daughter understand that it’ll be OK by: