Girl Power! Raising Girls With Healthy Self-Esteem

Does your daughter struggle with a low confidence? You can help her see how wonderful she really is. Boost your daughter's self-esteem with these tips.

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You know your child is talented, beautiful, and unique, but does she know it? The social pressures of growing up along with conflicting messages from peers and the media about what girlhood should be like often leads to low self-esteem. What can you do to help stave off your child's insecurities?

Choose Your Words Wisely

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," is actually not a very accurate adage. Words are powerful, so use language that will build up your child's confidence. Your encouragement and support will help shape her into a poised and self-possessed woman.

Cheer Her On

Whether it's at a basketball game or before a big school project, be your daughter's biggest fan. Let her know that your love for her is unconditional, not based on performance. Assure her that you will support her so that she knows there is somewhere to turn when she's feeling down on herself.

Defy Gender Roles

Challenge gender stereotypes! Let your daughter help fix the kitchen sink and have your son help fix dinner. Resist only signing her up for activities that are traditionally considered to be "feminine." Encourage her to pursue her interests wherever they lie.

Amplify Options

Empower your child to explore her interests without limiting the scope. Chemistry? Photography? Engineering? Whatever her interest, your daughter will benefit from looking into a variety of subjects and fields to find her passion. Finding her niche will also bolster her self-confidence.

Encourage Her to Stand Up for Herself

Embolden your daughter to be vocal about what she wants and needs instead of looking to please others. Finding worth in others' approval is a sure path to low self-esteem. Encourage her to be proud of herself and handle any peers' belittling firmly and respectfully.

Be a Role Model

Teach by example. When you act comfortable in your own skin, your daughter will pick up on your healthy behaviors and ways of thinking. Model a negative, self-critical attitude, and this will shape how she deals with her insecurities.

You can't do much to prevent your child from encountering discouraging situations, but you can reinforce her self-esteem by incorporating these strategies into your daily interactions.

Want to learn how to help your child develop supportive friendships? Check out 10 Tips for Helping Young Kids Make Friends.

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