Guest post by Isabel F. William.
If you’re a parent, then you’ve probably been told at least once that you’re overprotecting your child or that you should let them try things on their own so they can gain confidence. But you can’t build your daughter’s confidence without enough support and encouragement.
So, how do you give your child the right amount of support and independence without hovering around and worrying about them every second? If you’d like to learn how, here are a couple of suggestions that should help you raise your girl to be a confident and mature adult.
Be mindful of labels
You’ve probably heard people call businesswomen bossy or control freaks who should smile more and give orders less, while businessmen are simply described as having good leadership skills.
Unfortunately, certain business fields are still not very women-friendly, which is why you need to avoid such derogative phrases around your girl.
This doesn’t mean your daughter should actually be allowed to do whatever she wants and order people around. Guide her, just be mindful of your labels. Moreover, kids tend to mimic their parents’ behaviour. This means that you should be respectful, assertive, and confident around your girl, and she will know how to be so as well.
Support her choices
Sometimes your daughter’s interests differ from yours. Let her choose her own hobbies, as that’s the only way for her to really enjoy what she’s doing. Help her reach her goals, whatever they might be. Make sure she sees that you approve of her choices, even when they differ from yours.
If your daughter sees that you support her, she’ll be less likely to give up and more likely to find out what she enjoys doing and wants to keep doing in life. She will also be less afraid of challenges, as she will know that she’s not alone.
If you expect your daughter to be capable of making smart decisions later in life, you can start giving her chances to do so even at a young age. Of course, those decisions should be age-appropriate.
Compliment her beyond her appearance
How many times have people told your girl how pretty she looks, how she’s like a little princess, or how nice her hair is? You’ve probably lost count. There is nothing wrong with such compliments, but the thing is, true confidence comes from within while those kinds of comments address only the surface. They also reinforce the idea that looks are the only thing that matters if you’re a girl, which is probably not what you want your daughter to believe.
Tell your girl how smart she is, ask her how far she can kick the ball and praise her for it, compliment her singing, etc. If somebody else gives her compliments about her looks, you can always follow up with “yes, and she can also do…” or something similar.
Moreover, pay attention to the way you talk about your own appearance. If you criticize yourself too often and too harshly, your daughter will again conclude that since you judge your own looks so much, you probably judge hers as well.
Your relationship with your daughter has a huge impact on how she will lead her life. You can help her become a strong adult who knows her own worth and isn’t afraid of challenges. By being a good role model, giving her the right kind of compliments, letting her have a say, and supporting her decisions, you allow her to grow up into a woman who knows who she wants to be in life and how to become that.