In this modern world where the media is saturated with digitally enhanced pictures of perfect women, how do you teach your daughter to love her imperfect self? Well, the truth is – it starts with you loving your imperfect self! Here are 5 ways to promote independence and confidence in your little girl.
As with all parenting, it starts with you as a role model. Children learn what we show them, and not always what we tell them. Don’t teach her that certain foods are “bad” or “good” or that they define who you are. Instead show her healthy choices and how to embrace the whole person she is. Watch TV with her or read magazines and help her be critical of these “perfect images” shown in the media. Make sure she knows, this isn’t reality!
Also be wary of how you talk about other people. Trash-talking or mentioning other peoples looks in a negative way makes her feel insecure and wonder what people are saying behind her back.
Let your daughter be apart of something bigger then herself. Studies have shown that girls who play team sports have a higher self-esteem. Being apart of a team, lets your daughter focus more on what abilities she brings to the team, rather then her appearance. And it enforces the feeling of succes based on who she is, rather then what she looks like.
Team sports will also give her a group of peers who can accept her and like her for her abilities and personality instead of her looks or clothes (since you usually wear team uniforms in team sports!). Or even if sports isn’t her thing, there are other choices; like playing in a band or drama club.
Being a teamplayer is an ability that will help her all through her life, wether it’s in her job or personal life!
Compliment her abilities
My little girl gets lots of compliments; “You’re such a pretty princess.” or “What a cute smile.” And those kind of compliments are nice too, but much more often I hear boys being complimented for being “smart” or “strong“.
Be sure to compliment your daughter on her persona and what she DOES, not only on what she looks like or is supposed to represent. I think it’s important to make a conscious effort to balance these compliments out, so everything isn’t about appearance!
Daddy’s little girl
Many dad’s treat their little girls as fragile little princesses, who need help. I have no doubt they do it out of love, but rather it would be better for her, to teach your daughter to be independent and trust in her own abilities. Otherwise you’re teaching her, that a woman’s job is to look good, so a man can come and “save you“. A father would never teach his son this, so why should he teach this to his daughter!?
Again it’s important to make a conscious choice to teach your little girl independent skills, so she can speak up for herself and not wait for someone to rescue her. It also teaches her stamina, the ability to get up, brush yourself off and keep going when you get knocked down! And who doesn’t want to promote that in their little girl’s life?
Love conquers all
We all have insecurities, in fact I would say, it’s something every human being on the planet has in common. Your daughter needs to feel your unconditional love. Say it to her, make sure she knows that small or tall, round or skinny, you love every last bit of her and wouldn’t change her for the world.
The power of acceptance is huge!
These are my 5 ways to promote independence and confidence in our little girl. Do you have something to add to the list?
Please let me know in the comments below 🙂