13 Surprising ways to empower your daughter and boost her confidence!
Empower your daughter and let her know that she can be whoever and whatever she wants to be...here's how!
Little girls are sugar and spice and everything nice. But as parents, we want them to be more than that. We want our daughters to grow up to be confident, young women, ready to take on the world. We want to them to know that they can be whoever and whatever they want to be. As Beyonce sang, "Who run the world? Girls!" To empower your daughter, start as early as possible!
Here then, are 13 ways to empower your daughter to reach for the stars!
1. Embrace yourself first, mummies
Mummies have the greatest impact on their daughters. So mums, embrace yourselves wholeheartedly, mind, body and soul. Because your daughter is watching you, and listening to every single word you say.
Walk the talk. Mums have a huge impact on their daughters' body image. So stop fussing over your weight and things like, "Does this dress make me look fat?"
Use positive language instead, and lead the way, by constantly trying out new things. Believe it or not, before I learnt to drive, my daughters actually thought that driving was meant only for daddies!
2. Talk to her - a lot
We all know how much little girls like to chat. So talk to her, and engage your daughter in intelligent conversations on a variety of topics, including body image and bullying.
Create an atmosphere of acceptance and open communication. And make sure you are listening.
3. Get her to voice her opinion
Your little angel needs to know that her thoughts and opinion really do matter. So encourage her to speak up about what she really believes in.
Rather than hide all the 'bad stuff' from her, expose her to the media and news. Have meaningful discussions and teach her to be a critical observer. The advertisement that promises instant fair skin? Discuss what's right, and what really matters.
Encourage your daughters to read the news and visit libraries. This will boost their intelligence, and mould their perspective on issues and happenings around the world.
4. Expose her to female role models
Apart from mummies, it is important to provide our daughters with examples of empowered young women from a variety of backgrounds.
So to empower your daughter, expose her to stories of these real life super women, who managed to overcome incredible odds in life, and made a positive impact in the world.
5. Respect her choice
Respect your little girl for who she is, for her unique personality, and for her choices - be it in clothes, movies or friends.
Don't try to impose your own thoughts and expectations on her. Guide her, but allow her to bloom into the person she was meant to be.
6. Be her cheerleader
Your daughter needs to know that you'll be there for her, no matter what - even if she does badly at her exams, or forgets her lines in the school play.
Empower your daughter by being her biggest cheerleader, because it matters the most to her and makes her feel brave and confident.
7. Teach her to be independent and brave
Daddies, especially, don't treat your daughters as delicate darlings and damsels in distress. Give her the opportunities and tools to tread on unfamiliar terrain and try new things instead.
Teach her that it's okay to fall, and teach her to brush herself off and get back up. Treat her as no different from your son.
Encourage her to venture out of her comfort zone, and remind her, that each time, she's learning something new.
8. Instill social confidence and encourage friendships
Teach your daughter the importance of making good friends and maintaining quality relationships. There is nothing like friendship to boost confidence and self-esteem, and to cheer you up when you are down.
Encourage her to take part in team sports, for research shows that, girls who play on teams have higher self-esteem.
9. Praise her for her efforts than her performance
Focus less on the outcome and more on efforts and the development of new skills.
If you want your daughter to grow up with high self-esteem, get her involved in activities that build a sense of confidence, rather than just focusing on looking good and acquiring things.
Creative activities like sports, theater, music and art work well, because they allow girls to express themselves and bring out their hidden talents.
10. Compliment her on something other than her looks
Your daughter needs to know that as a girl, she's much more than a 'pretty face'. And it starts with you.
Focus more on who she is, than what she looks like. When giving compliments, try to praise her about something non-appearance based.
11. Choose your toys wisely
No harm in getting your little one that Barbie doll, but in this age, it makes much more sense to arm her with more scientific and logical toys instead.
The more she's exposed to such playthings, the more her critical thinking skills and understanding of concepts develop. They may even influence her career choices later on in life.
12. Instill money skills
When it comes to money and financial skills, we know that women still seem to be lagging behind their male counterparts. One way to combat this, and make your daughter future ready is to introduce her to money, and savings early on.
To start, give her a weekly allowance and encourage her to save for something she wants. Talk openly about your own saving and spending habits.
13. Teach her to dream
Encourage your daughter to dream, that, no matter how impossible they may seem, her dreams are still valid. Teach her to set future goals and start working towards achieving them. Sit with her and help her think it out.
Most importantly, let her know that, no matter what happens in life, you will still love her.