Raising Your Daughter’s Self-Esteem
Ensuring that your child feels confident and has high self-esteem is one of the most important jobs a parent has. This is especially true when it comes to our daughters.
Our society is constructed in a way that tears women and young girls down for everything, from our personalities to our bodies. This can have a severe impact on young girls.
Here are five ways you can build a supportive relationship with your daughter that raises her self-esteem.
1. Give Her Choices
Sometimes, in our efforts to look out for our daughters, we can be way too controlling. Giving your daughter daily choices, within reasonable boundaries, will empower her and show her that her opinions truly matter.
These choices can range from what to wear to school, what classes to take, what music to listen to in the car, what to have for breakfast, and so on! Giving her this control over her life will boost her self-esteem, all without taking away from your authority as a parent.
2. Don’t Let Looks Be Everything
Though there are many women out there trying to change the unattainable beauty standards held up by our society, they’re unfortunately still very prevalent. It’s important for our daughters to know that they’re beautiful as they are, but at the same time, we need to teach them that looks aren’t everything.
We can do this by complimenting them for displays of intelligence, leadership, kindness, and other qualities that are more valuable than exterior beauty. A good approach to this is to encourage our daughters to participate in activities like sports, music, theatre, and others that don’t somehow rely on their appearance.
3. Build Up Other Women
When our daughters compare themselves to each other or actively seek to outdo each other, they put their self-esteem and confidence at risk. It’s important that we raise daughters that want to build each other up and support each other’s endeavors.
One way of encouraging this behavior is to not tear down other women, especially in the presence of your daughter. Maybe there’s a female co-worker or one of her friend’s mothers that’s just driving you crazy. In those situations, try not to vocalize your issues with that person.
4. Celebrate Their Individuality
Too often, our girls are put into the same boxes and categories, all dictated by stereotypes and old-school notions of what it means to be female. In reality, women of all ages are individuals with different interests, styles, learning methods, and personalities.
These differences should be celebrated! By telling our daughters that they need to be more like other girls, we’re just destroying their self-esteem and all the things that make them unique.
5. Encourage Courage
Courage is an important quality for any independent girl or woman to have. It’s certainly more important than exterior beauty or unwavering politeness. There’s nothing wrong with passing on manners to our daughters, but the moment those manners interfere with her standing up for herself, they become a problem.
We won’t always be there to stand up for our daughters. That’s why we need to show them how to stand up for themselves and then encourage that behavior, even if other people call them bossy, emotional, controlling, or any other buzzword that is so unfairly applied to women. Shaping the minds and habits of the next generation is a top parent priority and can also be a deeply rewarding professional pursuit.