Children of both genders can suffer from self-esteem and self-confidence issues. However, girls tend to have challenges in these areas more often.
Research shows that girls are much more likely to develop eating disorders. They’re more likely to self-harm when stressed or depressed. Also, girls think about and attempt suicide at twice the rate of boys of the same age.
While all children need high levels of self-esteem and confidence, many girls are especially at risk.
Help your daughter have a happy and emotionally healthy life:
1. Determine what she’s good at and help her develop that skill. Everyone feels good about themselves when they do something that they are good at. The better you are at it, the better you tend to feel. It makes you feel special and capable.
- As a parent, you already have a good idea of your daughter’s likes and strengths. From those items, identify something that your daughter loves to do and help her excel at it. Her confidence and self-esteem will soar.
2. Sign her up for team sports. Team sports have been shown to benefit girls by making them more confident. Team sports are a great way to learn new skills, make new friends, and build a social circle.
- Winning and learning how to handle defeat are both great for one’s self-esteem and confidence.
3. Ensure that your daughter understands that your love isn’t conditional. Every child needs to understand without a doubt that they are loved regardless of their choices or success.
4. Let her have her own style. Allow your daughter to have her own unique style. This includes things like music, hair, and clothing. While her choices might not match your own, finding an identity can create emotional stability. This foundation can be a wonderful footing for self-esteem and confidence.
5. Be a good example. Your daughter is always watching, even if she isn’t always listening. If she sees her mother judging her own body in a negative way, this sends a negative message. Fathers can also say inappropriate things about women that have a negative effect on girls.
- Consider how your behavior and comments are interpreted by your daughter.
6. Praise effort as well as outcomes. It’s not possible to be successful all of the time, so focus on praising effort. There are things your child simply won’t be good at. It’s counterproductive to be critical when your child did the best they could.
7. Teach assertiveness. Confidence and self-esteem largely come from the ability to influence and direct your own life. Without assertiveness, your child is subject to the whims of everyone around her. Assertiveness teaches your daughter than her opinion and wishes are important.
8. Encourage your daughter to try new things. New things can be a little scary. Overcoming that apprehension is a good thing. It also allows your daughter to add new activities, skills, and people to her life – all of which will boost her self-esteem and confidence.
Daughters often need a little more help and attention than boys do. If you’re having serious issues with your child, seek out professional assistance immediately. It’s worth the potential cost and discomfort.
There are many things parents can do to help their daughter thrive into adulthood. Building self-esteem and confidence in your daughter is an important responsibility.