It’s back-to-school time. You want her to crush it this year – make new friends, speak up in class, have a blast working on that group science project, but she’s kinda of shy. And you’re afraid her quiet nature is holding her back.
Back-to-school time incites anxiety for many girls. So, it’s no surprise that the very thought of stepping on the bus for another school year, may prompt your daughter to either get teary eyed or have a melt-down. And you feel helpless as a parent. The encouragement and support you’ve given in the past, doesn’t seem to have made any difference as you face another school year.
Here’s how to head into this new school year with a game plan that bolsters everyone’s confidence.
In this post, you will learn how to:
- Relieve anxiety and get your girl pumped for school
- Bring out the best in your girl rather than punish her for who she’s not
Self-confidence is a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgement. Being self-confident is a factor of two main things: self-efficacy and self-esteem. Self-confidence comes in many shapes and sizes, from the female CEO who doesn't think twice to ask for help or give credit where credit is due, to the hilarious confidence of an comedian like Tina Fey who isn't afraid to look silly, self-confidence shows up in ways everyone admires.
Having a positive and realistic opinion of yourself and being able to accurately measure your abilities are key to managing life’s biggest challenges. Self-confidence is also at the heart of how we feel about ourselves. Having self-confidence means we feel genuinely good about ourselves……it’s that little voice inside of us that tells us we are okay, that we are a good person, and that tells us, in good times and bad, we will deal with whatever is thrown at us.
Whether your girl was born with it or not, the good news is, self-confidence can be learned and built on. And when you build the self-confidence of your daughter, it’s bound to rub off on you – making you both stronger, together.
School presents a unique environment for girls to learn to be more self-confident, but it’s not always easy. Talking with new teachers or classmates, trying out for an after-school activity may leave your girl feeling stressed or anxious. But that’s normal. The good news is, as she tries these new things, she is gaining confidence in spite of her fears. These little wins add up over time and gives her the strength to know, even when doubt arises, that she can do anything.
It’s up to you to point these out to her and I’m going to show you how.
Step 1. How confident is she?
Her level of self-confidence can show in many ways: her behavior, her body language, how she speaks, what she says, and so on. Below are indicators of confident behavior. Which behaviors do you recognize in your daughter? (For a full assessment of her confidence, grab our How Gutsy is Your Girl Quiz)
My daughter has a high level of self-confidence, because I notice the following in her behavior:
She is eager to learn new things.
She takes pride in doing a good job and being a nice person.
She can accept criticism without shutting down.
She knows what things she is good at, and those that she’s not.
She is okay if she wins or loses.
Before she does something, she usually thinks to herself, "Yes, I can do this."
She likes to try to do things without help, but she doesn’t mind asking for help when she really needs it.
She likes herself and is proud of who she is.
Does this sound like your daughter? If some of the items in this checklist sound like your daughter, that's good-she’s developing self-confidence! Remember to tell her every day that she is a capable person!
Does your daughter have low self-confidence?
If she has low self-confidence, you might notice the following behaviors:
She does not like to try new things.
She doesn’t believe she can do anything right.
If her friends criticize her, or if her teacher corrects a lot on her assignments, she gets very upset.
She doesn't know what she is good at doing.
She has a hard time meeting new people or making friends.
She is embarrassed to ask a question or speak up in class.
Before she does something, she may think, "I can't do it."
She doesn't like to try new things unless someone shows her how to do it first.
She doesn't like herself.
If many or all of these items sound like your daughter, it will be helpful for you to work on raising her level self-confidence. What can you do? Try the following tips.
What You Can Do to Boost Her Self-Confidence
Here are some tips:
- Think positive thoughts about her and focus on what she is doing well. Realize there are some situations where it will be easier for her to be confident than others.
- Focus on her strengths - not her weaknesses. Realize that she is better at some things than others.
- Set realistic expectations. This means not setting expectations beyond what she is capable of, but at a level you know is possible for her. Then, you can always encourage her to strive for more.
- Celebrate wins and praise her for overcoming any challenges she faced in order to meet expectations.
- Teach her to be assertive - provide her the space to express her thoughts, opinions, needs, and feelings openly - and validate her assertion, let her known she’s been heard.
- Don't compare her to others - remember; she’s unique and brave just the way she is!
- Remind her of what she says through body language. Share with her how her body language is a way we talk with the world and when we show the world an “I can” attitude by standing tall, the world believes it. Help her practice positive body language by showing her how it’s done.
Let’s head into this new school year with a game plan that’s a feel good for everyone. In today’s post, I broke down what she needs most to feel confident and ready.
So, now it’s your turn. In the comments below,
- Tell me, how do you boost her confidence, and what are some of your favorite ways to help show your girl she can rock it?
Share as much detail as possible in your response.
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With so much love,