by Heather Freeman, click here to get all our posts.
Isn’t it heartbreaking when your girl with moxy suddenly clams up when around others? Or the girl that parades down the runway at home doesn’t want to raise her hand at school? It's like that little light inside just doesn't want to shine.
I mean, you know she’s got it in her. She’s full of bounce and sass when you’re together. Why then, can’t she be that way around others? Am I right?
Here’s the thing – she doesn’t have to be the socialite of the group. In fact, you prefer her to get in on the action, but not be center stage all the time. She also doesn’t have to be a yes-I’ll-do-anything-you say-girl, but it would be nice if she was friendly when approached by others. You want her to feel confident meeting new people and trying new things.
Just because you know the benefits of being confident, doesn't mean she does -- not yet, anyway. It's your job to help her understand the importance of confidence, and give her a reason to be more confident.
Let’s break down exactly how to build her confidence that’s easy, has high impact, and strengthens your connection with her.
And if you’re ever having trouble powering up her confidence, come back here and re-read this strategy plan to give her the boost she needs.
Why is it that raising confident girls is harder than ever?
That’s a good question. For decades, studies have shown that feelings of self-doubt are common among girls, and creep into play as early as the pre-adolescent years. One of the most significant studies in girls and self-esteem, conducted in 1991 by the American Association of University Women, revealed that at age 9, a majority of girls were confident, assertive and felt positive about themselves.
However, …and here’s the scary part….by the time they hit high school, fewer than a third of girls still felt that way. A third! It’s been over 20 years since the initial study by the American Association of University Women, and research today continues to come to the same conclusion: Girls’ self-esteem “takes a nosedive” after age 9. (APA Task Force. 2007 American Psychological Association.)
Steve Biddulph, an internationally respected child psychologist and family therapist says “Never before has girlhood been under such a sustained assault. Young girls have become a soft target for big business; messages propagated through television and advertising tend to accentuate female sexualized imagery and their bodies rather than their brains. Consequently, says Biddulph, everywhere a young girl goes “she sees messages that make her feel that she is not good enough.”
Also at play, according to a study from the New York University Child Study Center, one of the main contributors is that at around age 10, girls’ focus starts to shift from their accomplishments and abilities to their appearance – and they never measure up to the models they see on TV, movies and ads.
So, our jobs as their mom, is harder than ever.
But don’t be discouraged. There is a way. Your daughter can be confident and happy.
Here’s is where I let the secret out of the bag.
#1. You, yes you are her number one power play.
Mom is often a girl’s first role model. If you don’t know this already or if you need a reminder, girls look to their mom and their words and actions have a lasting impact on their sense of self and confidence.
Sometimes we underestimate just how much our girls are watching us and looking at our actions. We may think they’re too young to understand or they aren’t paying attention. But they do understand. And they are paying attention. So, it’s so important that if we want to impart a strong sense of self-worth and healthy confidence, we’ve got to start with ourselves.
#2 A girl is unique and has her own identity.
Sometimes, we see ourselves in our girls – “oh, she’s shy just like me” or “I never liked public speaking so I can see why Alice doesn’t either.” But seeing a girl as a replica of ourselves limits their potential.
Instead, when we see girls as having their own unique identity, separate from ourselves, we can appreciate their subtle intricacies to their character and personality.
#3 A girl’s level of confidence is in direct proportion to how well she knows herself.
When a girl is clear on who she is, what she is passionate about, and the strengths that propel her towards realizing her dreams, her confidence sky-rockets.
Identify your girl's passions and strengths and watch as her confidence level grows.
So, what's next?
You know confidence is key to her success. And the importance of guiding a girl through the confidence building journey using high impact strategies. Think about it: If you hadn't been inspired by confident girls you know, or not understand the potential of your girl to be and do anything, you would probably feel a lot less worry about your girl than you do than you do now.
WHATEVER you do, DON’T try to figure out raising a girl on your own. Click here to get your free copy of The Confident Girl Roadmap and learn what to do.
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