Empowering Our Girls: Tips to Building Confidence
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and 7 More Empowering Tips for Girls
Do you ever wonder what the secret sauce is to helping little girl grow into a truly empowered young woman? By empowered, I mean being fully embodied, strong and resilient in body, mind, voice and spirit. We are all hoping to watch out daughters grow into young women who believe in themselves and have the courage to express their full selves in the world. There really is no secret sauce to building confidence and self-esteem. But if you mix together these eight key ingredients into your daughter’s life, she may just wind up being a very healthy, expressive and strong person; a person we will feel good about sending off to college or to travel or just out of our homes into their own futures…
8 Empowering Tips for Girls
1. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Do not underestimate the power of having good old-fashioned fun. Laughter and fun are what makes us feel connected to each other and that feeling of connection is crucial for a healthy sense of self. When being silly, we are simply being ourselves. It’s great for your growing daughter to relax and feel free from pressures to be any certain way and it’s great for her to see you let your hair down and be yourself. — Often we move into our everyday roles as cooks, organizers, time-keepers, taxi-drivers, etc. This can get monotonous and you can even get tired of hearing your own voice calling out directions to your child. Having fun with your daughter adds another dimension of your relationship and both of your heart’s start to dance a little in the freedom fun brings.
2. Strong Girls Know Themselves
Make sure to schedule in some down time. It is in this alone time where your daughter will start to tune in to her inner voice. The stronger this voice is, the more solid foundation she will lay to move outward into her world with confidence. This down time may be spent in nature, listening to music, writing, doing some art, meditating, etc. It is a restorative time in which she can get to know her own thoughts and feelings.
3. Ya Gotta Love Yourself
Self-Acceptance is perhaps one of the most difficult states of being to attain, but something I believe is ours for the taking. Girls, after a certain age, begin to size themselves up against their peers. It is a natural stage of development that is often just as hard for the parents as for the daughter. But if we can immerse our daughters into groups of peers that focus on the unique differences of each individual as well as the similar feelings and needs we all share, a balance can be reached. each girl realizes her own self-worth just for being a person, alive, in this moment.
4. Everyday Acts of Self-Care and Love
This is an important tip to remember each and every day. How do we take care of ourselves? Be keeping our bodies clean, our teeth brushed, etc…as well as finding the simple things that make us feel good. Some examples may be snuggling with parents or pets, reading a book for pleasure, taking a relaxing bath, giving yourself a manicure, asking mom for a foot rub, etc. Taking this time to care for yourself and love yourself is essential for a sense of valuing yourself. And when we value ourselves, others will find value in us, too.
5. Setting Goals and Reaching Themselves
This is a sure-fire way to boost confidence. Figuring out what you want, finding a way to get what you want and then reaching your desired goal are positive skills that will last a lifetime. Girls can start small by thinking about, for example, wanting to earn money to go to a special show. They must figure out what show to go to, how to earn the money and how they are going to get there. Learning these skills now, will help your daughter dream up her future, take the steps towards it and make her dreams reality.
6. Facing Obstacles as Stepping Stones Towards Success
Teaching your daughter that obstacles, roadblocks or even failures are really just temporary pauses to help you to figure out how to move forward in a different, better way will give her the skills she will need to face such obstacles that will surely come up from time to time in her life. Learning how to handle set-backs will increase her resiliency and instill a non-quitting attitude.
Girls need to express themselves. They have a lot of emotions inside that need to come out in healthy ways. If it is through music, dance, theater or just talking to you or two friends, girls need to express themselves. Bottling up emotions and feelings just proves to implode on many young girls. They begin to turn frustration or conflict inward and this can lead to an unhealthy relationship with herself, which none of us want. So, notice where and how your daughter naturally likes to express herself and give her many opportunities to do that. If it’s signing her up for classes or just bringing more music into your home, do it. It will help promote excellent mental health.
All human beings need to feel like they belong to a group. Being a part of a community of people who share, interact, play, share meals, do activities or learn together gives your daughter a place to learn empathy for others, communication skills, and how to get along with others. It gives her a place to feel welcomed, supported and accepted for who she is and is a practice ground for developing her own identity. School is a community. Groups of friends are community. Your family is a community. Religious organizations are communities. Enjoy the time you spend with others and be a great role-model for reaching out to people and supporting members of whatever community you are a part of.
There are many ways to help ensure that your daughter grows into an empowered young woman. Become mindful of integrating these activities into her life, and you will be well on your way. Having fun, getting to know and accept herself; focusing on self-care and self-expression; setting and reaching goals and looking at failure as a chance to re-direct one’s efforts, and being a part of a community are my tips for empowering girls.
[Photo credit: (cc) Juls]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nancy has been empowering girls since 1985. She teaches self-defense, martial arts and life lessons at her studio in Northampton and beyond. Nancy is also a bodyworker, blogger, love of life and most importantly, a mom. You can read her latest blog posts at nancyrothenberg.com.