I believe that confidence is a great quality to have, but we do not all show it in the same way or know how to show our confidence in the same manner. Often, confidence is something that parents have to help their children find within themselves. This becomes more apparent when our kids are going through puberty. This is why I am helping my daughter feel more confident with herself so she can become more independent and make decisions that are right for her.
Tween and teen girls are being told from many different sources what they should look like and how they should act in order to be considered “normal.” As a parent, I believe that it is important to let my teen know that she is perfect the way she is. I feel that in order for girls at this age to accept who they are, they have to see what is good about themselves, especially when it comes to what they see in the mirror. I think that when a girl sees the good things about herself, she will start to believe it, and hearing about those good things from a person who loves and cares about her, like a parent, is the start of this process. She also needs to hear that what makes her different from everyone else is what makes her unique and special.
Another way I like to help my daughter become a more confident person is by giving her positive reinforcement. I find that tweens and teens hear a lot about what they are doing wrong, and they may not always hear about what they are doing right. With my daughter, I found that hearing when she is doing something right can help to improve her view of herself. When my daughter offers to help out around the house, brings home a good test, or start talking about something that was very thought-provoking, I give her praise for doing so. I also give her positive direction if she does not do well on a test, or forgets to do her chores around the house or does not achieve a goal she set for herself. I will also help her by being an audience if she has a presentation, or help her study in different ways for a test so she can see there are different ways of approaching situations and solving problems. She can then use these tools to help achieve her future goals.
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I also think that it is important to give my teen daughter some freedom to become more confident. She has to learn how to spread her wings and fly without having a parent or guardian close by all of the time. My daughter is given privileges, such as an allowance, a certain time to be home by, a cell phone, and is allowed to have fun on the Internet, but she is also given guidelines to follow in order to enjoy these perks. I think that by giving my daughter some freedom, I am also allowing her to be more of her own person, so that she can think for herself more and learn to become more independent from her father and myself.
Coming off of this last point, my daughter has to learn how to pick herself up after making a mistake. I think it is important for teenagers to learn how to move on from making a mistake. Big or small, mistakes mould our character, and teenagers have to learn how to cope and learn from their missteps. If they go against the guidelines laid out for them by parents or other people in authority, do poorly on a test, or hurt a friend, they can learn from the experience, realize what they have done wrong and (hopefully) not repeat this action. Then, they can be more confidence in making better choices for themselves in the future. As a parent, this is where our guidance also comes into play to help them through these situations.
Finally, just the simple act of lending your tween and teen daughters an ear is important in helping their confidence. I think that letting our daughters know that they can come to us with their questions and concerns is so important in helping them become more confident with themselves. If a girl at this stage in her life knows that she can go to her parents with whatever is on her mind, then she will feel more confident in herself to get the help she needs, or to make the best decision in whatever situation she is facing at that time. It will also let her know that she has someone who will listen to her, no matter what is happening in her life.
A great resource for helping to build confident tween and teen girls is BeingGirl.com. Girls can feel free to find answers to some of the questions they may be too uncomfortable asking, or are curious about asking.
For more tips about building confidence in tween and teen girls, you and/or your daughter can also go to the Always Changing website sponsored by P&G, the experts in feminine care with Always and Tampax.
You can also check out with your daughter a few great articles:
Although this post has been generously sponsored by Always, the opinions and language are all my own, and in no way do they reflect Always.