Do you ever notice the way your daughter looks at herself in the mirror?
Ever watch her around her peers, or around other people in general?
Ever notice her shoulders droop? The downward glance? The quick but unmistakable expressions insecurity that flash across her face?
If so, you’re not alone. I see it often with the girls I live with, and with my own daughter. When girls hit those preteen and teen years, their self esteem really takes a hit. And though we may be aware of it, we might feel helpless to do anything about it.
I know that this self esteem epidemic has been happening since, well forever. I know it’s easy to feel hopeless, or afraid, but we are the moms! We have the ability (and honor) of raising strong women!
So how do we do that?
Here are three SUPER SIMPLE ways that we moms can build confidence in our daughters TODAY!
1. GIVE HER WORDS
Does your daughter tune you out? Does she stop listening whenever you talk? Perhaps. Or perhaps she just acts that way. I see this often, not only with my daughter, but with the girls in our dorm. They act as if they’re not listening, or as if they’re uninterested in what’s being said around them, but the truth is, they are taking it all in. Our girls care about what we have to say. So think about the words you want to give her.
Try this simple exercise. Once a day, observe something uplifting about her that you can call attention to. It doesn’t have to be mind blowing or over the top. It can be as simple as her smiling at you and how happy that made. It could be that she didn’t fight with her annoying little brother at all that day (that would be miraculous in our house!), or it could be that she cleared the table without being asked. Offer a kind word about her attitude, or her effort. Skip the physical features, and go right for the character.
Try this every day. In one moment, you can begin building that confidence.
2. GIVE HER EARS
Perhaps even more important than offering her words, offering her your attention can empower her. For starters, she might have something to confide in you, but doesn’t know whether she can. By making it clear that you’re available to listen, she’ll know she has someone to talk to. Even if she doesn’t have anything to share, she will soon enough.
But even greater, when you make clear to your daughter that you value her words, that you’re listening, you are sending her the message that HER VOICE MATTERS. This is a message she can carry with her long after these difficult teen years are over. This is a message every girl should carry with her for life.
3. GIVE HER TIME
Teen girls are smart. They know when we’re talking the talk, but not walking the walk. And they’ll call us on that every time.
So walk the walk. Share time with her. Be present for her. Make it a habit. This could look like an hour spent baking in the kitchen, or it could look like a few minutes after school inviting her to grab a quick snack. The more we SEE our daughters, the more we learn how to be present around them.
For me, time spent with my girls (both dorm and daughter) usually includes a camera. Photo sessions, whether planned or spontaneous, have a way of relaxing me, and also my girls. We spend time together, I have plenty of opportunity to pour words of encouragement and kindness over them, and plenty of time to be quiet and listen. And lots of times because the camera is literally between us, it feels safer to share.
For you, time spent together might look different. The trick is to find some way to be present with her.
Every mom can do this! Just like parenting, this is not something we accomplish or perfect overnight, but it’s not something we wait on until we feel ready.
4. START NOW
Amelia Earhart said it best when she said, “The most effective way to do it is to do it.” Don’t look to perfect this, and don’t get overwhelmed. Commit to doing something every single day for the purpose of building your daughter’s confidence.
Want help? I’ve got just the tool. I’ve created a Daily Confidence Building Checklist that you can start today! It’s 7 simple steps that you can get done in just a few minutes, but that can impact your daughter immediately. And it’s FREE.
We CAN empower our daughters, and we can do it today.