Adolescence can be a challenging time for girls. They’re growing and changing physically, emotionally, and hormonal every day. It’s no wonder many girls lack confidence and resilience during this time. As parents, it’s our job to help our daughters navigate these choppy waters and raise confident girls equipped to take on the world as they mature.
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Raising Resilient and Confident Girls
To celebrate the International Day of the Girl –a day meant to highlight the challenges and opportunities girls face worldwide– we’re offering tips for raising resilient and confident girls. Resilient girls can adapt to difficult situations, while confident girls know their worth and feel good about themselves.
Follow these six tips, and you’ll be helping your daughter develop both resilience and confidence. Let’s work together to raise resilient and confident girls. Happy International Day of the Girl!
1. Encourage Young Girls to Be Independent
One of the best ways to foster resilience and confidence in your daughter is to nurture her independence. This means encouraging her to try new things, solve problems independently, and stand up for herself. It also means giving her the space to make mistakes without being too hard on her. Remember, she’s learning and growing, and she needs your patience and support as she figures out who she is and what she wants in life.
2. Help Them Develop a Positive Body Image and Self Esteem
During adolescence, girls are bombarded with images of “perfect” bodies everywhere they look—in magazines, TV, and social media. It’s essential to help your daughter develop a positive body image by emphasizing that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Help her celebrate her unique physical features, encourage her to be active and eat healthy because she loves her body, not because she wants to change it.
3. Teach Your Adolescent Girl How to Handle Their Emotions
Adolescence is a roller coaster of emotions—one minute, your daughter is happy, and the next, she’s sad, angry, or frustrated. It’s important to teach her how to handle her emotions in a healthy way. This means helping her identify her feelings, encouraging her to talk about them openly and honestly, and teaching her healthy coping mechanisms like exercise or journaling when she’s feeling overwhelmed.
4. Encourage Them to Be Assertive
It’s vital that your daughter knows it’s okay to express herself—her thoughts, feelings, wants, and needs. Encourage her to be assertive by modeling assertive behavior yourself and teaching her how to communicate effectively with others. This skill will come in handy throughout her life—in relationships, work, and other areas of her life.
5. Help Them Set Healthy Boundaries
Another critical skill for your daughter to learn is how to set healthy boundaries—with friends, family members, classmates, teachers, coaches, strangers—anyone! This includes saying “no” when she feels uncomfortable or doesn’t want to do something, setting limits on how much time she spends on social media or talking with friends, and knowing when it’s okay to ask for help from adults (like you!).
6. Help Your Teenage Girls Develop a Support System
In addition to teaching your daughter how to be independent, it’s also important that she have a strong support system in place—a group of family members and friends she can rely on when times get tough. This could be extended family members like grandparents or cousins, close friends from school or extracurricular activities, or even a trusted adult outside the family, like a teacher or counselor. Showing your daughter that she has people in her corner who care about her will help her develop resiliency in the face of adversity.
Middle school can be tough, but with a little guidance and support, we know that our girls will come out of it even stronger and more resilient than before. If you’re looking for more help, reach out to me at www.middleschoollifecoach.com for more tips on raising strong and confident daughters.
More Tips From Erin Hansen, Middle School Coach:
Get Your Child Ready For Middle School Success With These Tips
Navigating The Teen Years: How To Support Your Teenager Through Change