How to help your daughter build strong self-esteem
It is unlikely that anyone enters adulthood unscathed by insecurities developed throughout their childhood. As insignificant as this self-doubt may seem, weak self-esteem throughout adolescence may prevent you from maturing into a self-assured adult. As a parent, you feel responsible for seamlessly guiding your daughter through her testing transition into adulthood. As a result, each parent will take a unique approach to building self-confidence in their children, often inspired by their respective childhood challenges. However, the key to building an empowering household lies in cultivating a culture of acceptance, that celebrates your daughter as her most authentic self. While the journey to building strong self-esteem must ultimately be driven by your daughter, it is your role to lay out the necessary tools to ease her through these trying years of puberty.
Support Her in Pursuing Passion Driven Activities
A great way to raise a confident daughter is by allowing her to explore her unique interests. By providing her with a freedom to immerse herself in hobbies and activities that spark joy, she will become better assured in her abilities, and find herself situated in communities full of those with similar values and passions. Whatever her niche is, it is extremely validating to feel part of a collective of like-minded people who celebrate your daughter for her individuality.
Celebrate Her Accomplishments
As a parent, it is most meaningful to complement your daughter on elements of her life that are in her control, rather than features that are beyond her control. This involves celebrating her accomplishments and character traits that she has worked to develop, rather than how she inherently is. Although it often stems from a place of love and affection, comments on your daughter’s appearance can breed insecurity, even if they were intended positively. Conversely, cherishing her strong personality and personal successes are guaranteed to make her feel seen, and self-assured in her abilities.
Create Room for Error
Many areas of your daughter’s life will demand a standard of perfection, whether that be academia or competitive sports. An invaluable trait as a parent is to not only tolerate, but encourage your daughter to make mistakes throughout adolescence. This will equip her with valuable lessons on how to respond to failure and confront challenges, which she will carry with her throughout her adulthood.
Practice Positive Self-Talk
Although unintentional, parents often impose insecurities on their children by making self-critical comments. When young adults see this behaviour practiced by adults who they idolize, they normalize this self-deprecating dialogue. To avoid this monkey-see monkey-do pattern of self-punishment, parents should work on practicing constructive and uplifting self-talk. By setting a standard for self-acceptance, your children will seek to mirror this behaviour. By rewiring the way they see themselves and speak about their imperfections, they will become more forgiving about their faults and improve their self-esteem.
Ask her for Advice
Most parents overlook the value of their daughters’ wise perspectives on adult problems, which may add to their feelings of inadequacy throughout these transitionary years. An effective way to make your daughter’s voice feel heard and valued is by asking her for advice on issues that you face as an adult. By seeking out her unique perspective on problem-solving, she will develop confidence in her opinions and abilities that will last a lifetime.