(This post was written by Heidi)
Week 5 of 10 in the Raising Girls Series
- Week 1 – Cultivating Solid Self Esteem In Daughters
- Week 2 – Questions In Every Little Girl’s Heart
- Week 3 – 10 Life Changing things a Father can do for his Daughter
- Week 4 – 10 Beliefs every Girl should have about Herself
(See Raising Boys Series here)
When so many people and things are pulling at and molding our children’s confidence each day, how do we, as parents, help shape their confidence in a positive way?
Whether you are a full time mom or have a full time job, how do you fit in meaningful, purposeful time with your daughter, in which you help build her confidence?
Here are a few ideas.
- Discipline her in a respectful way that keeps the parent- daughter relationship positive.
Do not shame or ridicule. Ever. Keep respect alive between the two of you, but help her to understand that certain behaviors or actions come with consequences; it is part of your job as her parent to lead her in the right direction. After time-out, or whatever style of discipline you practice in your home, complete the ‘session’ with a talk and lots of love and hugs. Dislike the disobedience, but detach it from the child! Lavish her with love.
- Focus on her strengths while gently improving weaknesses
If your daughter has a weakness you are concerned about, try approaching it from a positive direction – focus on her strengths, keep building on her mental list of achievements and ‘wins’, on things she gets right and is good at, and gently work on those things she needs a bit of work on. They will improve in time.
- Teach the true values of life when addressing physical problems eg: speech impediment or disability of any kind
Dr James Dobson’s book Building Confidence in Your Child has many gems regarding molding children’s esteems and confidence. One of them touches on how to work with your child when they have a disability of some kind:
Teach her from a young age about the true values of life, such as integrity, honesty, kindness and respect for herself, and later show that these are the things that matter most, while physical attractiveness is just ‘part of the social game we must play. It is not the most important thing.
- Give her 1 on 1 time, away from siblings
Take her somewhere none of her siblings know of, let her pick her favorite activity, meal or movie; ask her questions about who she feels she is, what she loves doing, feeling and experiencing. This reinforces her identity as a person.
- Give her say as to how she is raised
Hold a weekly family meeting where you review the past week, and plan for the upcoming one. Let her have a say over small things, like choosing consequences for not doing certain chores, or rewards for achieving certain goals. If you haven’t heard of Agile Programming for Family, check out Bruce Feiler’s TED Talk on this. His book The Secrets of Happy Families is excellent too.
- Let her design a personalized flag to fly on each special occasion
Let her design her own flag with her own pictures, drawings, paints etc. and fly it in front of the house or in the family room, on her special occasions. eg: birthday.
- Keep tabs on her ‘wins’
Reward charts and job charts are a great way to do this. She will also get to feel that she has control over her life in the home, depending on how she handles her chores, homework, etc.
Dr Dobson touches on some great charts in his book The New Dare To Discipline. Great for motivating kids to get through chores or work they don’t enjoy!
- Give her the bigger picture
Tell her of her extended family, their history, her place & part in the bigger picture. It deepens her sense of belonging if she knows how she fits into the bigger family picture. Including stories of faith, recounts of her birth and how she was longed for, humorous stories from your pre-kids life, they all give a sense of belonging and acceptance.
Moulding your daughter’s confidence is a precious privilege. They are in our homes for such a short period of time, make the most of every moment.
Next week: Training Our Daughters