It was rather obvious to me early on that life was not going to be easy for my daughters. The world has been changing rapidly and not for the better…wars, hunger, racial tensions and crime are all alarmingly common these days. When I look at the world today, it scares me. I am a grown woman. If I am seeing these things as scary, what must my daughters be seeing? How can we make sure we are raising confident daughters in a dangerous world like the one we live in now?
Although it might seem impossible, it is not. What we have to do as parents is not confuse the lesson. Fear is not always a bad thing and confidence can be present alongside it. They say that courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to push forward despite it. Perhaps we should strive for that as a bar for our daughters to reach for. Perhaps they should be seeking courage? Perhaps we should be raising confident daughters with… confidence?
Teaching courage and self confidence is all about making sure they know that it is okay to make a mistake. Mistakes are going to come no matter what. The ability to then take that mistake and learn from it is the key to self confidence. Experience will bring these lessons, but we as mothers can expedite them too. How? Here are some examples:
- Don’t take away every boo-boo. Allow your kid to deal with the occasional ouchie.
- Never let a mistake’s lesson go unnoticed. Treat them as opportunities instead and don’t let that get lost in the moment.
- Present challenges to your child that will give them safe “mistake” possibilities and react accordingly. For example, practice stranger danger drills in the privacy of your yard.
- Keep a wide open line of communication…even about subjects you hate discussing or that are uncomfortable. A child that can come to mom about anything is going to be far more confident.
- Let them work through emotional pains without taking the reigns every time. Be there, but allow them to work through things.
Although some of these things seem callous, they are there for a reason. Your child is not going to come up short in the confidence department unless they feel as though they are dependent on someone else, or they feel as though they are incapable of handling life. Build that confidence through a series of life opportunities at home…staged or otherwise. Learning at home is much easier than having them learn the hard way after they leave home. They still will have to do that, but the ability to solve problems will only make that road a little easier.
Finally, you want to model that behavior to your daughters. Teaching them to be strong and have self confidence is fairly useless if you are not giving them the example. Daughters often see a mirror when they look at their mothers. What reflection am I giving her?
This is a question we should ask ourselves every single day when we are raising confident daughters.
What tips do you have to share?