7 Tips to Raising Girls With High Self-Esteem

Raise your daughters to be strong confident women.

Mother and daughter with a healthy relationship.

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Everyone wants to raise confident, self-assured  children. This is even more important for daughters. From early childhood, girls are bombarded with messages that undermine their self-esteem and can give them an unhealthy view of their bodies and their abilities according to Child Mind.

But parents can have a tremendous influence on how your daughter feels about herself and her body by steering her away from negative influences and activities that can lower her self-esteem and towards ones that can give her the boost she needs. Here are seven things you can do to raise strong self-confident women.

Body Acceptance

Today, the media presents a very unhealthy obsession with thinness and uses digitally altered images of women to promote an ideal that real people cannot obtain. This damages girl’s self esteem and can lead to eating disorders and thoughts about suicide according to WebMD’s experts. You can counter this by modeling body acceptance.

It doesn’t matter what body type you have as long as you are comfortable in your skin. If you are insecure, don’t obsess about how you look or judge eating as something bad. WebMD’s expert Catherine Steiner-Adair, EdD, a clinical psychologist, calls this discussion of good and bad as the “morality of orality,” so it is important not to say things like: “I was bad today; I had pizza. So I'm not going to have dessert.

Teenage girl who has body acceptance.

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Build Skills

As apparent, you can help your girls develop new skills and gain confidence in herself. According to mindbodygreen, you can help identify an interest that your daughter has and help her acquire and master that skill. If your daughter loves to draw, you can sign her up for art lessons, or if she likes to help out in the kitchen, you can encourage her to plan and make meals for the family. Learning and excelling in her interests will boost her self-esteem. Also make sure you compliment what she does well and not just how she looks.

Girl learning how to play a guitar.

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Express Unconditional Love

Communicate your unconditional love and acceptance of your daughter. Tell her you love her even if she makes poor choices – especially if she makes poor choices – or fails at something she tries to do. People can grow after mistakes or failures if they feel secure.

Mother telling her daughter she loves her.

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Create Her Own Style

Allow your daughter to create her own style with what she wears and how she does her hair, with some boundaries of course, and this will  give her a healthy footing on who she is. Finding her own identity through her appearance, according to mindbodygreen, can create positive benefits for confidence and self-esteem. After all, hair grows back, dye washes out, and clothing styles can change.

Teenage girl with her own unique style.

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Praise Efforts

Praise efforts and not just successes.  After all, people can’t always be successful. You may not get a part in the school play or be accepted to your first-choice university but it’s better to try. Applaud the effort and not just the outcome. According to WebMD’s expert Mary Rooney PhD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in adolescents, learning to tolerate and accept failure fosters resilience.

Mother praising her daughter's efforts.

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Start Team Sports Early

Start team sports when she is young beginning with tumbling tots or T-ball. Playing sports comes with a host of benefits including boosting self-esteem, learning teamwork, problem solving skills, and fostering leadership according to MU Health Care. This is even more important for girls because these qualities can help them resist peer pressure and help them grow into strong women.

Team sports raises strong girls

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Teach Her to be Assertive

All girls should be able to direct and influence their own lives. According to mindbodygreen, when you teach your daughter how to be assertive and not a people pleaser, she will be stronger and healthier for it. Encourage her to share her opinions and values and to stand up for herself. This will allow her to blossom into a confident self-assured woman.

Assertive girl saying no to bullying.

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