Little girls are a treat to watch. Sugar and spice and all things nice. They are usually bubbly and cheerful brimming with positivity and spreading cheer where ever they go. But suddenly as they approach middle school and are poised to enter their teen years, they suddenly seem to withdraw into a shell, unsure of every thing their looks, their abilities etc. Instill your daughter with the confidence that she needs to face the world and carve a niche for herself.
1. Teach her to stand up for herself: Coach your child to convey her needs and feelings clearly to adults, without fear and stand up for herself with her peers. This will empower her from a very young age, not to bottle up her frustrations and assert herself at the appropriate time.
2. Listen more than you talk: Encourage your daughter to share fer feelings, her dreams, her fears etc with you. The best way to make this happen, is to keep an open channel of communication and by preparing yourself to listen to her more than you speak. Refrain from lecturing her and passing comments like’ I told you so”, however tempting it may be.
3. Teach her to be comfortable in her skin: Every girl wants to look beautiful. Teach your child that nobody is perfect and also not to compare herself with others. Instead, teach her to focus on her positive points.
4. Teach her social graces: Next time you have a get together at home, make it a point to include her. Knowing how to behave in company and the right social etiquettes, will empower her and help her get rid of her inhibitions in front of people.
5. Insist on personal grooming: Teach your daughter to take care of herself and the importance of personal hygiene. Make her understand that she will feel more confident to face the world, if she is well turned out.
6. Expose her to how the real world works: Your daughter is the apple of your eye and may be treated as princess in your home so it may come as rude shock to her when she gets exposed to the various shades of sexism that exists in our society. Teaching her how to handle such situations will give her greater confidence to deal with such people.
7. Talk to her about the birds and bees: Yes, it is one of the most awkward and one of the hardest parts of parenting. But unfortunately, it must be done. It is very important that your daughter get her facts straight. It is vital that she understands that these are all normal aspects of life and not something to sweep under the carpet and definitely not a taboo. Getting the right facts will help her make more informed decisions in the future
8. Encourage her to follow her passions: Give her the freedom to pursue her interests. Don’t decide what she can do and cannot. Let her be the judge of her capabilities. Support her in what ever way you can.
9. Introduce her to female role models: Let her read about their journey to success, the struggles they had to undergo, their confidence in themselves etc. This will have more effect on her, than any lecture session.
10. Teach her to accept compliments gracefully: Let her not just brush it aside as flattery. Also teach her the importance of family and the importance of spending time with loved ones.