As a mother of a teenage daughter, you encourage her to embrace her true self through self-discovery and confidence. Unfortunately, we cannot build confidence and self-worth overnight. In fact, to build confidence we must do it through trial and error and lessons learned. Also, when it comes to creating confidence it is crucial to have the trust and encouragement from loved ones.
To thrive as young adults and throughout their lives, teens need to be able to trust in their own abilities to make decisions. Also, they need to know how to handle the consequences of their decisions. These are incredibly valuable life skills that will set your daughter up with confidence and self-worth for her entire life.
Here are a few ways to encourage and help your daughter to cultivate self-worth.
Encourage her to try new things
By encouraging your daughter to work towards the things that interest her, you are instilling valuable self-worth lessons. Such lessons will become an integral part of her decision-making and problem-solving skills. Having the confidence that she can figure things out on her own is invaluable for a teenage girl.
Pivot the perspective of failure
Failure implies attempting something and not achieving it. By encouraging your daughter to try new things, you are teaching her that failure means acknowledging a curiosity or desire and having the courage to try it, despite what the outcome may be. It takes bravery to try something new, and the chance that she may ‘fail’ while trying means there is another way to succeed, she just has to keep working to discover it.
No one has an easy time building confidence. It’s something we all put effort into having, and more effort into keeping. Life has a way of knocking us out and stealing our confidence to achieve certain things.
Remember that your children are always watching and listening, even if they’re not actively engaged with you. The way you react to situations, interact with other people, and the way you treat yourself reflects on your daughter.
When you are struggling to feel confident in your own abilities, kids can pick up on that energy. If you’re feeling negative or pessimistic about something, try to reframe your perspective and talk to your daughter about it.
For example, say you have a big presentation at work this week and you are dreading it. Explain to your daughter that you are not accustomed to speaking in front of a large group, and you are worried you may mess up your speaking part and your team will get penalized for it. Brainstorm some ways you can alleviate the stress you feel, like practicing your presentation at home for your family and having them give you tips along the way.
Teach her that it is OKAY to talk about fears
Talking through your fears and uncertainties creates a safe space for her to see that you are OK with being a work in progress, but you also know your worth and the value you bring to any situation.
Encourage your daughter to share the uncertainties she faces at school, in sports or other activities, in relationships and friendships to see if you can find some common ground on how to conquer those together. This exercise teaches her that confidence doesn’t just appear one day, it comes from facing things head-on and finding a way through.
In order to teach your daughter about self-worth, you have to know your value in her life and the importance of having honest, open conversations about the insecurities you have and how you face them. This kind of dialogue shows her that no one is perfect, and her self-worth is not defined by what she has achieved, but by the unique person that she is.
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