There are so many ways to build confidence and self-esteem in our daughters, and help them feel strong. But as a mom, watching our children grow up (too quickly it seems), it can be overwhelming to know what's best for them and what they really need. Keep these simple building blocks in mind; they will offer you on-going support as you connect with and encourage your daughters to grow strong throughout their lives.
First, acknowledge their efforts. Failure is an inevitable part of every life, but with loving parents' support, a child is much more likely to get right back in the saddle after falling off a horse. So when they stumble or fail, don't feel that you have to find a way to make it all right for them, but DO recognize their efforts and encourage and support them as they get back on their feet. Help them recognize that no one is perfect, and no one achieves anything without some failure along the way.
Second, notice and respect their emotions. If a child seems hurt, sad, angry or frustrated, let them know that you are aware of their painful feelings, and that they are not alone. But don't pry if they don't want to share. Give them space while letting them know that you are close by and that you love them and will always be there, and respect their feelings. Otherwise, they will be more likely to want to hide their emotions from you, and distance themselves from you as they grow up.
Third, give them freedom and space. To make some of their own important decisions (you can pick which are appropriate, depending on their age), to make important choices, (again, you can offer them several age-appropriate choices to pick from), to try new things, and even to fail, too. Freedom and space help build independence, and let children figure out who they are and what they are good at in ways that constant parental control cannot do for them. And any person with a strong sense of self is a more confident person.
Last, but certainly not least, LISTEN to your children. I cannot stress this enough. If you don't listen to what they are saying, you will not have a strong relationship with them, nor a strong sense of who they are and what they are up to. Listen if you want to be part of their world, have an impact on their growth and development, and truly share the journey of their lives with them. I know I do!
How do you help your children develop a strong sense of self and build self-esteem?
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