Helping your daughters strengthen their identities and sense of self is hard, and also so important. On many levels, as the mom of a little girl, I think this might be the most challenging task and also the most important one, to me. Here are some of my ideas on how to do this job right:
Help your girls feel strong in their bodies by encouraging them to always keep moving, and enjoying their own physical strengths and talents. Even if they are not aggressive team players or fast enough to win at track, help them find activities they might enjoy, like dancing, hiking, swimming, riding bikes, horses, scooters, surbaords or skateboards. Knowing their own strengths, and knowing that they definitely have strengths, helps kids feel empowered and gives them a stronger sense of self and self-esteem.
Help your girls feel secure in their own intelligence by encouraging them to learn, especially to learn a lot about whatever spikes their intellectual interest and curiosity. Whether it's math, bugs, fish, history or spy stories, it really does not matter. A kid gain so much from studying whatever subject they feel passionately about. They will learn how to focus, to enjoy studying, and expand their minds. Those are wonderful tools to take through life, no matter how you pick them up, and those tools and that knowledge will empower them as well.
Help your girls feel comfortable and engaged socially. If they already have a nice group of friends, that's great. Encourage them to maintain good relationships with them, and to remain good friends. If your girls are a bit awkward socially or struggle in this area, help them as much as you can by looking for peer groups, seeking out volunteer opportunities for them where they will meet like-minded kids their own age, find camps or after-school sports or arts programs they are interested in, so they have more opportunities to meet new peers with similar interests.
Helping your girls KNOW who they are, what they like to do, what their strengths are, and making sure they have a good peer group of friends with similar strengths and interests, will go a really long way in promoting their sense of self and self esteem, and their overall happiness too.
How do you help your daughters define their own sense of self and feel strong and confident?