We want our girls to have every opportunity to become strong, successful women. How we treat them in childhood has a huge role to play. Find out how you can boost your daughter’s confidence and empower her to be amazing!
Give her strong female role models
Highlight inspiring women in fiction, on screen and in life. It’s good for girls to see women succeed, including in fields not considered traditionally “female”.
Encourage her in sports
High school girls who play sports are more likely to get better grades and more likely to graduate. They show higher levels of confidence and self-esteem and lower levels of depression. It’s a win-win!
Ask her opinion
Let your daughter know that you value her input and opinions. Ask open-ended questions, ask her what she thinks and why she thinks that – and listen properly to her answers.
Treat her like a boy
Instead of making gender-based assumptions about what might interest her, give your daughter access to the full range of possibilities – from skateboarding, to drumming, to soccer, to handling the Sunday braai.
Focus on her intellect
Take your daughter’s clever brain seriously and boost it where you can. Make sure to focus on areas like science and maths, where women tend to be less well-represented.
Hold off on the “you’re-so-pretty” compliments
In personal interactions, too much emphasis tends to be given to their appearance. Instead of “you’re so pretty”, compliment her on something she has control over – her kindness, for example.
Encourage her to take risks and be bold.
Girls need to experience the thrill of trying new things, seeking out adventures, and succeeding at something a bit scary.
Let her say “no”
It is important that your daughter feels empowered and entitled to say yes to what she does and no to what she doesn’t want, even if it means disappointing someone else at times.
Model body positivity
Try to focus on things you love about yourself and share those with her. Set the example, and encourage her to respect, nurture and appreciate her body.
Avoid the “b” word
Assertiveness in girls is often termed “bossy”. If we want our daughters to take charge and to show leadership skills, we need to stop labeling assertive behaviour as bossy.
The world needs smart, successful, confident young women. Our parenting will go a long way to empowering our daughters to step outside of stereotypes and be the best they can be.
By Katharine Liese, Marketing Lead at 1Life