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Raising Confident + Natural Girls: 10 Ways to Cultivate Confidence

Don’t we all just want to raise confident girls who can successfully navigate their way though life? Consider all the small things we can do to help our girls (as young as preschool) grow up to be happy, healthy, and confident individuals. Yes, this is a vast topic that cannot be easily summed up in a few simple suggestions. However, we do think these ten ways are a good place to start by opening up the discussion and doing it sooner rather than later – let’s set up our young girls for a lifetime of success!

And it goes without saying, that although they might be tweaked in different ways, most of these points can absolutely be applied to our boys as well…

  1. Build a healthy body image. Focus on health and well-being, both in and out. Teaching our kids to gently care for themselves and their health will give them a huge advantage in life. Many images bombard our senses, and most are unrealistic with a narrow idea of beauty. Broaden the definition of beauty by talking about the dangers of comparison and celebrating all different types of beauty, shapes and sizes, and do it often.
  2. Encourage an adventurous spirit. Focus on discovering new places and things, engaging the mind, and pursuing interests and new ideas. Possessing a sense of wonder is a lifelong joy that will far exceed the pursuit of outward beauty, and will help our girls define who they are.
  3. Let her steer the ship (when possible). Often we have preconceived notions about our children, but allow her to choose the activities she wants to pursue and follow her lead. Strengths and weaknesses will emerge along the way (just maybe not the ones you expected). Praise the strengths and gently encourage her in the weaknesses. Allow her to voice her opinion and to make choices when possible.
  4. Teach her to speak up. Talk to your daughter about standing up for herself and her needs. Teach her it’s okay to speak up, even to adults or those in authority, if she feels something is not right or if she doesn’t like how she is being treated.
  5. Seek out worthy role models. Build a list of role models, whether it be historical figures, leaders in your community, or characters in books. Take the time to talk about and emphasize women who embody healthy confidence whenever you come across them.
  6. Be the model yourself. As parents and caregivers, the way we speak of ourselves and about others is perhaps the most important thing when it comes to the confidence of our children. The confidence and calm that we possess when dealing with life’s decisions and problems can be a great example, especially our reaction to mistakes and inadequacies, both the ones we make and have and the ones of our children. Grace and encouragement go a long way.
  7. Teach her about self-reflection. Talking about a decision before we make it and asking ourselves questions and reflecting on events that have already occurred, all give us the tools to understand our world and ourselves a little better, and give us a greater measure of confidence. Sketching, journaling, or talking to a friend or parent are good ways to do this. Wisdom and confidence grow as children begin to learn to trust themselves. Practicing gentle self-reflection out loud in front of your children when making a decision or when you have made a mistake will promote honesty and humility, as well as freeing your child to admit  when they have fallen short themselves, and knowing that it’s okay. Growth and understanding are the goals, not perfection.
  8. Promote kindness. Kindness will always be beautiful. Shifting the focus from ourselves to others can open up our world and expand our minds. Purposely learning to love others will bring us joy and grow a humble love and respect for ourselves within the process. Modeling this for our children, as well as providing them with significant opportunities to put this into practice can have a huge impact.
  9. Give better compliments. Children can detect flattery or false praise, so use specific examples and sincerity when complimenting them. Compliment your child on their whole self, not just outward looks, talents, and results.
  10. Allow her to fail. There is a time to teach and a time to lend a hand, but allowing children enough space to succeed or fail on their own is crucial. By doing so, you allow them to experience the full joy of succeeding or to learn the full lesson of the consequences of failing and trying again. Both outcomes have powerful learning experiences attached.
Raising Confident + Natural Girls: 10 Ways to Cultivate Confidence

Did you know that March is Women’s History Month and March 8th is International Women’s Day? Celebrate Women in Science by learning about Marie Curie, and download our free printable!


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Playful Learning Field Guides

Grab these handy field guides on your way to park or walk around the block. Add a basket for collecting and a magnifying glass for observing you are set for a memorable outdoor adventure