Tips for Encouraging Self Confidence in Girls
studies show that girls' self-esteem and self-confidence tends to
plummet after about age nine as girls enter puberty. Is there any way
to promote and increase self esteem and confidence during the earlier
years to help pave the way for this important transitional time? The
good news is yes, there are things that can be done. Some of them you
already know, but a few reminders can't hurt.
For one, limit
television. Yes, we've all heard it before, and it's easier said than
done, particularly when there are a number of things to be done.
However, studies show that programming and advertising can have a
negative affect on viewers. Beginning at very young ages, shows geared
toward children are mixed with many advertising messages, some subtle,
and some not so subtle. While we can't blame the media for everything,
we can acknowledge that too much television may negatively affect our
children's self esteem and confidence. Children who learn at a young
age that food equals happiness, for example, may have problems with
body image later in life. Ongoing messages that things are the
solutions to problems only exaggerates feelings of low self worth if a
child doesn't have the right things. As children age, the "things" can
change into a perfect body, and not having the right things can
translate into body image problems and other self-destructive
role models. As girls age, they become increasingly aware of how women
around them act and respond to various situations. Women who stuff
their anger or express it "sideways" show girls that it's not okay to
be angry, stand up for oneself, and be open and honest about their
feelings. Young girls learn from this behavior, and internal anger can
express itself in feelings of low self-esteem and low confidence.
Depression increases, and unexpressed anger can come out in very
self-destructive ways, including eating disorders and substance abuse.
Unfortunately, many women never learned how to express their feelings
in an appropriate manner, because they themselves did not have positive
role models. If this is an issue, consider seeking professional help,
not only for your own sake, but for those of your children.
and education. Some studies show that girls with a strong educational
background are less likely to run into trouble as teens. The more girls
know, the better able they are to make decisions. It's also important
to encourage learning in math and science. While this is improving,
girls are still viewed as less likely to succeed in these areas.
Encouragement in these learning areas cannot only promote increased
self-confidence, but it can also prepare girls for the changing work
environment that relies more and more on technology. Of course, this
isn't to say that other areas of learning are less important; only that
encouragement in these areas can help provide balance to an education
that is still not quite equal.
Help young girls try
new things and discover their talents. Learning what we are good at,
and being encouraged to follow these directions, can greatly improve
self-esteem and self confidence. When talents or dreams are dismissed,
this can easily be perceived as a personal rejection. On the other
hand, when girls are encouraged to pursue their interests and develop
their talents, this gives the message that they are important. Girls
who feel valued by their parents and other important figures in their
life are less likely to seek validation from other sources, many of
which are not the positive influences desired.
children develop a healthy self-esteem and self confidence is an
ongoing process. They will face struggles, and parents and others need
to help them figure out ways of dealing with tough times. But as you
work on solutions together, you can help young girls develop
independence and confidence.