How to raise a confident daughter?
Teenage is a time that is defined by emotional, physical and mental upheaval. As your daughter goes through this age, the accompanying changes tend to have an impact on her self-esteem, which is more often than not aggravated by social media. Puberty is a time when their brains and bodies go through a transformation and you as a parent have a significant role to play.
The first period can be overwhelming for girls, which becomes not a mere body crisis but a matter of self-confidence. Most reactions from them are seen in the form of ‘I don’t know’ and ‘I’m not sure’. Building their self-esteem is important and knowing how to raise a confident daughter will help them do things they enjoy. Confident young girls are better prepared to deal with situations, recover from setbacks and make decisions.
Knowing what to expect socially and emotionally
Your daughter will be looking at having more independence, establishing her own identity, which may include new friendships and experiences. There will be times when teenagers may develop romantic inclinations and have their first crushes. Mood changes are a natural part of puberty and they may move from wanting to be on their own to at times looking for parental support. This is also the time when girls may grow more sensitive about their body changes and how they look. They may alternate between feeling self-conscious one day to upbeat the next. All of this contributes to the shaping of their identity, learning to be an independent adult and making decisions. It is important that you stand by them, give them the space they need and regularly talk with them to help them figure out things. After all, you too have gone through this.
How can you support her during puberty
Preparing for adolescence
Before she hits puberty, you must make her understand about menstruation and subsequent changes, that are about to come so as to prepare her well in advance to handle puberty. Explain to her that everyone develops at their own pace.
Be a Friend
Being a friend to your daughter at this stage is crucial. Engage in daily conversations with her, get to know her friends, and ask for her opinion on various matters. Spend quality time with her and make it comfortable for her to share her feelings.
Be a Guide
Do not try to control your daughter, instead be a guide who would help her make the right choices. Let her make mistakes and learn, but be there to guide when she asks for it.
Be compassionate towards her experiences, assuring what she is experiencing is absolutely normal and a part of growing up. Be a good listener and even if you disagree with her opinion, make her understand in a way she can relate to, using examples, stories etc.
While letting her wade through the enormous changes, allowing her the right to choose will make a huge difference. Giving her reasonable freedom will make her feel responsible, while also making her aware that her choices do matter.
Self-acceptance is an area to watch out for as your daughter goes through puberty. Girls are prone to comparing themselves with their friends & any observed differences might become a cause of worry for them. It is important to teach her body positivity & help her understand that it is her differences which make her unique.
Some Handy Tips
- Stay calm during outbursts from your teenage daughter. Talk to her once she has settled down, and then explain to her your perspective.
- Be mindful of how to share your opinions about others in front your child, or how you as a dad talk about other women.
- Be interested and take active participation in your child’s conversations. Be available when your daughter wishes to speak to you.
- Praises go a long way! Make her understand that her efforts are always appreciated, even more than the outcome. Praise the smallest of her achievements.
- Allow your daughter to spend reasonable time on personal care and habits. Acne, breakouts etc. can be demotivating to your child, and so it is important to address the issue that bothers her the most. Maybe take her to a skin specialist if required.
- Model the growth mindset. When a girl sees her parents embracing challenges, learning from setbacks and being kind to themselves, it gives her the conﬁdence to do the same.
Along with all the above tips, you can help your daughter be logistically prepared for her first period. Giving her a pack of sanitary pads, explaining how to use them, being ready with period pain relief remedies, such as a hot water bottle or over-the-counter pills, will all help her be ready.
Ensuring your daughter is fully aware of her bodily changes and that she embraces the puberty phase with the right spirit has a very large contribution from your end, and we aim to help you play your role in your best capacity to raise a confident daughter.