Tuesday’s Teacher: Today’s teacher is Suzy Sheradon, Editor of SureBaby.com, who has been gracious enough to provide Marinagraphy with a Guest Post on how to empower our girls. Suzy has been writing about pregnancy and parenting for years. Her website is one of the leading online resources for pregnancy symptoms and parenting tips. Suzy is also very knowledgeable in the areas of improving child health and child birth.
A lack of self-esteem is often rooted in childhood, and with girls, a poor self-image can lead to a whole host of psychological and physical problems later in life. Parents are rightly concerned with instilling confidence in their daughters from a young age; girls who feel good about themselves as children are far more likely to maintain a positive self-image throughout the turbulent years of adolescence and into adulthood.
Here are five important child care and parenting tips to help you build your daughter’s confidence from the time she’s very young:
1. Recognize her skills and help her build them. Many parents try to force their children into activities that they, and not their children, want them to succeed at. This just isn’t good for building child health. A lot of times, kids struggle to gain proficiency with these activities, which can do a lot of damage to their self-confidence and constantly make them feel as though they are letting you down. Instead, let your daughter’s skills and aptitudes guide her choice of activities. While you should be sure to introduce her to a lot of different things, guide her to the things that come most easily for her. She’ll get better at them faster, helping her build confidence in herself.
2. Emphasize the importance of inner qualities. Help your daughter recognize that it’s what inside that counts, not only within her, but also within other people. This will not only help her make friends and be a better person, but it will also lay a solid foundation for her to fall back on when she reaches adolescence and body image issues become a source of struggle.
3. Value the things that are unique about her. Feeling special has a lot to do with self-confidence. Take the time to help her recognize the things about her that are unique, and help her foster and grow those qualities throughout her childhood.
4. Take the time to get to know her. Many parents feel as though they “automatically” know their children, and the more time that goes by when you have that attitude, the less you actually know your child and the more difficult it becomes to really get to know her. Don’t let that happen; listen without judging and get to know and understand your daughter for who she is, even from a very young age, without imposing expectations or qualities on her.
5. Give her feedback. Children growing up need room to make mistakes. The way you handle your daughter’s mistakes will have a lot to do with how confident she becomes as she grows up. Focus on the positives, help her avoid frustration and make sure she knows it’s OK not to get something right the first time.
Copyright© 2010 by Suzy Sheradon. All Rights Reserved.