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How to Raise a Confident Daughter

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Tawnya is a freelance writer and mom of a tiny gymnast. When it comes to buying gymnastics-related gear, I'm an industry pro.

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My Personal Tips for Raising a Confident Daughter

As a teen-ager, I remember struggling with self-esteem and confidence and these issues stayed with me well into my late 20s. In fact, I didnt really begin to believe in myself, especially as a mother and wife, until my early 30s. Being the mom of a 9-year-old girl, one of the most important characteristics I wanted to instill in her was confidence. Since my daughter was a toddler I have worked on building her character as well as her self-esteem. Today, I am happy to report that she is one of the most confident little girls you will ever meet. My hope is that giving her such a strong foundation of who she is will help her now and for the rest of her life as well. Below, I have listed my personal recommendations for how to raise a confident daughter.

My Daughter is So Much More Than How She Looks

Sure, I tell my daughter she is beautiful, but I also make sure to remind her that she is much more than just her physical being. While being a beautiful person has its perks, being a beautiful person on the inside is actually more important. I also take the time to point out that she is is smart, funny, athletic, and confident. Recently, my daughter was upset because friends at school had called her weird. My response was if you are going to be weird be confident about it. This made her feel much better about the situation and reinforces what we have told her since she was little; she can be anything she wants.

Praise her Accomplishments

When my daughter brings home papers from school or does well at gymnastics, I don’t just say “good job.” Instead, I make sure to praise her specific accomplishments. For instance, when she aces a test, I tell her I’m proud of the way she studied and when she gets a tough trick at gymnastics, I remind her that she put a lot of work in at the gym to earn that trick. I do this because I want her to know that I know what she likes, I understand her life, and I’m always going to be there for her.

"Think outside of the box...Pledge that you will look in the mirror and find the unique beauty in you."

— Tyra Banks

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Accept that you and she are Different

Many daughters feel pressure to be just like their mother. In our family, I want my daughter to know that we are different and that is okay. I often point out how we are different in a positive way. For example, my daughter loves to hunt with her dad and I rather curl up on the couch with a book. I want her to know that she can be anybody she wants to be and doesn’t have to be just like me.


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Teach her to appreciate her Body for its Strength and not Physical Appearance

In my house, you will never hear me talk negatively about my appearance in front of my daughter. I don’t do this because I don’t want her to develop body conscious concerns at an early age. When my daughter was young she played softball and danced. When she was seven, she joined a gymnastics competition team and at 9-years-old, she is very muscular and fit. I love this about her because it is teaching her to appreciate her body for its strength and not just its physical appearance.

Avoid Mompetitions

Another way we can inspire our daughters to have confidence in themselves is to have confidence in ourselves. Through my daughter’s school years, I have been dragged, mostly subconsciously, into mompetitions (competitions with other moms). However, I have made a conscious effort to stop doing this. Not only is it silly that moms compete with each other, but it is also a negative behavior to display in front of our daughters and our sons. So, to help set a better example for my daughter, I have vowed not to actively or subconsciously compete with other moms. Instead, I am going to accept that not all moms parent the same way and instead of competing with them to make myself feel better, I am going to actively support the moms that I know. In fact, I may even adopt some new tactics or tricks that my “mommy” friends use in their own family. If more moms vow to stop competing with each other and concentrate on building each other up, we will be helping to prepare our daughters to be more confident women and mothers in the future.

© 2014 Tawnya

Do you have Tips for how to Raise Confident Daughters? - Please feel free to leave your tips below.

Loretta Livingstone from Chilterns, UK. on March 29, 2014:

It sounds to me as though you are doing a grand job. My parents made me believe I could do anything I put my mind to, so I've never been afraid to try.

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on March 17, 2014:

@CherylsArt: Thank you, so much.

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on March 17, 2014:

@claudiax3: Thank you, Claudia.

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on March 17, 2014:

Scroll to Continue

@TerriCarr: Thank you. Beauty can fade, but confidence is forever.

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on March 17, 2014:

@David Stone1: You are absolutely right, Dave.

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on March 17, 2014:

@Zeross4: You are right, Daisy. Many people focus on raising confident daughters, but it is just as important to raise confident sons.

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on March 17, 2014:

@Jim Houston: Thank you, Jim, and you are right!

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on March 17, 2014:

@AnonymousC831: Thank you!

Jim Houston from Wilmer, Alabama on March 17, 2014:

Great lens. Fathers should pay attention here also.

AnonymousC831 from Kentucky on March 15, 2014:

Fantastic lens. Love the personal photos.

Renee Dixon from Kentucky on March 10, 2014:

Great tips, I don't have a daughter yet but many of these tips would apply to boys as well :) great lens!

David Stone from New York City on March 10, 2014:

Respect for individuality and encouragement to develop in her own way, that's the advice from a man who has never had a daughter. It's universal.

TerriCarr on March 10, 2014:

It is really fantastic that you are so conscious about helping your daughter be confident. And especially to remember that she is much more than how she looks.

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on March 10, 2014:

@Kim Milai: Thank you kimmilai! The best thing we can do for our daughters is too have confidence in ourselves as mothers.

Kim Milai on March 10, 2014:

You have such great insight. The daughter's bedroom book looks good for me I think. I have two 13 year old girls and we try our best to be supportive and raise them to be confident and comfortable in their own skin. I sometimes feel like I'm not doing enough though. You've given ME confidence now!

claudiax3 on March 09, 2014:

As a mom of three girls...I agree with everything here! Great points!

CherylsArt on March 08, 2014:

You have made some wonderful points. Thanks for sharing them. : )

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on March 08, 2014:

@Mary Crowther: I am glad you enjoyed it, MareeT! Thank you so much!

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on March 08, 2014:

@aesta1: You are absolutely right!

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on March 08, 2014:

@Merrci: Thank you so much, Merrci!

Merry Citarella from Oregon's Southern Coast on March 08, 2014:

Great ideas here. Good job on your lens but even more so on your daughter. It's wonderful you realized the importance of it at that age!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on March 08, 2014:

Each one is unique so the best way is to listen to your daughter and grow up with her.

Mary Crowther from Havre de Grace on March 07, 2014:

I am the mother of a daughter and this is a wonderful and inspiring lens!

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