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How can you help your daughter build her confidence?

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Sophia Swinford - published on 06/09/18

An author offers tips for keeping girls' confidence levels high during the tween years.

A survey of almost 1,400 young people between the ages of 8 and 18 years old and their guardians founds that girls’ confidence drops by 30 percent between the ages of 8 and 14. Up until this point, confidence levels remained roughly the same between boys and girls, so why the sudden drop?

In a world that puts so much pressure on young girls, how can mothers prevent their daughters from falling prey to such a dramatic drop in their confidence levels?

Claire Shipman, journalist and co-author of The Confidence Code for Girls: Taking Risks, Messing Up, Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self, shared some tips with CNN about how she helps her daughters build their confidence through those rocky tween years. Here are three ways she recommends:

  1. Encourage your daughters to get out of their comfort zone. The more they experience trying new things (and sometimes failing) the more confident they will be in themselves and their ability to tackle life.
  2. Have her record her experiences and how she’s dealt with them. Show her how to keep a list of the risks she’s taken and the new things she’s tried. If it didn’t go well, how did she overcome it? Later on, the list can help her encourage her to remember that she is capable.
  3. Make sure you’re modeling healthy coping mechanisms for her. One part of their survey found that fathers are often more in tune with their daughter’s lack of confidence than their mothers are. This might be because women are more likely to dismiss their daughter’s struggle as normal for every girl. Being open with your daughter about your own risks and failures can help prevent a perfectionist mentality.

You can read the rest of Shipman’s suggestions here.


SHALANE FLANNAGAN,RUNNING

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