The following is a guest post written by Reina Starke, who has a background in Child and Youth Care, and currently runs courses for empowering girls through self-confidence building activities. In this post she shares her thoughts and ideas for raising girls with self-confidence and high self-esteem, which girls growing up in this day and age could certainly use more of. This is not a sponsored post – I just want girls to grow up and be happy, healthy, strong women!
Raising Girls with Self-Confidence & Self-Esteem
Being a parent is hard. Being a parent of a young girl is unbelievably hard. In a world where image is “everything” how do we raise our young women to be confident, have positive self-talk, and high self-esteem? What is the hidden formula to raising a daughter who has a voice of her own? A daughter who believes beauty is truly on the inside? A daughter who is strong enough to stand up to the bullies at school, or stick up for others being tormented? In a world where image is “everything”, it is up to us, moms and dads, to figure out how to teach our children to look deep inside to understand what their true value is. Here are some terrifying facts (not to scare you or anything):
Reasons for Building Self-Confidence in Girls
* From ages 9-13 a girls confidence declines tremendously which typically leads to depression
* By age 15 only 14% of girls say they are self-confident compared to 36% of girls at age 11
* In high school girls are 3 times more likely than boys to be depressed
* More than 20% of BC girls say they have intentionally cut or caused harm to themselves
* In one BC study 50% of girls reported wishing they were someone else (Stats from Canadian Women’s Foundation)
When we know what we are up against, we can start to focus on a solution. Depression typically stems from negative body image, low self-esteem, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and of course stress (Canadian Women’s Foundation). No one has all the answers on preventing low self-esteem in our daughters but we can start by talking to them about it.
How to Raise Girls with Self-Confidence
Children want to feel important, they want to feel heard and acknowledged, they want to know that what they are feeling matters. Talk to your kids, ask them every day what was their “high” and what was their “low”? Tell them to talk to you about the good and the bad.
Have you heard about the Circle of Courage model? According to this model children who are given an opportunity to foster and develop 4 main skills will be thriving, confident individuals. These self-confidence building skills include: Belonging (a sense of community/family), Mastery (what am I good at?), Generosity (being able to contribute to others), and Independence (being responsible for failure and success). This is a great preventative model, but what if you are already in the thick of it with your daughter? What if she is being bullied or harassed? What if it’s your daughter who is feeling depressed and isolating herself? These questions feel empty but there is hope. Contact your local health professionals to guide you in the right direction. Talk to your daughters and let them know what they are feeling is valid.
Being a parent is hard. Being a parent of a daughter is incredibly hard.
Girl Empower: Courses for Raising Girls with Self-Confidence
In my career I have witnessed too many young women turning to drugs and alcohol, sex, and violent relationships due to low self esteem and depression. I took it upon myself to create and facilitate Girl Empower. This is a 6 week course from ages 7-12 that focuses on prevention. Self-esteem, body image, boundaries, bullying, positive self-talk, vulnerabilities, peer pressure and more are discussed in a fun and safe environment located in Ladysmith, BC. Lets come together and start talking, start creating safe places for our daughters to be themselves, and find their true value.
Activities for Empowering Girls with Self-Confidence
Here are some of the activities for building self-confidence in girls that we offer at Girl Empower.
Lets build some dream boards and focus on positivity with our daughters! There is more to life than what the media presents.
Group game: Healthy vs unhealthy relationship flash cards
Group activity: Making comfort boxes while we chat about all the things we love about ourselves, and who we can go to with our problems.
Lets teach our girls that they have a choice. They can choose happiness, they can choose the words they allow to replay in their heads.
Want more information about raising girls with self-confidence, or to inquire about registering your daughter for Girl Empower courses? Contact Reina via email or phone.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 250-619-9454
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