In Girl Scouts, we want every girl to know they can achieve anything they set their minds to. While our mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, growing up is tough and your girl will be met with uncertainty and doubt from time to time! Mixed signals from the media and school friends can be both confusing and overwhelming as they mature. So how can you help instill that “I can do anything” attitude with her at home? Try these five steps to boost her confidence and watch her soar!
- Change up the compliments
Whatever your girl is typically praised on – be it her looks, athletic ability, or math skills – switch it up and let her know how great she is at other things, too! Make sure she knows her identity doesn’t revolve around excelling at just one thing. Try being specific with your compliments. Instead of simply congratulating her for doing well on a spelling test or telling her that she’s smart, try something like, “you have a really great memory!”
- Cheer Her On
Somewhere down the line, your girl might want to try an activity that might not work out for her – and that’s great! Whether she’s terribly shy but wants to audition for the school play, or her coordination isn’t great but wants to audition for the volleyball team, congratulate her for going out of her comfort zone and wanting to try something new.
- Let Her Take the Lead
Does your daughter have a passion for cooking? Invite her to come and help in the kitchen next time you’re prepping dinner. Maybe she’s a whiz at video games? Let her teach you to play a game or two! Whatever her passions may be, putting your daughter in the role of expert will show her that you appreciate her interests, and give her leadership skills too!
- Point out Positive Role Models
Whether you’re watching TV or reading a newspaper, take a second to point out to your girl that women – senators, scientists, athletes, and musicians alike – can do anything! If you find your girl watching movies or reading books where girls are secondary characters, explain how that’s not the case in the real world. Show her current examples of girls achieving awesome accomplishments, such as the recent win by the U.S. women’s soccer team!
- Love Yourself!
Encourage healthy body image by setting a great example, starting with YOU! Boost those endorphins by having a dance party in the kitchen or going on a walk after dinner. Try writing positive messages on Post-It notes together and sticking them on your bathroom mirrors for a morning pick-me-up. When your girl sees the person she looks up to most practicing self-love, following in your footsteps will come naturally.