Raising Confident Girls

She is 3 and can conquer the world! She’s 5 and already a confident reader. She’s 7 and skiing super fast down the slopes. Then at 9 she looks herself in the mirror and can no longer see the champion she set out to be.

Somewhere between pre-primary and secondary, with new bodies and developing minds and their relationships with friends and family in limbo, her self-esteem can quickly go downhill. There are social pressures, greater expectations at home and in the classroom as well as mixed signals from society that can cause girls to lose their spark.

And they start to question; Am I someone who can make things happen and who is worthy of love?

And it’s not only parents and teachers who can make a difference to support young girls. The commercial industry, with a strong messaging also influence young minds. We should expect that they realise a social responsibility, to tone down gender differences and value achievements rather than looks. Not to put girls on any pedestal, but to give them the same opportunities. So they can not only feel good about themselves but also realise their potential and become content and happy adults.

Most tweens and teens will get through the challenges with adequate time and support. The following poem was handed to Little A by her teacher. She keeps it on her bedside table, finding comfort and strength in the words.

    You are…

    You are the child that cannot fail
    Your words are thunder, wind and rain
    Your force is more than loss or pain
    You are the child of fearless gales

    Some knocks and bruises cannot heart
    The onwards rolling through your time
    Things may get hard, but you’ll be fine
    You are the child of endless worth

    With books, love and true found friends
    You’ll be the best that you can be
    It’s all inside you – in truth you’ll see
    A joyful thought without end

    Bold, free and never the same
    You are the child with beautiful name

    by Mr. Williams.

I don’t often share my thoughts about parenting. I know no better than anyone else. I’m just a mum, trying to navigate my two tween daughters into a secure and happy life.

A great read is Raising confident + natural girls, 10 ways to cultivate confidence.

Image © Little Scandinavian. Little A painted by Annika Sylte.

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