Having a baby girl is a blessing that brings an abundance of happiness and joy to parents. Girls are known to be loving, curious and warm and they can fill an empty house with beauty and laughter (and also screeching, and screaming, this is reality after all). They teach their mom and dad about the beauty of youth and happiness of childhood. On the other hand, parents teach their little girl about the real world, accountability and self-assurance.
Here are some tips on how to prepare your little baby girl to be confident and resilient for the upcoming years.
Preparing Your Baby Girl For The World The Right Way
Parents need to educate their daughter to convey her needs to adults and stand firm with her peers. If there is someone being rude or mean to her, teach her to say “I do not like what you are saying to me”.
All too often we brush off compliments as adults. It’s important that we hear and accept words of love and acceptance from others. Start early. Parents can help by being more precise when giving compliments. When parents tell their girl how clever she is, it means more than if you use a real example, for instance, “Darling, you persisted really hard to figure that puzzle out. Well done”.
Align your praise with reality
If your daughter paints a picture there is no need to gasp over it like it’s a Picaso. Giving anything a go and putting in her best effort will earn your praise and attention, just, keep it real. Your budding artist, dancer or musician will be grateful that you notice her progress or development and it takes the pressure off in later years for her to produce award winning results every time she attempts something.
Make her realize why she sometimes gets left behind
Put it in plain words if ever she is not asked or invited to a party or to join in a game. Tell her it is not meant to be an insult. Clarify that if someone says, “we cannot be friends” most likely the other party is not in a good mood. Encourage her to follow her values about what’s important to her and find friends who respect who she is.
We can be eager to jump in and rescue our little princess at the first sign of difficulty. Although you mean well this can get her into the habit of asking other people to do things for her, instead of giving it a go herself. If she says, ‘I can’t do it’, support her and encourage her to try again, (within reason). She will learn in time that she can do anything she puts her mind to and gain real confidence in her ability, from tying her shoelaces to doing her homework and everything beyond.
Encourage her to engage in sports if she likes
Thankfully, girls have more sporty choices than before, thanks to more financing going to girl’s clubs and more encouragement to participate. Do not stop or discourage her if she really wants to play football or do gymnastics. Always provide her with the chances she needs to figure out what she likes, and what she is capable of. Do not decide for her.
Abolish stereotypes about her weakness and strength
There are plenty of stereotypes on what girls like and what girls should or should not do. Don’t buy into them. If she loves maths and science, great. Encourage that. She’s interested in fishing or Little league. Fantastic, let’s go! Often it’s the parents that can be the ones to buckle to stereotypes before their kids because they are worried about what other people will say and think. Check out the smile on your kid’s face when they are doing what they love. That’s worth standing up for.
Guide her instinct to foster her strength and make huge progress with her weakness.
Be body positive
Of course if your daughter asks, “Am I beautiful?” without hesitation you will tell her, “YES!”. As well as saying she is beautiful, emphasize her actions when giving compliments. Instead of saying, “You looked beautiful on stage today’, you can try, “You looked gracefully on the stage today”. You can also help promote body positivity by saying nice things about yourself and other people and avoiding criticizing others (and yourself). If you notice a criticism of someone’s looks pop up in conversation, counter it with something positive.
Get her ready for sexism
Until now, some people believe that a girl cannot do things that a boy can. If you observe your baby girl watching movies or TV shows where the boy saves the day and the girl stays in the background, address it with her and have a discussion with her about how diverse the real world is. You might like to get creative and conjure up some alternative endings.
Highlight positive role models
Look for role models and point them out when both of you are watching news together or reading the papers. Show here that women- doctors, senators, teachers and other professionals can do anything and be strong and influential. Giving her a book with strong and positive female characters is one of the ideal ways to put the thought across with no lectures. If you’re not into books to know which ones to suggest, ask some book lovers or search the internet.
Teach by example
Girls and boys both learn by example. They carefully watch everything you do and mimic that, from the youngest of ages. Be the role model in your everyday activities to show your daughter how to be bold, face her fears, be honest, try new things and stick through the tough jobs and responsibilities.
Empathetic manner of discipline
There is no need to be harsh when disciplining your daughter. There is a phrase saying, “the ruder you are to them, the faster they learn to be rude to you”. Trying to control your daughter will likely encourage her to dig her heels in and not listen. If your daughter makes mistakes, try to listen to her first before questioning her motive and actions. Explain to your daughter the mistake, give appropriate consequences (or allow the natural consequences to play out).
If she chooses to do it again she knows what the outcome will be. A simple heart to heart can make disciplining less hassle. Remain calm and empathetic even though you are brutally frustrated and keep it simple so you don’t end up giving undue attention to the situation. which might have been her desire in the first place.