Has the pressure to keep up with her peers academically and socially taken a toll on your teen daughter’s self-esteem and confidence? Instead of enjoying her life, is your daughter more anxious, withdrawn, or insecure? If so, then you’re likely wondering how to help your daughter feel more secure and confident.
Poor self-esteem and low self-confidence not only affect how your daughter manages her day-to-day interactions but can also lead to mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression. According to the World Health Organization “Globally, depression is the fourth leading cause of illness and disability among adolescents aged 15-19 years.”
The good news is that you can learn to help your daughter regain her confidence.
How would you like to see your daughter embody peaceful confidence – or a calm and powerful sense of who she is?
Here are three things you can do to help your daughter rebuild her confidence and feel secure in herself.
Pay close attention to how you react when things don’t go as planned. Are you quick to anger or do you retreat? Do you focus on the problems and harbor negative feelings, or do you let things go easily and focus on a win-win solution? Do you often put yourself, or others, down?
Like it or not, your daughter is watching and modeling you— even when you think she’s not paying attention. Your daughter can also internalize your comments and actions to mean something negative about herself, even if it has nothing to do with her.
Whatever it is you would love for your daughter to learn, model it for her. Show her by your actions and be consistent. This does not mean that you must be “perfect” in all situations. It’s good for your daughter to see that you also have “bad” moments; just remember those are also opportunities to model a healthy response. Remember, you are preparing your daughter for life, which isn’t always perfect – but how we respond to it matters greatly.
2. Be Fully Present
When you interact with your daughter, are you fully present? I’m not talking about just setting your phone down. Are you being distracted by your own worries, doubts, and fears?
How you show up can greatly affect your daughter’s confidence level. If you are distracted, your daughter might interpret your distraction to mean that she is not good enough or worthy of your attention, or that you don’t love her enough to give her some dedicated time. Being fully present and unworried by your own thoughts will help her feel validated, important, and loved.
3. Invite Self-Mastery
When your daughter shares her concerns with you, how do you respond? Are you quick to reassure her that it’s no big deal and that she should let it go? Do you tell her what she should do? Do you find yourself upset with her or the situation, and the talk ends up being negative or judgmental?
How you react can create a feeling of trust and safety for your daughter or teach her to close down and recoil from sharing her thoughts and feelings.
Many well-intentioned parents try to help their daughter by telling her, “It’s no big deal” or try to solve the problems for her. This can make her feel invalidated or dismissed, and it can take away an opportunity for her to learn to problem-solve on her own.
It can be all too easy to become upset or negative and judgmental when receiving unpleasant news. This reaction, however, can cause teen girls to shut down to avoid being the cause of an upset. They may also begin to doubt their own worth and question their decision-making abilities.
Instead, practice staying present, receptive, and compassionate. Leave judgments aside and focus on creating a safe space for your daughter to talk openly. Ask her questions so she can think critically about her concerns and the situation. Encourage her to come up with her own ideas and solutions and celebrate her efforts. And most importantly, allow her to make mistakes and support her in discovering her own solutions. It’s in learning how to recover from mistakes that your daughter will discover her inner strength, develop confidence, and become self-reliant.
When you consistently model desired behaviors and create a safe space for your daughter to share her thoughts and feelings, her confidence and trust in herself (and in you) will skyrocket.
How to Help Your Daughter Feel Secure — Sources
World Health Organization
About the Author
Jacqui Letran is a Nurse Practitioner, Author, Speaker, and Teen Confidence Expert. She blends more than twenty years of experience working with teens in the medical and holistic settings to provide time-tested, practical guidance to help teen girls embody peaceful confidence. Her multi-award-winning Words of Wisdom for Teens book series is considered a go-to resource for teens, parents of teens, and anyone working with teens. Get your free “6 Steps to Transform Your Inner Critic” guide at www.JacquiLetran.com/f/innercritic. For more information visit www.JacquiLetran.com and www.stopthebullywithin.com.