"Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence." —Vince Lombardi
Our daughters are under direct and intended assault to undermine their confidence, which in turn breeds a massive industry that profits from their shattered self-images.
Dads with daughters have a chief obligation to instill confidence balanced with humility in their daughters, starting at an early age. The pitfalls to avoiding such are staggering. Drug abuse, teen pregnancy, poor grades and even suicide all breed from low self-esteem for girls. Once the pattern is set, they may never break free.
Here are some tips for raising daughters to be confident:
1. Truly listen to her. Many women feel like they aren't heard. Honest communication can solve the majority of problems our families face, yet it can sometimes be so difficult to achieve. When she reaches out, she wants to talk—not be lectured or scolded. As dads, our instinct is to fix the things bothering our daughters, but in many cases they just need us to help them work through it themselves.
2. Tell her she is beautiful. Only 2 percent of women think they are beautiful. That is tremendously sad and speaks to something very wrong in our culture. Hug your daughter and tell her she is beautiful daily. If a dad doesn't hug his teen daughter and tell her he loves her every day, she will find someone that will. That sets off a dangerous pattern of seeking beauty affirmation.
3. Reinforce her strong qualities. We are all given special talents. As your daughter is discovering hers, reinforce them with your praise and relentless support as if you are building the foundation of a great structure.
4. Be her rock. Girls are more apt to be subject to things such as cyber-bullying and mean-spirited personal attacks, which can destroy them emotionally. We need to be the rock our daughters can always count on to love them unconditionally. The confidence you instill counterbalances the confidence being destroyed on the outside.
5. Be careful with words. It's no secret that females are very analytical about the things males say. Of course, we need to discipline our children, and at times we have to be harsh, but we need to be very careful with the words we choose at these moments. Our daughters will hold on to them longer than we know.
6. Show her the power of faith. A person that can gain the ability to see the larger picture will always have an edge in life. Regarding confidence, if your daughter understands the deeper purposes of life and the ebbs and flows she necessarily must go through, she will be much stronger. Introduce her to faith, and display it by example daily.
All Pro Dad is Family First's innovative and unique program for every father. Their aim is to interlock the hearts of the fathers with their children and, as a byproduct, the hearts of the children with their dads. At AllProDad.com, dads in any stage of fatherhood can find helpful resources to aid in their parenting. Resources include daily emails, blogs, Top 10 lists, articles, printable tools, videos and eBooks. From AllProDad.com, fathers can join the highly engaged All Pro Dad social media communities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
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