Thursday, June 14, 2007

Helping our daughters become more self-confident

A major study done by the American Association of University Women did a national sample of more than 3000 students in grades 4 through 10. They found that not only did boys have higher self-esteem in elementary school than girls but that the gap between them widened in high school. In elementary school, 60 percent of the girls and 69 percent of the boys agreed with the statement, I’m happy the way I am. By high school, only 29 percent of the girls and 46 percent of the boys felt that way.

The teen years suck – there is no mistaking it. We can all think back to those years and thank God that we don’t have to relive those years. But the question I have is what is it that makes the guys feel a bit better about themselves than girls?

This got me to thinking…

I feel as parents it’s our job to find out what it is our daughters really enjoy doing. If math isn’t her thing don’t go on and on about how you wish she was better at it. Spending so much time on what our girls do wrong isn’t going to help them become a more confident young woman.

Each daughter has different interests. As parents we sometimes cringe at what are daughters might enjoy doing. Maybe they want to actually play football. Yikes, what will the friends and relatives think if our daughter plays football? Or maybe she wants to learn to play the electric guitar but you don’t own one, and the cost is more than you can afford.

It’s important we allow our daughters to bend the gender roles whichever way they need to if it’s going to make them a stronger more confident young women. Again, it’s not about what we as parents want and what we enjoy and think our daughters should be doing. No, it’s all about them, their interests and what they were born to do.

Finding out what our girls enjoy, and then figuring out a way to afford these interests might seem rather challenging. But when you see the results where your daughter is doing something she actually enjoys, and excels in…You’re going to have a very happy confident young woman on your hands who is going to be able to say very proudly with a smile on her face – I’m happy just the way I am.


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