Unfading Beauty and Strength

Christian Encouragement and Practical Tips for Ordinary Women

How to increase my daugher's confidence

{A daughter’s confidence may be one of the most important things we do as parents, but how do we increase our daughters’ confidence? Read more for 4 simple habits!}

The damage of telling our daughters they are pretty is hurting their confidence! What can you do about it?

My daughter is beautiful. She has blonde hair and blue eyes and a dimple that kills. She tans easily. (with sunscreen!) My little girl is small but mighty with muscles from years of gymnastics and other activities. For a six year old girl, she is the definition of beauty.

Now, she knows she is pretty, She loves taking selfies. She will strike a pose for me every time I pull out my camera. She loves sparkly things and dresses, painting her fingernails and trying on a little colored chap-stick.

None of those things are bad. I am glad she has confidence in her appearance. BUT, because she has been told how pretty she is her whole life, that seems to be all she is confident in right now. I am NOT okay with that!

What People Don’t Say:

What people do not say is: “You’re smart. You’re sweet and considerate. You’re strong and confident.” Human nature naturally focuses on the outward appearance, especially in our over-sexualized, commercialized American society.

After much reflection, I sadly find I am guilty myself of focusing on outward appearance, though I do tell my daughter she is smart and strong and brave.

Image by Jonny Lindner from Pixabay

Sometime between the dreams of your youth and yesterday, something precious has been lost. And that treasure is your heart, your priceless feminine heart. God has set within you a femininity that is powerful and tender, fierce and alluring. No doubt it has been misunderstood. Surely it has been assaulted. But it is there, your true heart, and it is worth recovering. You are captivating.

Captivating, Authors John & Stasi Eldredge

Even More Important:

Of course I want my daughter to know she is beautiful. But even more, I want her to know she is smart and capable and strong and brave. I want her to know outward beauty is fleeting, and I want her to focus on the inner beauty.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Proverbs 31:30

Because of these reasons, I am really careful about what I say about my own appearance in front of my daughter. I know she is watching and listening, all the time.

In spite of my best conscious and intentional efforts, I find we are still battling self-confidence.

Some time ago, my daughter was asked if she thought she was pretty, to which she responded, “Of course!” She was then asked if she thought she was smart, to which she responded, “No.”

What!!??? When did this happen?

She is so smart. I am not only saying this because she is my daughter. She is past her reading level of the average 1st grader, and in fact is reading at end of 1st grade level, if not already reading at the second grade level.

Hardly any discipline works because she is far too quick at figuring out how to get away with mischievousness. Additionally, we have no room for grace in our discipline. If we are not 100% consistent, she will push us as far as she can. I often say, “If we give her an inch, she will take three yards.”

She is smart and strong and brave. You should see her at the top of the obstacles at our local climbing gym! She is all these things and more. How did we get to this point where she did not believe she was smart?

A Shocking Realization:

As I was reflecting on this shocking realization, I came to a possible conclusion.

As stated previously, she has been told she was pretty more than anything else. Despite my best efforts, I realized I had not been intentional enough. Oh sure, I would compliment non-physical attributes along with being pretty, but our first and main compliments were on outward appearance. “Oh, that dress is so pretty.”, or “You look so beautiful today.”, etc…

In fairness and full disclosure, part of my daughter’s struggles comes from the fact that she likes to do things right the first time. She is a perfectionist.

Though perfection is not a bad trait; it is just one we need to harness better. The fact of the matter is, you are not going to do everything right the first time. Failure and disappointment are a part of life.

Striving to be a Better You:

We always need to be working on ways to be a better version of who we are, but not at the expense of self-confidence. There is a difference between having to be perfect and striving to be a better person. We need to give our daughters the tools now to help them be confident and yet not afraid of failing.

I never thought we would be struggling with self-confidence at such a young age. My once brave, confident, and fearless little girl is now susceptible to what others say and doubts her own abilities. This breaks my heart.

4 Simple Habits to Increase Your Daughter’s Confidence!

As promised, I have come up with four simple habits to help boost our daughters’ confidence.

I don’t have all the answers and never will, but I do plan on implementing the following steps into our daily routines. I hope they encourage you as well and remind you that all is not lost. We can begin to increase our daughters’ confidence, starting today.

1. Every day, say something positive that has nothing to do with appearance.

For example, “That was so smart how you thought to do that.” “You are so observant of the details in stories.” “I really liked how you shared your candy with your brother. That showed such kindness.”

In addition, make saying positive things a habit. As part of our nightly routine, we say what we are thankful for most nights at bedtime.

A good way to add a habit is to instill it into a routine you already have. So from this point forward, and feel free to hold me accountable, I plan on saying one positive thing at bedtime that has nothing to do with outward appearance to both my children, but especially my daughter.

The video below talks more about building intentional habits.

A Simple Way to Add New Habits!

2. Pray every day.

I believe in the power of prayer and without God’s grace I would have nothing and be completely overwhelmed and powerless.

In addition, I often pray out loud over my children or at the very least tell them I said a prayer for them. Praying out loud lets them know you are praying for them and where your personal priorities lie. Plus, it gives them confidence to repeat those actions, even if it may be years down the road. Knowing someone is praying for you increases confidence.

3. Read stories about confidence.

We read every night before bedtime, so why not add in a story about confidence occasionally? Here are some of my favorites:

Princess In Black Series: Great for young readers. You can be a princess and a hero at the same time!

A Bad Case of Stripes: I talk more about this book in the post, Be Weird. Be Yourself, but in quick summary, it would be a great lead in for talks on being confident.

**The next three books come from Usborne Books & More. As a consultant, if you purchase these books, I do receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Jonathan James and the What If Monster: A simply adorable story on trying things even when you are scared. For more ways on how to kick self-doubt out, be sure to read the following posts: 6 Ways to Kick Self-Doubt Out!

For an adorable story telling on this book, see the video below:

Cordelia: Another picture book with great encouragement to believe in yourself!

Butterflies: This is a beautiful coming of age story about a young girl who was burned when she was three and her journey from that pain and trauma. Recommended age: 11 and up.

Do you have some books you recommend? I would love to hear! Let me know below in the comments!

4. Find a song to listen to together that reminds you of inner strength and beauty.

Play it in the mornings or evenings or even in the car. Below is an example of one of my favorites! Just listening to an upbeat song or two can boost confidence and as a bonus, the song just may get stuck in our heads!

I love this video and how it shows all their personalities and inner beauty in different ways!

One of the Most Important Things:

I believe building self-confidence in our children, especially our daughters, is one of the most important things we can do as parents.

Self-confidence is simply defined as a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, quality, and judgment.

Nowhere in the definition does it say anything about appearance. Now I am not saying to dress like a slob every day. Certainly looking your best plays it role.

It’s not about fancy clothes or popular name brands, it’s about feeling good about yourself and choosing clothing that reflects your personality.

Peter Economy

But I’m looking at the big picture and if you do not have self-confidence on the inside, then nothing you wear on the outside is going to help in the long run.

Women who are professors, moms, doctors, nurses, missionaries, dentists, homemakers, therapists, chefs, artists, poets, rock climbers, triathletes, secretaries, salespeople, and social workers. Beautiful women, all.

Captivating, John & Stasi Eldredge

How do you increase your daughter’s confidence? Can you add to my list? Comment below. I love to hear from you!

As always, thanks for reading, and Sharing is Caring!

How to Be a Beautiful and Strong Woman: Tips from 6 Writers

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9 thoughts on “4 Simple Habits That Will Boost Your Daughter’s Confidence

  1. This is such an important truth! Thank you for sharing this. I have also thought about how important it is to remind my daughter of the value she has just because she is a child of God. Her identity lies in the fact that she belongs to Him. She is forgiven, holy, cherished, and free!

  2. Great insight Brynn! I have two daughters and this is so important. It is amazing how superficial the world feels to them, and how they are both learning to find that balance between humility and confidence.

    1. I know it will be a never ending battle, but most definitely a worthy cause! Thanks for your insight!

  3. Great post! My girls are 16 and 11 and we’re working on building healthy confidence that’s not related to appearance. But, it’s a cultural battle. I went through the P-31 mother/daughter study with my oldest and am now going through it with the younger one. That study really gives them a sense of value❤️

  4. Oh man, this is so important! I am also guilty of telling my daughter she looks beautiful without being as intentional about telling her how brave, and strong, and smart she is. I needed this reminder. Bookmarking so I can keep coming back to this! ♥️

    1. Thanks so much Jordan! It is hard! I was shocked to realize my daughter’s response to my question!

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