7 Ways to Boost Your Teen Girls’ Confidence with a Modern-Day Twist

BY: - 21 Nov '17 | Parenting

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When I look at my daughters, I think “If I was half as pretty, smart and talented as they are now, I would have been dangerous in high school.”  The problem with that statement is that I was just as pretty, smart and talented in high school, but I did not realize it and I really lacked confidence in myself.

And no matter how great we think our kids are, they must know this for themselves. They must believe in themselves and their own abilities. Did you know that girls’ confidence begins to drop at age 9,1 and by the age of 10 their physical activity levels also start to decline and keep decreasing throughout their adolescence?2

This is me during my senior year of high school. I was a honor student and on my way to college on a full academic scholarship, but deep down I still lacked confidence.

This is me during my senior year of high school. I was a honor student and on my way to college on a full academic scholarship, but deep down I still lacked confidence.

As parents, our kids look up to us and depend on us for guidance.  And we play a large role in how they see themselves and the world.  Therefore, we really must be intentional about helping our daughters grow in their confidence. This is nothing new.  But what is new is that modern-day parents must compete with so much more messaging that our girls are exposed to via social media and on-line platforms. Good or bad, these platforms are also shaping the way they see themselves and the world.

Our two youngest girls don’t have smart phones or social media accounts (yet.)  But, our oldest daughter does.  And I not only monitor the amount of time that she spends on those devices, but I am also monitoring what she is being exposed to.  If I don’t watch it, she will spend all her time watching others online and no time developing herself and working towards her own goals. And the only physical activity that she will be getting is with her thumbs and index fingers with all that texting and swiping!

This is why I am so excited about the partnership between Always #LikeAGirl and Target. They have come together to empower girls everywhere by donating one million dollars to Girls on the Run,

Girls on the Run is a nonprofit organization that provides a physical activity-based positive youth development program to girls in the third to eight grades.  It’s a 10-week program that helps develop a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness in the girls. And the program ends with the girls completing a service project for their communities and completing a celebratory 5K.

As a mom of 3 girls, I really love the mission of the Girls on the Run program because it encourages girls to appreciate health and fitness in a fun way.  I want health and fitness to be a way of life for my girls versus something they must do to maintain a certain body image.

To-date Girls on the Run has served more than 1.4 million girls. The one million dollar donation from Always and Target will enable thousands more girls to participate in the program and it will also help Girls on the Run reach their goal or serving 2 million girls by 2021.

Here are 7 ways to boost your girls’ confidence with a modern-day twist:

As I mentioned above, we, as parents, must do our parts in promoting self-confidence, such as enrolling our girls in programs like Girls on the Run.  And with that being said, here are 7 ways to boost your girls’ confidence (with a modern-day twist of course.)

1. Monitor what they are reading/listening to on-line. I am all up in their business every day. I am always asking, “What are you watching?” or,  “what are you reading?”

2. Talk to your girls every day.  In addition to encouraging them daily, we need to talk about what they are seeing on-line which gives us the opportunity to educate them and counter negative messaging.

3. Set Goals with them – Have you ever seen those hashtags like #RelationshipGoals,#SquadGoals, #HairGoals.  Teens use those hashtags when they see something online that they like and they want to aspire to.  Well, my girls set and work towards accomplishing their own goals. #MyGoals

meandgirls_bmwk

4. Keep them involved in extra-curricular activities. Cheerleading, basketball, reading clubs, chorus, piano, and soccer are just a few activities where my girls participate. If you have daughters in third grade through eighth grade, I highly recommend Girls on the Run as it would be such a positive experience they can be a part of. Participating in activities help them develop socially and boosts their confidence and self-esteem.

5. Lead by example – I don’t want my girls to see me lacking confidence and hear me talking negative about myself, I need to lead by example.

6. Watch your mouth – Since I know that words have power, I want my words to build up my girls and not tear them down.

7. Get on social media – Sorry parents, but this is the modern-day twist that you have been waiting for.  Don’t avoid social media platforms…learn how to use them so that you can monitor your kids and talk to them about what they are seeing.

My oldest daughter is giving me a selfie tutorial.

My oldest daughter is giving me a selfie tutorial.

BMWK – Let us know in the comments below what you are doing daily to boost your girls’ confidence?  Please join us in spreading the word about the great work that Always, Target and Girls on the Run International are doing to empower girls.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Always and Target. The opinions and text are all mine.

1 Self-Esteem: Robins, R.W., Trzesniewski, K.H., Tracy, J.L., Gosling, S.D., Potter, J. (2002). Global Self-Esteem Across the Life Span. Psychology and Aging, 17(3), 423-434
2 Physical Activity: Smith, A. L., & Biddle, S. J. H. (2008). Youth physical activity and sedentary behavior: Challenges and solutions. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

 

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 524 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.

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Help! My Son is Picking Up Bad Habits from His Father… What Should I Do?

BY: - 28 Nov '17 | Parenting

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Dear Dr. Buckingham,

My 8-year-old son has recently started to act out in a very aggressive manner toward female children at school. His temper is getting worse by the day. Initially, I did not understand where he was learning the behavior. However, after talking to the school therapist, I learned that he might be picking up the behavior from my husband.

My husband is a very aggressive person and he does not always pay attention to whether or not our son is observing him. He loses his temper quickly and says whatever comes to his mind. My husband is kind to our son, but he displays aggression toward me. The school therapist talked to me about kids learning behavior through vicarious experience. I really did not understand what she was talking about and I was too embarrassed to ask her to clarify. For the sake of my son, can you please explain? My Son Is Learning The Wrong Things: What Is Vicarious Observation?

Thanks,

Confused Parent

Ask Dr. Buckingham

Dear Confused Parent,

I appreciate your willingness to seek understanding. The best way that you can help your son is to gain knowledge about things that influence him. Human behavior is a social science and the more you know about the better prepared you will be to deal with it. Unfortunately, a lot of parents do not seek understanding of things that are very technical or scientific in nature.

Vicarious observation refers to a process where a child compares him or herself to someone else. Children typically learn more from vicarious experience because they are uncertain about their own abilities and have limited personal experience. Therefore, parents are instrumental in influencing their children through observational and vicarious learning. For example, if a child observes a model of an aggressive parent, the child is likely to engage in similar behavior or avoid the behavior, depending on the outcome.

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As an illustration, social scientists conducted an experiment in which children were exposed to a model who acted aggressively against a large inflatable plastic punching doll. After observing the models’ aggressiveness toward the doll, each child was placed in a room and shortly after entering the room each child imitated similar aggressive behavior toward the doll. The results of the experiment revealed that an aggressive model could motivate a child to behave aggressively in new, unmolded ways.

Through vicarious arousal, children acquire attitudes, values, and emotional dispositions toward persons, places, and things. Vicarious learning enables children to learn new behaviors without experiencing difficulties or challenges in performing the task. For example, through vicarious learning, children can learn appropriate and/or inappropriate ways of expressing and processing emotional arousal by observing their parent(s) engage in such behavior. When children observe individuals functioning in a positive manner and treating others pleasantly, positive affect is generated. In contrast, when children observe individuals functioning in a negative manner and treating others unpleasantly, negative affect is generated. This occurs because children are easily aroused by the emotional expressions of others.

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Initial childhood developmental experiences are centered in the family and are mediated by adults. Children’s exposure to and/or observation of certain behaviors in their environments can strongly influence the development of their cognitive self-arousal and emotional reactions. Children typically model emotional reactions they observe, and through vicarious and observational learning, perceptions regarding task performance or accomplishment are developed. Children acquire lasting attitudes and emotional reactions that may extend into adulthood. With this in mind, one could assume that your son’s behavior is a by-product of observing your husband.

Again, I thank you for seeking understanding because parents are key figures in their children’s development and can make things happen through their actions. Both personal behavior and environmental influences shape children’s behavior. Given this, I would recommend that you speak with your husband about his behavior and consider seeking professional counseling.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to askdrbuckingham@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 194 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com.

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