Want to raise confident girls? Follow these tips

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If we want more confident women then we need to start empowering our girls at the youngest of ages. This must be a deliberate conscious effort on the part of parents and teachers alike. 

Have dads help around the house more. 
Don’t divide household chores by gender – it’s not mummy’s work it’s everyone’s work. Fathers who equally share in household chores have daughters who aspire to non-traditional careers (i.e. police officer, doctor, accountant or scientist). Children internalize what they see you do. Fathers act as gatekeepers for their daughters future career options. 

Be selective about the images your children consume. 
I try to give my daughter books with female protagonists. If girls at a young age don’t see themselves represented as the politician, engineer or the judge, then their options of what they can do with their life has shrunk down. - This is about linking ROLE MODELS in all areas (business, finance, education, sports, arts & entertainment, etc) so that our daughters see their career possibilities as limitless. See my list of examples below.

Stop praising looks/clothing/hairstyles on girls, and start praising EFFORT. 
Effort will help them build resilience. Also beware of phrases like "don't you sound bossy....that's a little too opinionated...or be careful"). 

Teach girls to own their successes. 
Teach them to take credit for their accomplishments. No self-deprecating remarks allowed. (As mothers and caregivers we must model this type of self-promotion ourselves. If we're constantly denigrating our own accomplishments, minimizing our successes then our daughters will mirror that behavior). Stop with the endless "good job" nonsense. Praise should be tied to effort and as specific as possible. 

Encourage failure and discuss failure. 
I talk about my failures with my daughter and ask ‘what did you mess up today?’” Tell me what you failed at and what you learned from it?” Teach your children how phenomenal failure is. By learning to cope with failure, and mastering their frustration helps them build resilience once again. 

Encourage risk taking (start small and do it often). 
Make sure your children place their own food orders at a restaurant/drive in/ etc. Make sure children check themselves in for appointments (they hand over their health card and state their name to the receptionist). I have college students right now who refuse to do this because they’re so nervous and hate speaking in public. This helps them build confidence in small bite size ways.


For more from Professor Maja Jovanovic, make sure to visit her website. You can purchase a copy of her book, Hey Ladies, Stop Apologizing!, here
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