Tips For Raising Girls with Confidence

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Raising Girls can be a challenge sometimes. We are emotional creatures at our deepest core. But when your daughter comes home and tells you that she has to put a dress on in order to be pretty, it will break your heart. Since the day she was born I (along with everyone around her) has always told her how beautiful she is. But for some reason our girls are becoming hard wired to think that make-up, clothing and being skinny is what makes you pretty.

Dove® research shows that it is still important for us to address girls’ anxiety about looks, as there is a universal increase in beauty pressure and a decrease in girls’ confidence as they grow older. Key findings from our latest research include:

• Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)
• Only 11% of girls globally are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves
• 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful
• 80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful but do not see their own beauty
• More than half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic

SOURCE: Dove Research: The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited

It’s time to break these molds and shatter these statistics. Teaching our girls from the moment they understand what it means to be a strong, intelligent your lady is not about what you’re wearing.

  • 20121106-170233.jpgHere are some tips to help you raise a confident daughter:
  • Choose your words wisely – Our girls don’t always need to hear that they are pretty, beautiful or cute. It’s important to let them know that they are smart, clever and funny. If you are describing the other things that make her a great person she will learn to love herself that much more.
  • Listen – Have you ever stopped to ask your daughter how she feels about that billboard or movie star? You’d be surprised to find out how even the youngest girls see things. The more you listen the more you’ll know what you’re dealing with.
  • Everyone looks different for a reason – We have different skin colors, hair color and eye color. We are tall, short, curvy, skinny and round. We aren’t made from a cookie cutter so why should we look like we were all baked at the same time? 😉
  • Beauty is what we make it – To me beauty is DOING something beautiful. Volunteering, giving to charity or helping someone in need.

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and read all the great tips, plus add your own to The Self-Esteem Wall.


Dove® is committed to inspiring all women and girls to reach their full potential. The Dove® Movement for Self-Esteem invites all women to join us in creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. We have reached more than 9 million girls so far and with your help we can reach our target of 15 million by 2015. Download The Let’s Talk Toolkit so you can start the conversation with your daughters.

Each time you buy Dove®, you help us and our charitable partners provide inspiring self-esteem programming for girls. Dove supports partnerships with after-school programs, self-esteem building events and education resources.

This post is sponsored in part with Dove.


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  1. I am very careful with how I talk about myself in front of my girls. I never want them to hyper-analyze their own bodies the way I do my own. It’s not healthy and I want them to feel good about themselves because they are awesome little people!

  2. Great post! I only have a son, but I have younger cousins that I talk about this stuff with often. I want them to know that they are all beautiful!

    • I tell these things to both my son and daughter. I want them to know that they define themselves and that their whole package is awesome!!

  3. Great tips! I definitely praise my daughter and tell her how beautiful she is but I try to balance it with comments about how smart she is and funny and brave and clever and athletic. I want her to know she’s beautiful but I want to know she’s the complete package and it’s not all about how pretty she is.

  4. Great tips! I don’t have a daughter, but I understand wanting to raise a confident child. I have a toddler son who I’ve been doing exercises with to ensure he is a confident and independent child. Bookmarking this post to share with my friends with daughters!

  5. I have a son and I try to instill confidence in him that’s not related to his appearance too.
    20 times a day someone says “He’s so cute” and he even tells people “I’m cute!”
    So I compliment him on his manners, bring a good reader and being helpful.
    I appreciate Dove’s movement.

  6. Finding a great, balanced, positive self image is such a difficult thing! It’s great that companies like Dove are helping out!

  7. I am always telling my kids how beautiful and wonderful they are, but haven’t really watched what I say about myself until recently. I am making a conscious effort to stop saying negative things about my body and looks, even though I may still think them. I want my kids to feel good about themselves, and I have to be their example!

  8. Great points. I have girls, and whenever I tell them they are beautiful on the inside and out, I always bring up how smart and amazing people they are.

  9. Great tips. We tell our daughter all the time how beautiful she is but we also make sure to tell her she is smart and funny. I want her to know it is what is on the inside that counts.


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Meghan Cooper is a writer, content creator, movie critic, and geek living in Atlanta, Ga. She loves movies, traveling, and lots of coffee. Member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, Georgia Film Critics Association, and Atlanta Film Critics Circle.

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