This is a sponsored post for Always. All opinions are my own. You can read my full Disclosure Policy here.
Fellow parents raising teen girls, I don’t have to tell you that this job is not for the weak. My daughter is 13 and there have been many times that I’ve texted my friends to express my concern that this stage of parenting is going to kill me.
The push and pull between giving her freedom and keeping her safe under my wing is a tough balancing act, and there is so much out there that can chip away at a girl’s confidence. The thought that she might feel like she doesn’t measure up is crushing, because we all know our girls are perfect the way they are. How do we get them to see that?
It’s especially challenging in this modern age of parenting with SO many media inputs. Who else is beyond thankful there was no social media when we were growing up? Both hands WAY up over here.
5 Ways to Boost a Teen Girl’s Confidence
Parents play the biggest role in our children’s development, and at this stage of the game – the teen years – boosting confidence is key to helping them grow into capable, confident young adults. I’m sharing five tips that are working for me (I hope!) plus an important way Always and Walmart are helping us to encourage ALL girls to feel as amazing as we know they are.
1. Practice What You Preach: Body Acceptance Applies to You, Too
Is it normal to still need to lose baby weight when your youngest is 9? Asking for a friend. I would not, however, ask my daughter this question. Our girls are bombarded with so many images of what women should look like. The one thing we can always control is the message that they get from us: our appearance does not define us.
You don’t want your daughter saying that she thinks she’s overweight, she’s unattractive, she has bad skin, her hair is a mess? Then don’t let her hear you say it either. Sure, we all have things we want to improve about our appearance. Be careful how you word it. Saying that you want to focus on your health so you can be around for a long time has a much different ring to it than saying you need to go on a diet. If you want to make changes, great. But remember you have eyes and ears watching you, and teaching our girls to accept themselves the way they are starts with us.
2. Encourage Participation in Team Sports
Research indicates that girls who play team sports have higher self esteem. My daughter has been playing soccer since she was about 7 years old, and I definitely think this is true. Feeling strong and capable in her body, and building relationships with other girls has been so valuable. Relying on each other out on the field reinforces their abilities and is a major confidence builder.
End Period Poverty With Always and Walmart
Here’s a shocking statistic: In the United States, nearly 1 in 5 girls has missed school and other activities they enjoy, like team sports, because they can’t afford period protection. Nearly 20% of girls?! I had no idea. This is known as Period Poverty, and it can be devastating for girls to miss out on the activities that make them feel good about themselves.
Puberty is such a delicate time for girls to begin with. Confidence typically plummets, and having to miss out on sports, clubs, youth group, and school because they can’t afford period protection multiplies the challenges of this stage of development. I hate to think about girls my daughter’s age dealing with this.
Here’s How We Can Help
To help #EndPeriodPoverty, Always and Walmart are donating a year’s supply of period products to 50 teams in 50 states. LOVE!! And they are making it easy for us to help, too. Order a 3-pack box of your favorite Always pads from Walmart online during the month of January 2019, and it will trigger an additional donation to girls in need across America.
SO EASY. These are products we order anyway! It’s saving me a trip to the store, and I am giving back to girls like my own daughter to keep them in the game and help raise the next generation of strong, confident women. Count me in!
3. Praise Her Effort, Not Her Outcome
Focus more on your daughter’s effort, and less on the outcome of her effort. Persevering and building skills and a solid work ethic will serve her better in the long run than an A versus a B in science class, or a win versus a loss at her soccer game. Tell your daughter that you’re proud of her effort, win or lose.
4. Let Her Fail (And Encourage Her to Try Again)
I think it’s part of parental instinct to do everything you can to help your children succeed. Try to resist. Learning how to graciously fail, regroup, and try again is such an important life skill.
Moms and dads, every time we pave the way for an easy path for your kids, we are denying them the opportunity to earn accomplishments on their own and enjoy the pride that comes with it. We don’t need to coach every team they’re on. We don’t need to email teachers every time they get a bad grade. Let them figure it out.
If our kids don’t experience failure early on and learn how to cope with it, they are going to have a very rude awakening when they enter the real world as an adult. Our role is to encourage them to try again, not to make sure they never stumble.
5. Teach Her How to See Through Social Media Filters
Ah, social media. I make a living on social media so I can’t bash it too much, but I’m an adult. Asking young girls to handle life through an Instagram filter is a whole other story.
I have struggled with giving my daughter access to social media and held off as long as possible. Her friends are all there, and she was really feeling like she was missing out on a whole world of interaction with her peers. So I caved and at 13 years old, she was allowed to open an account.
I keep her account on my phone and see every little thing she does. In fact, we have a whole list of rules that SHE wrote! In addition to making sure she’s following these rules, I talk with her frequently about what she sees. We talk about social media being a highlight reel. No one is posting pictures of their messy bedrooms, unfinished homework, and the fight they just had with their best friend. It’s not REAL life, or at least it is not the complete picture.
That message is so important for kids to understand. Talk to your kids about the difference between what we see on social media, and real life. Seeing all of their peers having fun, looking great, spending time with friends, going on vacation, getting fancy Christmas gifts, etc. can take a toll on how your girl feels about herself. Make sure she knows there are a lot of smoke and mirrors out there.
Stock Up and Give Back #EndPeriodPoverty
This January 2019, be part of the confidence boost that our young girls need with the help of Always and Walmart. Order a 3-pack box of your favorite Always pads from Walmart online this month and a donation will be made to girls in need right here in the US.
Have more tips on how to boost the confidence of our teen girls? Leave a comment below. The more we can band together to raise strong, confident girls, the better off our future generations of women will be!