Before I had my daughter, who is now three, I had many ideas on what type of parent I would be. In University, I was a Women’s Studies major and, being the crazy (my words) feminist that I am, I had rules for parenting when I had my own child.
How I Am Raising A Confident Child
Rule #1 – I would be a gender-neutral parent. If I had a boy or girl they would be in greens and yellows. My child would play with both dolls and trucks.
Rule #2 – I would not be one of *those* parents who hover over their child and make decisions for them. My child would partake in decision-making in the household.
Rule #3 – I would allow my child to be the person they were going to be. Whether gay or straight (or somewhere in between) I would raise my child to be confident in who they are.
As you can probably imagine these rules do not really exist now that I have a child.
The biggest thing I have learned since becoming a parent is that you have no idea what having a child is like and how you react to various situations.
Rule #1 has completely gone out the window. My daughter is a girly girl. That is who she is. She loves dresses, jewelry and makeup. She wears a dress as often as possible and will sleep in it if I allow her. (I will add though, that she also like trucks and tractors and knows all the names of construction equipment).
Rule #2 – I have no idea what I was thinking. Allow my daughter to make household decisions? I am lucky on the days where she can pick out a shirt she wants to wear. Small decisions take her forever. I still like the idea of my daughter being independent and I am trying to foster that ability but there are limitations.
Rule #3 Now this is the one rule I still stand behind 100%. I love and support my daughter for who she is. I also want her to grow up into a confident woman.
These are the steps I am taking to cultivate confidence in my daughter.
Encourage – I am encouraging her to try new things. Recently, she wanted to try ice skating so we watched YouTube videos and went to the ice rink to watch some hockey. When it came time to experience the ice for herself, she found it was “too slippery” but at least she tried.
My daughter is only three so there are many things I do not allow her to do – opening the oven is one of them. But I do allow her to help me with tasks like measuring the ingredients and counting the eggs when we make cookies.
I am my daughter’s biggest cheerleader. When she was potty training I made up songs and danced for her when she went in the potty. We also would call extended family members who would cheer for her too. I also tell her she is awesome every day and thank her for being polite and picking up her toys.
I am very careful in what I say around my daughter when it comes to body image. I never say I am having a “fat day” or engage in other negative self-talk. I try to be my daughter’s mirror. I want her to see from me what I see in her.
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Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Ferring Canada via Mode Media Canada. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Ferring Canada.