Fostering a Positive Mindset in Young Girls
Updated: May 17, 2020
by Jessica O'Donnell
I’d like to think that I’m raising my daughter in a day and age where the sky’s the limit, that she can be anything she wants and accomplish whatever she sets her mind to. At least that’s what I’m raising her to believe. Parenting and mentoring young girls has never been easy. But, it’s an important job and whether or not you’re a mom yourself, I’m going to bet you have young girls watching your actions at one point or another. Here are some tips on encouraging a positive mindset for any young girl or child!
1. Modeling Positive Behavior
One of the most eye-opening realizations I had as a parent was after I noticed my daughter was having anxiety. Anxiety about anything and everything. Whether her clothes were appropriate for her activities, if we would be late for any appointment or class, how her friends viewed her actions at school. If I'm being honest all of these anxious traits, she picked up from her own mom! And, while I’ve always lived with my anxiety, it crushed me to see that I had modeled that type of behavior for my own daughter. So, I work hard every day to stay positive around her and save my sometimes anxious narratives for conversations when children can’t listen in.
2. Be Selective About Who Your Child Spends Time With
This doesn’t need to be said, but here’s a friendly reminder. Not every friend your child spends time with is going to be a positive influence on them. While you can’t pick and choose who your kids spend time with on the playground, it’s fair game to limit time with children who you find to be a negative influence on their behavior and mindset. It’s also important to empower your child to make decisions like this on their own. If a child isn’t being nice on the playground, they can walk away. If a child is giving them ultimatums in exchange for friendship, they’re not someone you want to be friends with.
3. Give Your Child Opportunity for Unstructured Creative Time
It’s so easy to over schedule our children. We want them to experience and be great at many different things. But, I’m a firm believer in the two activities at a time rule.( That’s simply what works for my family- yours may be different) I’m also a firm believer in allowing your child the creative space to express themselves without instruction or timelines. I always have a “maker” space and supplies setup for my children so if they feel like creating something they are able to do so without having to ask me for permission (so long as the mess isn’t too out of control- haha) I highly suggest starting your daughter out with a journal and some fun supplies. These items can even be found at the dollar store and can encourage them to express their thoughts in a space for themselves. More posts on journaling coming soon!
4. Support and Encouragement
I am that mom. The mom who is yelling ridiculous positive sayings at my kids as they hop on the bus or out of the car at drop off and I have no intention of stopping.
This concept isn’t original, but the fact is the way you talk to your children will become their inner voice, so make it a positive one! On the same line, it's also important that whatever environment your children are doing activities or taking lessons in is also a positive one.
5. Age Appropriate Reality
Nowadays many children have phones and access to apps and content that are simply not appropriate for their age group. It has nothing to do with me being a prudish parent (Yes, I let me daughter watch the Super Bowl halftime show with no regrets) and everything to do with myself not wanting my children to be exposed to content that they are simply too young to process properly. Oftentimes the decision has to be made by your child themselves. For example, even though some of my daughter’s friends are old enough to have phones and watch TikTok, I have had to tell her that under no circumstances is she allowed to watch it even if she’s just sitting with a friend playing with a phone together. Is it extreme? Not really. Will she always listen? Not always.
I hope these tips will help you in fostering a positive mindset for the children in your life. The truth is we can’t protect our children from everything, but open communication with your child will certainly help you get through the tough situations when life happens.