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Inside: Three ways to support your tween daughter in building her confidence, overcoming her challenges and improving your communication.
* This post was updated in January 2020 with new info and resources *
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It includes: January 2020 monthly calendar, Goal Tracker template and Mega List of Positive Affirmations.
One thing you can do to support your daughter, is to help her create strategies for overcoming the obstacles to confidence she may experience throughout her day.
Although there will be nuances for every individual, there are certain things tween girls often face: difficult emotions, friendship troubles and challenges at school.
In my work as a confidence coach and counselor, these are the most common topics I support girls and their families to work through.
It’s highly valuable to have a plan in place to deal with these challenges, so you’re prepared when they do arise.
Especially, because when emotions are high, that’s also when it’s difficult to think clearly.
Having the plan in place in advance helps to avoid the stress of having to come up with a solution in the heat of the moment.
As you likely know and experienced yourself, adolescence is a highly emotional time with many, many, MANY, waves of highs and lows.
Your tween girl is right on the brink of that, facing the conflict of wanting independence, yet holding on to her childhood.
Her body is changing, relationships are evolving and confusion, excitement and sadness battle it out it seems like every minute to express themselves.
Phew! It’s exhausting just thinking about being back in that place of development.
Take a Pause:
Take a moment though, to close your eyes, place your hands over your heart, and imagine how it feels to have a storm of emotions going on inside you, but not yet having a reference point or words for what you’re feeling.
This is what your tween goes through as she develops her emotional, inner world.
Inhale compassion, Exhale tension.
Since you know these challenging emotions will arrive, it’s good to consciously create a plan to deal with them in advance.
This empowers your daughter with the emotional management strategies she needs to handle difficult situations that come her way.
Looking for a creative way to help your daughter manage her emotions?
Tween friendships are often tumultuous, especially for girls.
It’s a time when some friends will drift away and new friendships will be forged.
There may be feelings of loneliness and being left out as your daughter starts to experience the more complex dynamics of friendship is now that she’s a tween.
One way to combat friendship troubles that come up is to help your daughter create her own meaning of true friendship.
When girls learn to value authentic friendships, it will be easier to manage the feelings of loneliness that come from being left out of a group that’s not the right fit for her.
Here’s a few prompts to help get a conversation started about authentic friendships. You can also use these for journaling and reflection:
From dealing with a new school with different expectations, to working with multiple teachers and new subjects, tweens have a lot to juggle when they make it to middle school.
If your daughter is struggling with this transition, it can have negative effects on her confidence.
Girls can often misinterpret their inability to perform to the same standard as they used to as a sign that they’re not good enough.
When you and your daughter proactively discuss a plan to overcome possible obstacles to confidence before she experiences them, she’ll be ready for them when they do come.
The relationship between a mom and her tween daughter is unique and special.
Even though there will be natural ups and downs, it’s important to keep an open line of communication.
This way, your daughter can always feel safe knowing she has somewhere to go for help and comfort when she faces struggles.
I get it. There are times when it may seem like talking to you is the opposite of what she wants to do.
But, she’s still there, watching and listening.
And, she still needs you to take the lead of keeping those lines of communication open.
It’s also important that she knows she can be her authentic self in front of you.
So, when she does open up, try to be present and listen, even if the topic isn’t your favorite, or you have no idea why she thinks what’s so important is so important…
(If you get the brunt of her frustration and venting, that’s her feeling safe to let it all go in front of you — though, you may not find that news comforting during the experience ;-))
When you have an open door to communication, you have the perfect opportunity to help your daughter navigate her struggles in a way that protects her confidence.
Conversations in the car, at dinner and even right before bed can turn into your favorite, confidence-building times together. Really!
Another idea to set up the new year in a confident way is to help your daughter learn the practice of goal-setting.
There are many different ways to establish a goal-setting practice, but what’s most important is to help your tween daughter appreciate the journey of forward progress and the learning experiences along the way to achieving her goals.
And, it’s important to create a list of goals to achieve that are broader than a focus on just performance.
I also encourage the tweens I work with to set goals for how they’ll spread kindness to others throughout the year and be the very best version of themselves.
No matter what our age, confidence is built when we take a chance to try something new, to put ourselves out there, to get better at something or move forward with a dream we have.
When your daughter sets intentions for the year, she has something to challenge her to grow.
She has a road map to refer back to at the end of the year to reflect on how far she’s journeyed.
And, learning experiences that will boost her confidence and belief that she can accomplish her goals.
I’ve put together a collection of resources to support you with the ideas I shared above.
If you’re looking for creative, accessible ways to help your daughter set goals, get organized and build confidence, then the Confidence Quickstart Bundle is for you!
I make it easy to introduce setting goals for personal growth and to practice the power of positive affirmations.
Simply, share your info below and I’ll email you the link to the free resource bundle.
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