Any mom knows that when raising a daughter, instilling a strong sense of self confidence is one of the most important and essential parenting tasks. Though our society may very well have progressed towards certain levels of gender equality, there is still a long road to travel, and our daughters will continue to face challenges that their male peers could never even fathom. A woman with a high level of confidence is a woman who will defend her rights and follow her vision, no matter what challenges and obstacles may come up. To help your daughter develop that sense of confidence, here are three quick guidelines on how to raise a self-confident daughter.
Let Her Pursue Her Own Interests
By allowing your daughter the freedom to find her own interests in life, you will be giving her the chance to develop confidence and high self-esteem. Girls who are taught to be obedient and only engage in activities that their parents expect of them rarely develop the courage to believe in themselves and their own interests.
Let Your Daughter Know That Being Confident is Okay
According to a recent article by WebMD, many girls think that showing confidence and self-esteem is the same as being conceited and arrogant. As a parent, let you daughter know that it is entirely okay to be confident, no matter what the boys (or other girls) think. Men who are confident in their style and grooming regime are almost never criticized, and should neither women (nor girls) be.
Do Not Be Over Protective
When you see your daughter visibly struggling with some peer-related problem, it might be almost second nature to want to come to help. While any parent needs to show concern, there is a fine line here, and you need to learn when to offer your concern and support, and when to let your little girl face up to the situation herself. The more confident your daughter becomes, the better she will be prepared to face any emergency or difficult situation that arises throughout her life.
Aron James is the founder of StubblePatrol.com. Stubble Patrol is a site on male grooming. He loves to write about his personal experiences.
Meet Rebecca Eli, School Teacher, School Counsellor/Wellbeing Coordinator, and Founder of Girl Empowered. Rebecca is based in a remote mining town in South Australia, Australia. She is a school teacher, qualified personal trainer, yoga instructor, School Counsellor/Wellbeing Coordinator and has worked in schools across the state of South Australia for 16 years. She launched Girl Empowered to create a social enterprise that promotes the sustained empowerment of Girls physically, socially, economically, and psychologically. Along with founding Girl Empowered, Rebecca still works three days a week as a school teacher while she continues to build Girl Empowered and launch her flagship program Powerful Me.
Tell us a little about Girl Empowered. What called you to launch Girl Empowered?
The concept of Girl Empowered had really been circling in my head (and heart) for a year or so but I didn’t really have an idea of what it would look like. Empowering girls and inspiring them to be the best versions of themselves has always been something that inspires me in return, and is one of the most enjoyable parts of my career as a teacher and school counsellor. So the concept of Girl Empowered was really a culmination of my years of working in schools combined with the recent yoga studies I have completed. It really is a blend of sensible school and self awareness for tweens and teens.
What is the biggest lesson you learned in launching Girl Empowered?
Feel the fear and do it anyway. I held off on launching Girl Empowered for a while because really the self doubt and fear was overwhelming. It felt too big and the doubts were too strong. But I got to a point where I couldn’t ignore the pull at my heart any longer and I launched it. It was a low tech, low budget launch in the shape of a FB page and video which I shared on my personal page also. The video went crazy with over 11,000 views and messages from friends but also people I didn’t know who also felt so strongly about the message. This is a lesson I use when I create something new or launch a new offering, I still feel fear and doubts, but I do it anyway!
What are some of your biggest successes you have experienced since launching Girl Empowered?
Girl Empowered is still in it’s infancy but already I’ve had some great success. Hearing from parents the positive impact Girl Empowered has had not only for their daughter but also their relationship with their daughter has been positive.
Given too that I launched Powerful Me, the Flagship course from Girl Empowered only three months after I announced Girl Empowered was also a huge success. Topped off by reaching my target for course sign ups was also a success.
I am also in the early stages of writing a similar course aimed more at teens, so that too is a success because I didn’t have that planned when I initially launched Girl Empowered.
You recently launched your course Powerful Me, the flagship offering of Girl Empowered. What are some of the goals of the course and what would you like others to take away from it?
Powerful Me is a self awareness and self development program for tweens. The course content is designed to be delivered over six weeks to the parent with content relevant and aimed at the daughter but gives lifetime access. Each week contains videos for the daughter, information for the parents along with links to other resources. The course covers topics such as understanding strengths, emotional intelligence, understanding courage and communication skills. It is really designed to support tweens transition into the turbulent teen years with skills and understanding to help them navigate the dynamics of friendships which teens (and parents of teens) find are everchanging and challenging.
Along with running Girl Empowered, you’re a school teacher, School Counsellor/Wellbeing coordinator and a mother of three! How do you find a healthy balance with a busy schedule?
I am a school teacher presently and previously worked officially as a school wellbeing coordinator. Last year when Girl Empowered wasn’t yet conceived, I felt the pull to make some changes in my working life to free up more space for my own children but also to allow what is now Girl Empowered to emerge. So at the beginning of 2017 I reduced from full time teaching to three days per week. This has allowed the space to create Girl Empowered but also to find that very delicate work life balance for four of the most important people in my life, my three beautiful kids aged 8, 7 and 4, plus my husband.
What advice would you give to other women who are pursuing their passions?
Do it! You’ll feel fear, you’ll have doubts and others will tell you it’s not possible. Surround yourself with honest supporters and invest in yourself, whether that is time or training. Your message is important and to deliver it you need to be in your best shape, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
What is your personal or professional motto and how do you apply it to your life?
“You have everything inside of you that you need.”
Whenever I doubt my experience, knowledge, expertise or am unsure about my next professional move, I go within, asking others is not my first option, I meditate, journal or pay particularly close attention to subtle signs and synchronicities I notice in my daily life. It sounds a little woo-woo but I totally believe that we have and are, all that we need.
My yoga practice has really strengthened my ability to meditate and stay centered but I work at it daily. I also work constantly with my mindset which was a huge challenge during the launch of Girl Empowered, but I really found keeping myself grounded and centered supported me during this time.
Keeping this self-focus balanced with positive, supportive friends and colleagues and working on maintaining my connection to my children and husband is also important. Without those connections, I am out of balance so fostering these relationships is important in keeping a real connection to myself.
How can our readers connect with you?
I first met Tetanya at a local t.v. studio. She had been invited, by a local influencer, to participate in a panel that included interesting, impactful women, doing meaningful things in our city.
I was immediately struck by her overall joy, obvious gratitude and personable, engaging nature. She was welcoming, friendly and totally unpretentious. Uncommon; yes.
I learned that she was a local fashion designer and that her craft was born out of love and passion for beauty and creativity. Her creations were made out of repurposed fabric, like old Cavalli gowns. Eco-fashion. Green. I thought it was clever and on trend. I admired the way that she pursued something that she loved doing; something that brought her joy. That quality is uncommon too.
After my initial introduction to her that day, I met her again, a few weeks later, at that same t.v. studio. She was being interviewed and shared her story, which was more amazing than any of her accomplishments.
One of my initial thoughts about Tetanya, was that she lived like no one was watching. No one was judging. People rarely live with that type of abandon and sharp focus on what really matters to them, personally. She just took pleasure in every moment; every interaction with every person, every creation she had sewn. She was utterly humble. She seemed to be motivated by joy and love for what she was doing. There was an absence of detectable ulterior motives. She was very authentic.
As I listened to her interview that day, and in our own subsequent conversation, my observations about Tetanya were proven totally correct, and an incredible explanation of why she lives and thinks the way that she does was given.
An educated, life long career woman, life suddenly changed, when a cough and nasal problems revealed the presence of a brain tumor, just a day before her fortieth birthday. Within a year, the tumor, had doubled in size and while it was not cancerous, it was threatening her overall health and raised the spectre of death. She lost her peripheral vision. With daily changes to her vision, impeding it, and memory loss due to the tumor, she lost her job.
Through the battery of tests that she was subjected to, arthritis was discovered and diagnosed, as was fibromyalgia. These were new and additional burdens, unrelated to the tumor. Related to the tumor, was the possibility of being confined to a wheelchair.
Tetanya, was depressed and living in chronic pain.
Eventually, surgery, to remove the tumor, became inevitable. It was a risk though. The surgery could kill her, but, if she opted not to have the surgery, she would certainly die due to a complication brought about by the growing brain tumor.
On the day of her surgery, scared, Tetanya had her epiphany about how she wanted to live, if she did. She told me that her life flashed before her mind’s eye like a movie. If she didn’t die in the surgery, she would live a life that she loved, simplified, based on love for herself and others, and pure gratitude for life. She would not fear what others thought. She would take risks. She wouldn’t focus on social conformity but on the things that she really wanted and needed to be happy. She would do whatever she wanted to, without worry of what it may look like to others. She would delight herself in life, entirely, unfettered by fear.
Tetanya lived and has adhered to her promises to herself. Functioning on the basic belief that she has been gifted with a second chance at life, she has committed to living like no one is watching, doing the things that bring her true joy. Here is the thing: people are watching. Long before I ever noticed her, others have. As she has said, “yes”, to living a life that she truly loves, incredible opportunities have been given to her!
She has participated Vancouver Fashion Week as a model; the event’s oldest. Her work in eco-fashion has gotten her noticed by Vogue. She has been invited to participate in New York Fashion Week, as a designer. She has participated in numerous pageants representing women over 40; truly an underrepresented segment of the female population. She has entered and won, the Mrs. B.C. Pageant. She has been a featured speaker for, “She Talks”, which got an honorable mention from CNN as an International Women’s Day event not to be missed. In truth, this is only a brief list of her accomplishments and awards.
I think that we all love a success story, especially one that we can identify with because the scope of it is not beyond our own reach. Tetanya’s story is not beyond our own reach. We all can, just like she did, decide to live life on our own terms and no one else’s, focusing on the fact that it is, a gift. Life is a gift, a very personal gift, to each one of us.
Using that understanding as a starting point, there is a lot that we can do for ourselves and others, just like she is, and the result is fulfillment.
Anastasia Anthony Zervos. Anastasia is a realtor and freelance writer, living in Vancouver, Canada. Her latest project contribution, “Remember The Gospel: How to Move Forward in The Christian Life”, is available on, amazon.ca
You are a fantastic person. There’s a lot you can accomplish as a woman, and a lot you can do to make the world a better place. Here’s a few of the reasons you’re so amazing.
You are probably amazing at communication.
You are way more likely to be a communication superstar if you were born with a lady brain. That’s great if you want to talk to anyone ever or effectively lead a group or communicate your goals and expectations. Your awesome communication skills can be used to achieve greatness! Aren’t you glad that you are statistically likely to be better than the average bear at using and interpreting words and body language!
You are part of a secret society of under-recognized historical superheros.
Women are the best kept secret of history — and not by choice. But their stellar skills have been used to make people happy, stop wars, create new inventions, write books, make masterpieces, and all the other great things that humans have the capability to accomplish. The only difference between the great women before us and what we have today is that we can take off our superhero masks and bask in the glory of our own talents.
Things are getting better for your life.
Things have been looking up for women for quite awhile. Females have made fantastic strides in the twentieth century, and it’s only looking up. People care about women because they are human members of society, and when every member of a society can be helpful and productive, it propels us all forward. There have been great strides to stop women from being discriminated against and it seems to have a forward projection.
You would make a great doctor.
Your mom would be so happy to know that, even if you aren’t a doctor now, you would’ve been more likely to be a great one! Patients treated by female doctors have less follow ups and are more likely to receive effective care.
You probably are pretty green.
Women are more likely to support environmentally friendly practices and have a smaller carbon footprint. If you haven’t found your superpower yet, you can whip your mask off, knowing that you are helping the planet! Women eat less beef (eating no beef is better for the earth than not driving your car) and are smaller, which uses less resources. Heck, we could even go to Mars on fewer resources. Women are environmental superheroes — and you are probably one of them, since you are reading this article.
You probably commit fewer crimes.
Women commit less crimes and usually less violent crime. Bonus points towards the theory that women are superheroes. You are statistically less likely to be a serial killer and commit corporate fraud, and therefore are definitely an upstanding hero-citizen. Thank you for being so awesome!
You live longer (what a Wonder Woman!).
Women live longer than men. They engage in less risky behavior, and, with the double-X chromosomes, women have give them a super swole immune system. Even though medicine has trouble accurately diagnosing and treating women, they still persist nonetheless.
If anything you are a smart cookie.
If you are a girl, you are definitely a smart person. Between the genders, there isn’t a big difference in IQ, but for emotional intelligence (EI), you are definitely an over performer. That means you can understand how people are feeling better and empathize with them. Hot dang! Might as well add emotional telepathy to your list of being an epic Wonder Woman. Plus, with a high EI, you have an increased likelihood of having good mental health, better job performance, and fantastic leadership skills.
You are a cautious driver.
As a woman you are probably a more cautious driver who regularly wears your seat belt and are less at fault in accidents. As a great driver, you have less risk accidental death, and can continue to outlive all those other suckers who aren’t women.
You are fantastic — as a person, not just the merits of your gender. But if you are having trouble or feeling down on yourself, just remember, you are woman. You are great. You are smart and basically a hero citizen. Comment down below if there’s anything we missed in this list.
Mary Grace is a magical unicorn of a human being from the gorgeous Boise, Idaho. She loves hiking, skiing, and human interactions with technology. Email her anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with her on Twitter.
When I was nine years old, I never dreamed that the small, quarter vending machine I owned would turn me into a small business owner and a college graduate.
Wanting to inspire a sense of entrepreneurship and business in his daughter, my dad brought home a vending machine he had purchased from a friend. Setting it down in front of me in our living room, he asked—in all seriousness—“Do you want to start a business?”
I owned 15 quarter vending machines by the time I left high school, with all of the profits going toward my college fund. In addition to being a great bonding experience for my family, I cannot tell you how many skills I learned from starting and growing my very own venture that helped me gain responsibility (and looked darn good on every application I’ve ever submitted).
After graduating from the University of Portland with focuses in marketing, social media, theater, and entrepreneurship, I am thrilled to pass on my story to fledgling entrepreneurs. Since selling the last of my business at age 21 to a 10-year-old (also named Tori, because that’s just how this crazy world works), I now get to mentor her through the process.
Here are five things I learned as a kid entrepreneur that set me up for success in a workplace (and beyond).
1. Money management
You think an allowance will help kids learn about how to manage their money? Try being a business owner.
Nine-year-old me would literally roll her profits (I cannot tell you how many quarters my hands have touched over the past decade) and take them to the bank, where I had a checking and savings account in my name.
I had to research the best value product to put in my machine—and the cheapest place to buy it. I had to discover how much or how little product to give per quarter, and how this affected my profit margins. Heck, I had to know what a profit margin was! I had to understand when the correct time to expand (buy another machine) was, and when it was better to hold off.
Understanding both personal and professional finances is one of the most important life lessons to learn—the earlier the better. By having a good grasp on spending, saving, budgets, and margins, you show you’re knowledgeable and responsible with money.
2. Pitching to clients and how to cold call
Nothing’s cuter than a tween (with the assistance of her father) handing you a contract and telling you that she will clean and service a machine every month if you give her rent-free space to place it.
I had to highlight why I was valuable to the business and negotiate (mostly what candy was going to go into each slot!). I had to be fearless and confident—learning these skills at a young age saved me from stuttering through presentations later in life. For most people, cold calling is absolutely terrifying, but learning to get over this fear at a young age has grown my confidence. In fact, I recently took second place at an elevator pitch competition in Denver using my past experiences to inform my confidence.
3. The value of knowing everything about what you’re selling
Ask me anything about three-head, metal Routemaster vending machines and the candy that goes in them. I can tell you what products sell at certain locations, and which ones don’t (Hot Tamales stick together, so place them in air conditioned locations). I can tell you which way the gears turn, and how many M&Ms go in an average handful. I can tell you the best place to put a machine to get the most foot traffic.
I can also tell you the not-so-fun stuff, like which products melt easily, and which ones are especially attractive to rats (the Disgusting Rat Incident of 2011 is a story for another time). I learned all of this and more from experience—and I was able to turn that experience into profit.
Truly understanding what you’re selling displays confidence and credibility, as does truly believing in it. Comprehending the ins and outs of your product and business shines through when speaking with customers and clients.
4. The importance of excellent customer service
Your business (especially your first, and most especially if you’re a kid) doesn’t have to be anything flashy. In fact, I recommend that it shouldn’t be. Owning a dozen or so vending machines was in no way novel or innovative.
What set me apart was my level of customer service. I understood that the way to profit and be a successful business was through serving others, and keeping them satisfied. I set a standard for incredibly personal customer service, and it showed. As a salesman, my father encouraged me to give free samples and constantly check in with my customers at the front desk to see how the machine was working. This personal connection, as well as my incredible story, encouraged my customers to keep coming back.
5. How to deal with rejection
Sometimes, even my cuteness and naiveté couldn’t win them over. For whatever reason, there were times when business owners didn’t have space, already had too many vending machines in their break room, or simply didn’t take me seriously enough.
That’s going to happen. Learning that not every experience in life leads to a “Well, You Tried” trophy taught me that rejection is hard, and it’s going to happen. It’s what you chose to learn from that experience that’s more important.
Throughout the incredible experience of running my own business at a young age (more stories to come!), I learned valuable skills that have helped me in my job, school, and personal life. I know what it means to be a saver, not a spender. I believe in the value of incredible customer service. I chase after clients and opportunities and understand that sometimes things don’t go my way.
With the help of my incredible parents and customers who supported me, I grew up an entrepreneur with skills to keep for the rest of my life.
Tori Dunlap is an award-winning social media marketer and entrepreneur. Founder of victori media, helping 20-somethings live life victoriously. Obsessed with finding cheap flights, reading a good book in the bathtub, and you. Follow her on Instagram here.