A girl who holds high self-confidence can overcome any obstacle in their life because of their strong belief in themselves but obtaining that self-confidence is easier said than done.
I coach junior high volleyball (I know…why, right?) I love it and mostly because these girls are at the age where they are finding themselves. I also am a mother to two beautiful little girls…so raising confident girls is at the top of my “to-do” list.
It’s our second week of practice and once again “confidence” or lack of seems to be our weakness, not their ability to pass or set the ball but confidence in themselves is where our team is struggling. It is like a heavy anchor stuck in seaweed, it keeps pulling them down. Teen Self-Esteem Facts states that “7 out of 10 girls believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way.” That says to me that 70% of girls do not believe in themselves…that is sad and frightening! As I look around the gym, I see low self-confidence everywhere from the girl tugging on her shirt and trying to hide her stomach as the boys walk through the gym to the girl who will not make eye contact with any of the girls because she doesn’t fit in and then there’s the girl who doesn’t believe she is good enough to play with the “varsity” team.
I’m a firm believer that sports teach children about life not just about how to shoot a basketball in a hoop. They can teach teamwork, self-discipline, integrity, respect, loyalty, failing, getting back up, and confidence. They test people beyond their comfort zones and push them to grow mentally and physically.
The first step in raising confident girls, is the strong foundation in Jesus Christ. Before we can believe in ourselves, we have to believe in something larger than us, beyond this world. Young girls need that connection to believe there is “more” out there in this world than just the materialistic beliefs here on Earth. Girls are just plain mean to each other at times and unreliable, one minute Stephanie is your BFF and the next she’s your worst enemy so girls need a “constant stable home” and that is Jesus Christ. Someone and somewhere they can always go and feel safe and ask for advice while finding their strength to go to school the next day and face Stephanie. Psalm 118:8 says, “it is better to take refuge in the Lord, than to trust in man.” How do we as parents, coaches, teachers, and caregivers help instill a strong foundation? It’s simple…talk to them about God and all his wonders. Start slow and simple and let them go at their own pace but be a role model through Christ.
In today’s society, a young girl’s identity is based off of her outer appearance or her accomplishments. So when failure happens because it will happen, they are lost and have no true confidence to pick them up again. But, if their identity was through Christ and his purpose and plan for them then a simple failure would be just that…simple, because they know God has a plan for them and failing may or may not be a part of that plan but they have the foundation of trust and faith in Him.
A young girl can appear to be confident based on her appearance or maybe because she has the latest iphone and has every color converse but that is false confidence because if you take all those materialistic items away she is robbed of her confidence. Confidence in God cannot be taken away or replaced by the next better iphone, no one can take your confidence away when you believe you have a purpose in this world and God created you special to make a difference in this world.
For me as a mother, next to my girls being strong in their faith I want them to be open with me. I work really hard literally on a daily basis I try to make it a point to talk to my kids one-on-one about their days and what they are struggling with. Having an open communication policy in the home, is imperative to helping raise strong girls. They won’t need to get the attention at school or from their peers because they are getting it at home. I also am constantly telling my daughter she is beautiful both on the inside and the outside. One of my greatest fears is that if she doesn’t hear it at home she will go looking in all the wrong places for someone to tell her she’s beautiful.
Every little girl wants to feel special…it is our job as parents to make them feel special in this big superficial world where “special” is out and “twinning” is in.