We all want the girls in our lives to go after their dreams, but the media, our celebrity culture and social media can send mixed messages that affect their confidence. As a partner of the Together Counts™ program for healthy, active living, we want to share our tips to encourage your daughter, granddaughter, niece, younger sister or any girl you know to have the confidence to work toward her goals.
- Be a listening ear. Ask what she would like to accomplish one day. Give her your undivided attention.
- Stay open-minded. Let her brainstorm and share her ideas, even if they seem unusual or out of reach to you.
- Help her set attainable goals. While you never want to crush your girl’s dreams, if a goal seems a bit too unrealistic right now, encourage her to set a related, short-term goal that’s attainable in the next year.
- Take action. Offer to go for a run together after school, drive her to music lessons or review her latest essay. Knowing you support her dreams can give her the confidence to keep pursuing them.
- Encourage her to visualize her goals. Whether she prefers to journal her ideas in a notebook or create a vision board with magazine cutouts, a visual representation of her dreams can motivate her to reach them.
- Reinforce the importance of positive life skills, such as hard work, persistence, a positive attitude and responsibility.
- Be realistic about challenges. Remind her that many dreams will not come easily and hard work will foster a sense of accomplishment that increases her self-worth, even when she doesn’t meet a particular goal.
- Celebrate her efforts, not just her achievements. By focusing on how hard she worked rather than just her results, you will help her build confidence in her skills and her work ethic.
- Compliment her talents. Praise her excellent spelling, good listening skills, killer jump shot or willingness to help those in need.
- Help her research her dream. Spend time with her at the library or online researching how a person lands a particular job, or take her to meet with someone who has already met her particular goal.
- Encourage her to set short-term goals to meet a long-term dream. Whether that means learning to cook a meal for her family if she wants to become a chef or studying to earn excellent grades if she wants to attend a certain college, encourage her to take action today to meet her long-term goals.
- Ask about the “why” behind her dreams. Having a purpose behind her goals can help her stay motivated on the path to her dreams.
How do you help the girl in your life stay positive and motivated to follow her dreams?
Brittney Storm Rankin is a writer and communications consultant. She has been involved with Girls on the Run as a coach and is passionate about health and well-being, inspiring written content, and encouraging girls to reach their full potential. She lives with her husband in Greenville, S.C.
Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based, positive youth development program for girls in 3rd through 8th grade. During the ten-week season, volunteer coaches lead girls through a research-based curriculum that uses dynamic discussions and running games to teach life skills. Each Girls on the Run season culminates with a celebratory 5K event that welcomes family, friends and community members to recognize the girls accomplishments throughout the season. Girls on the Run has councils in all fifty states and the District of Columbia and has served over 1.2 million girls.
For more ways to support your kids, check out these other articles from Together Counts!