Interesting Article: The Confidence Gap for Girls

Today is the International Day of Girls, a perfect opportunity to share this article Courtney recently sent to me from the New York Times. The article, which addresses a confidence gap for young girls, has made me think about how one of the bigger shocks of my girls getting older is witnessing the self consciousness creeping in. I’m still getting used to the worries they have about how they are perceived by others and the inhibitions and loss of innocence and naivety.

I think that every child at a certain age becomes aware of who they are and of their environment, but it seems especially relevant for young girls. As a mother, these are the kinds of challenges that I feel most inept dealing with. Changing nappies: no problem. Dealing with teething: I got the hang of it. But the subtle changes in perception and confidence is something I find a lot more complex. A little kiss and a cuddle are no long an easy solution.

In truth I find this stage of my children’s lives the most intense, exhilarating and terrifying. I simply love seeing the women they are becoming, but my confidence as a mother can be rocked by the complexities of their emotions, good and bad.

I found this NY Times article really interesting and it resonated with a lot of the behaviour of girls in my environment. The fear of taking risks and fear of failing is a real thing for pre-teenage and teenage girls (and for a lot of adults too). One of the points in the article that stood out to me was the idea of leading by example. I have never considered this, but for us, as parents, it actually is a good thing to admit that we have failed, have ridiculously embarrassed ourselves and have survived it. (And trust me, I will ridiculously embarrass myself again and survive it – yet again;)).  If I can teach my kids that it is ok to fail, to be embarrassed and to brush it off and start again — I will be a little bit proud of myself!

Please share your thoughts on this topic, as it’s always good to start a conversation and hear other mother’s experiences.

Emilie x


Comments (4)

October 11, 2018

Not sure if everyone is able to do this who have daughters but sending them to sleep away camp helps builds confidence. There have been tons of studies on this how girls who go to sleep away camp are more confident in themselves and not afraid to take risks. The other thing is it needs to be an ALL GIRLS camp and a regular old school camp. All the girls young and older support you no matter what age you are and encourage you to do it. It’s different than having your parents encourage you. I went to one in Colorado for 6 years and looking back noticed I had no fear, independent and was just myself. When I got older It’s true that boys thought that I was quirky so I never had a boyfriend like my friends in middle and high school, but now have a husband that loves me for me. We found an all girls camp (Oldest in Virginia) and sent two of daughters ages 7 and 8.5 there for 3 weeks. This year they are going for 4 weeks. If it was up to them they’d spend 6 weeks. We can’t wait to send our youngest once she’s 7

October 13, 2018

We have a very strong tradition of sleep away camps here in France. My girls have been going since the age of 5 – but I don’t think we have any all girls camps!

October 16, 2018

thanks Emily,it’s a good one, i have printed it and will try to remember a few of the tricks

October 16, 2018

Thank you Emilie, I really appreciate your posts. I have three daughters not yet in their teens but I dread it! Of course I want more than anything for them to feel good about themselves, and it’s sad that perhaps this is an unrealistic hope.

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