Being told you throw or run “like a girl” is often seen as an insult – it can imply a subpar physical performance as well as a lack of grit and determination. It’s an insult that can damage your daughter’s confidence when it comes to sports and competition. In fact, research from Always shows more than half of girls lose confidence when they go through puberty. Eighty percent of girls feel they don’t belong in sports, and 64 percent actually give it up before they reach the end of puberty.
We think it’s time to rewrite what it means to play “like a girl” to help them build confidence as they develop and grow. Here’s what “playing like a girl” should really mean.
It Means Trying New Things
In psychology, a willingness to try new activities is called a growth mindset. It can help your daughter’s development by teaching her that skills and abilities grow with effort. Teach your daughter it’s OK to fail because it’s part of the process. With each failure she will learn what works and what doesn’t, and those lessons build confidence and help her achieve future success.
For more tips on raising a confident daughter, check out this guide.
It Means Setting Goals
Helping your daughter set goals boosts her development. Praise her for identifying a challenge and putting in the work to achieve it. Supporting her through her endeavors is just as important as congratulating her for the end result. Remind her that success in any walk of life requires dedication and practice – a useful lesson to learn while she’s young.
It Means Being a Team Player
Playing on a team teaches your daughter the value of being part of something bigger than her own achievements. Your daughter will need to learn how to take instruction and constructive criticism, which are skills many teenagers struggle with. Being part of the group can help a sensitive teen learn to accept this kind of feedback without feeling singled out.
It Means Being Patient
We live in a world where waiting for anything is a foreign concept. But by delaying or deferring gratification – missing out on movie night to prepare for a big game, for instance – your daughter learns that the ability to delay a small reward leads to bigger, more important ones.
It Means Fairness – and Resilience
Sports teach the importance of playing fair: No one likes a cheater, and there’s no satisfaction in winning dishonestly. Similarly, the resilience children develop from learning to lose gracefully helps them bounce back from tough times with less emotional angst. Your daughter can’t be shielded from disappointment – that’s not how the real world operates. Sports are a fantastic training ground for this lesson.
It Means Always Being Prepared
Feeling fresh, clean and prepared helps your daughter deliver a strong athletic performance. To help her feel fresh on the field and off, introduce her to Always Thin Dailies and Secret Deodorant Invisible Sprays so she can play with confidence and give the game her full attention.
After practice or the game, wash her team uniforms and athletic wear with Tide PODS Plus Febreze Odor Defense, which is specifically formulated to fight tough sports odors and stains. You can also add Downy Fresh Protect Active Fresh In-Wash Odor Shield, which contains motion-activated fresheners that neutralize odors. She’ll feel fresh, self-assured and ready to play like a girl.
How do you help boost your daughter’s confidence? Comment below with your thoughts – we’d love to hear them.