When it comes to helping your daughter become a strong woman, it’s important to offer compliments and inspiring words in a way that boosts self-esteem and confidence. Words are powerful, and when they come from a grown-up they can make a huge difference (click here for common phrases never to say to a girl). From appreciating her creative side to how far and fast her strong legs will carry her, here are 20 ways to praise your daughter today (and every day). Go girl power!
1. Thanks for giving me a hug, I needed that. As kids grow older, they're less likely to want to snuggle up with mom or dad. When they do show affection, let them know it's as important to you as it's always been.
2. I trust you. It's important kids know you trust them—it's the foundation for good communication once they hit the tween years.
3. You are a good friend. Teaching kids about the power of healthy relationships is the key to raising strong adults.
4. I love how hard you worked on this project, and how you stuck with it even when you got frustrated. Focus on how they overcame the challenge and what they accomplished.
5. You make the world a better place just by being in it. And if anyone thinks otherwise, it's their loss!
6. Don't let mean kids tell you what to think of yourself. Your self-esteem belongs to only you.
7. I'm so happy you're in my life. After all, wouldn't you want to hear that from someone you love?
8. Isn't it great that your strong legs can help you run super fast? Praising the things a little girl can do with her body instead of noticing how it looks will help her appreciate, and strive for, a healthy lifestyle.
9. I love the color combo you've got going on today, it's very creative! Nice things to say to your daughter don't have to focus on just looks. Compliment your daughter on her outfit when you focus on her creativity, rather than how pretty she looks.
10. You are a kind person. Compliments for girls that focus on kindness, courage, and honesty will go far in building self-esteem.
11. I am proud of you. Because kids need to hear this from their parents. Every. Day.
12. I’m really impressed with how you solved/built/created that. Can you show me a thing or two?! Praise your daughter for her critical thinking and problem-solving prowess.
13. I think you are a great leader. One of the best things you can do for your daughter is showing her that being a leader isn’t just “being bossy.”
14. Just be yourself. It’s enough. Girls are constantly being told they aren’t enough, and it's time to break the cycle and instill confidence.
15. Your ideas are important, and I want to hear them. Kids in general, but especially girls, need to know their ideas are awesome and worth sharing.
16. Your inner beauty and kindness shine through your personality. Outer beauty is a bonus.
17. Your bright smile shows me how happy you are. Your daughter is smiling for a reason, and when you notice, it'll make her even happier.
18. You're strong, you're smart, and you can change the world. Because she can!
19. I'm here for you. She needs to know that she can come to you for anything and that you'll be ready to listen.
20. I'm sorry. No one is perfect, and sometimes we lose our cool. An apology shows that we can admit when we're wrong, which is an important life skill.
—Gabby Cullen and Leah Singer