Photo Credit: Jewish Press

We all want our children to be proud of themselves and their accomplishments. Sometimes, our daughters also get other messages: be proud of how thin you are, be proud of how pretty you are. Of course, no one actively works to instill those values of appearance in their daughters, but those messages seep in throughout our daughters’ lives, and especially in shidduchim. So, what can we do to raise confident daughters – daughters who are proud of who they are and not what they look like?

Unconditional love. This one is a no-brainer, but it’s something that we need to consciously verbalize. Let your daughters know that you love them regardless of their appearance. You love their intellect, their middos, their humor, their creativity, or their kindness. Say that out loud so that your daughters can understand that their worth is not tied to their appearance.

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Get involved in the curriculum. Pay attention to what your daughter is learning in school. Are women represented? See if there is a way to incorporate more positive role models. Consider talking to her teachers and suggesting some ideas or texts.

Encourage her to use her voice. We often want our children to agree with us and to acquiesce when we let them know what works for us, for the family, or for those around them. This is a good quality, but we also need to raise our children, especially our daughters, to use their voices. Ask them, “Does this make sense to you?” and then honor that decision.

When we raise confident daughters, those confident daughters will grow into confident woman, who will carry themselves with grace and style, sure of themselves and the world around them. What more can we hope for?

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An acclaimed educator and social skills ​specialist​, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@gmail.com.