The Parent’s War on Confidence Enemies
I’d like to preface this post with the following: in this blog I’m going to talk about war, however it is through a conceptual analogy and in no way meant to downplay the impact live and deadly wars are having on millions of people around the world right now, especially the ongoing war in Ukraine.
I was speaking with a parent recently and we were discussing the litany of ways that her daughter’s confidence is being compromised right now.
And I mused that it feels like a fight.
The parent’s fight.
No wait, the parent’s war.
A defensive war against threats to your daughter’s confidence.
So see if you can stay with me through this analogy.
The enemy is:
- Social media
- Volatile or toxic Friendships
- Unrealistic body imagery and expectations
- The media
- Academic pressures
And it’s a relentless enemy that never sleeps and feels as though it multiplies when soldiers are at their weakest (particular anytime after 9pm at night!)
Now – You’re the one trying to keep your injured soldier from quitting. They are battered and bruised and often want to quit. And who could blame them?
When the shooting dies down in the field and it’s quiet, you can relax, maybe even smile and laugh. But a stick cracks nearby and she’s tense again, fearing what’s coming and not wanting to face it.
Then the injured solider, who is weary and well aware of how vulnerable she is, starts to get angry inside. Snipes back when you try to make small talk. Lashes out when you make suggestions on how to treat and heal their wounds, or where to take shelter, or how to avoid battle zones. Retreats into a far corner of the trench.
You know if you don’t do something to help them you’re worried they could suffer long-term from their wounds.
So, how do soldiers train for war?
They learn to read the battlefield.
Avoid dangerous or volatile situations.
Surround themselves with people that they trust.
They hone both their negotiation and defensive skills.
And they take time out to relax and find the joy in moments of peace (you always see the montage of the guys playing football or goofing around!)
But most importantly, they believe in what they are fighting for.
And I’m guessing you believe in your daughter.
Boom. QUITE the analogy!
So today I just wanted to shout a rallying cry for all of the soldiers out there fighting the confidence disintegration war. All of the parents who wake up each morning not knowing the exact terrain they are going to have to navigate, but know it’s filled with hidden IEDs and an inexhaustible enemy.
Keep going. Keep supporting your little (or not so little) solider and reassure her that on the other side of this is strength, self-belief, satisfaction and joy.
I don’t personally support acts of war, but I’m first in line saddling up for this one.
I’m always keen to hear thoughts on my bold analogies, and this one has been a bit of a doozie! So contact me or drop me a line via the Girl Shaped Flames Facebook page on whether this one resonates, and whether you feel you’re winning the war in your household.
Need some extra support?
Courageous Parenting has been designed by youth expert Tanya Meessmann and neuroscientist and counsellor Dr Diane Harner for parents who want to support their daughter’s confidence development.