Emily-Jean Drevno is the creator and founder of Your Mindful Child, a foundation whose mission is “to positively change the lives of children and their families by illuminating the greatness that exists within them.” With the school year in full swing, many kids are encountering new experiences that might be out of their comfort zone. Below, she offers a few strategies to help young girls find the confidence to try new things.
Being able to step outside of your comfort zone is an important skill that will benefit your daughter’s personal growth, development, and self-confidence. How can you encourage this in ways your daughter will agree to, especially if she’s usually reluctant to try new things? Start with something that feels a little uncomfortable but not scary. Think about how we stretch our muscles, gently, increasing our flexibility over time. The same goes for trying new things. When your daughter stretches herself a little bit at a time, her comfort zone will increase over time. When she feels successful after trying something new, her self-confidence will grow and she may show more resilience. Your daughter may even make a habit out of trying new things!
Here are a few simple ways for your daughter to try something new and expand her comfort zone:
Invite a New Friend Over
Ask your daughter if there’s anyone in her class she’d like to have over for a playdate? Some good ways to phrase this question are, “Who in your class has never been to our house? What would you think about inviting (insert name) over for a playdate?” or “Who have you been playing with at recess?” or “Who have you enjoyed working within your class?” If your daughter is young enough you can also reach out to her teacher and ask for their opinion.
Try a New Activity
Does your daughter veer toward the same before/after school activities? Ask her what new class or sport she would like to try and sign her up! If she’s unsure or resistant, give her a few choices and tell her she gets to choose between the options. You can also sign her up for a class with one of her friends. Trying something new with a peer might be the way to go!
Try a New Style or Hairdo
While it may sound silly or too simple, this is a quick way for your daughter to ease into stretching her comfort zone. Does your daughter usually wear her hair the same way? Show her some pictures of other styles she could try. Or, go out and help your daughter pick out a new pair of shoes or piece of clothing in a color she usually wouldn’t wear. Trying new things can ask us to step outside of our comfort zone and it’s okay to start small.
Remind your daughter that she tries new things all the time – this is the first time she is in this grade (most likely), the first time being with the teacher she has this year, the first time she’s been ___ years old, etc. And remember, a mindset is everything. If trying new things is a part of your life your daughter will be much more likely to do it herself.