Three Steps for Growing Gritty and Resilient Girls

by | Jul 8, 2024 | Teenagers | 0 comments

What challenges does your teenage daughter face? Does she worry about her grades, her appearance, or if she will be successful in the future?  Maybe she stresses about romantic relationships, fitting in with friends, earning a certain GPA, or winning a game.  


No matter what the specific challenge is, when your daughter is under stress or experiencing hardship, she is likely to spiral into negative self-talk.  Fears, doubts, or giving up may be expressed with sentiments like: 


I can’t do it. 

I am so awkward. No one will ever want to be my friend. 

What if they judge me? 

I’d rather not even try. 


Sound familiar? 


As adults, we understand that challenges are an important part of life. They are where we develop our strengths, gain wisdom, and discover opportunities. But teenage girls don’t always see it that way.  They find it easier to avoid a challenge or discard it with a negative shrug.    Once they learn to see challenges as opportunities, their attitude changes. When they are experiencing hardship, they can learn to talk things through, find solutions, and take positive action. Rather than ignoring or feeling dispirited by the challenge, they begin to thrive on the opportunities it presents.  


They need grit and resilience.


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Grit is the ability to use courage and strength to get through challenging situations. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from the challenge.  Both make it easier to handle challenges and process negative emotions. Imagine if your daughter could handle life’s challenges without being overwhelmed, worried, or stressed.  It is possible but she needs your help! 


Here are three strategies for growing gritty and resilient girls:


  • Provide her with support and resources.  

At birth, your daughter develops a sense of security and trust.  As she grows and moves beyond the family circle, she looks for safety and security in adults other than mom and dad.  A family friend, peer mentor, or life coach can strengthen her sense of trust and provide her with the resources, encouragement, and support that will help her develop grit and resilience. 


  • Build upon her strengths and values.  

Make a list of the qualities (not achievements) that make your daughter unique. Start to commend her on those unique traits using the words respect and admire.  This will help her develop a strong sense of self and positive self-esteem. She will know she is a person who is capable, responsible, likable, and confident.  These positive beliefs in herself will make it easier to overcome challenges and bounce back from adversity. 


  • Provide experiences that encourage autonomy and responsibility. 

As is age-appropriate, allow your daughter to do things on her own and accept the natural consequences of her behavior. Help her understand what she can control and when others are responsible.  As she becomes more responsible and independent, she will become self-reliant and more capable of solving problems on her own.


Growing gritty, resilient girls means helping your daughter trust that she can handle the ups and downs of life. With this foundation, she is more likely to be happy, motivated, and proactive.



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