Makeup Isn’t Only for Thursdays: Raising a Confident Daughter


“Mama, can I do my eyebrow?” My three-year-old daughter repeatedly chants this familiar mantra at my feet during my morning routine.

I hurriedly say, “Sure, sweetie.” I accidentally hand her a mascara that she gladly takes and proceeds to copy me as I fill in my eyebrows. As I finish the final touches, I look down and see a head full of bouncy curls sporting thick black mascara eyebrows, pink lip balm, and the happiest little smile.

Will I really let her walk out of the house like this? Not exactly, I will tidy up the exaggerated lines and clumps of product before we leave the house, making sure it’s to her liking. But yes, she can wear her mascara brows.

We didn’t get to this place overnight. I used to tell her, “No sweetie, makeup is only for Thursdays.” I came from the generation of no makeup or shaving your legs until your parents decided it was the proper time. However as a mother of two boys and one girl, my views have evolved. Now that’s not saying I will let her go out of the house in a full face and a ball gown. But I want her to decide what’s beautiful to her.

» » » » » » » » »  RELATED READ: 5 Parenting Tips for the Strong-Willed Child  « « « « « « « « « «

My mission as a mother is to make sure my daughter knows who she is and what brings her joy without putting too much emphasis on what others think. How will she know her style and vibe if I am constantly fighting her on her every toddler opinion? She is finding her voice. And even though she will mimic things she sees me doing, she’s using this precious time to build her foundation. In raising strong little girls, here are some of the things I try to remember.

Encourage your daughter to make decisions.

At three, my daughter isn’t deciding on colleges. However, letting her make small decisions between two things such as breakfast items or what she wants to do that day will make a world of difference. When I let my daughter decide if we are going to the park first or to the library, I notice she is more willing to cooperate. And I am showing her how to use her own thought process to make choices.

Not everything is the end of the world.

Like dark mascara eyebrows or deciding she will only consume cheese sticks and apple sauce for an entire day (true story). Pick and choose your battles because at this stage in their life, there will be many. Honestly, you will burn out trying to fight a toddler. They won’t remember what they fought you about, but they will remember how you handled conflict with them.

Remember your mirror.

Makeup Isn't Only for Thursdays: Raising a Strong, Confident Daughter

We all know little people soak up everything we do to a “t”. After I had my youngest child, I would stare in the mirror at my deflated belly. I would catch my daughter doing the same thing, so I had to be mindful of how I described my figure. Modeling body-positive behavior and acknowledging perceived flaws positively will shape how she views herself. Also, your daughter will be looking at how you describe others and will take that into account when she meets others, especially when it comes to diverse populations and cultures.

Get real about being pretty with your daughter.

We always tell our daughters how beautiful they are. However shifting more of the focus to the inside qualities will go further in the long run. It’s easy to say that she’s beautiful and smart–however, what does she do that shows how smart she is? I like to use these types of phrases:

“Wow, that drawing you made looks so cool.”
“you are such a strong climber.”
“I love how funny you are.”

It’s paramount for girls to know they are more than their looks. Looks will change over time, and they need to have more to love about themselves. I want to cultivate a safe space where my daughter can be her authentic self outside of just her appearance.

Boundaries and disagreements are healthy.

We all know children have extremely big feelings. And they express them in some interesting ways. If your daughter is like mine, she is usually very determined and loud. It can be a struggle, but let your daughter know that it is okay to disagree and have an opinion. When girls are shown positive conflict resolution from a young age, they will learn how to interact with others, have boundaries, and foster healthy relationships. Life without conflict wouldn’t be authentic at any age in my opinion. I don’t want my daughter people pleasing her way out of conflict to the point she isn’t being her true self.

Even ladies get dirt on their manicures.

Let them get dirty. A little soap and water won’t wash away all the fun memories she can make playing outside and exploring. When my daughter can be free even in her tulle dresses with princess heels or her favorite cowgirl boots, she’s able to feel confident doing whatever it is her heart desires. This also helps to build confidence and explore new hobbies.

While every child is different, these tips will help in your journey of raising confident and self-assured girls. It has most definitely been a process for me raising my strong-willed daughter. I want to keep her fiery spirit while also teaching her about the world around her.

Makeup Isn't Only for Thursdays: Raising a Strong, Confident DaughterThere will be plenty of people that will attempt to tell her that makeup is just for Thursdays, but if we stay this track, I know she will wear her mascara however she pleases.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of El Paso Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.


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