Reprinted from Girl Scouts Blog School. This one word can inspire a whole range of emotions in both mothers and their daughters. With homework, pencils, and paper now replacing lazy summer days—how do you set her up for success at the place she spends the most time outside of your home? Science, math, and language skills are all important, but sending a happy, confident, and well-adjusted girl through those school doors will take her even further than skills alone. Ask yourself: Is she ready to tackle not just new academic challenges, but all the new experiences each school year brings, such as navigating the world of changing classrooms, shifting friendships as last year’s class is traded for a new one, and more? Here are five ways you can give her confidence and relationship skills a boost as she heads back to school:
- Let her know it’s ok to put her hand up. Encourage her to speak up when she needs something, and when she has something to say.
- Model good communication skills. Good communication skills and the ability to find common ground with others will help her both inside and outside the classroom.
- Show her that doing good can be fun. There’s value in helping others. You’ll both get a sense of satisfaction, and she’ll feel pride in your accomplishments.
- Encourage her to step outside her comfort zone. It’s never too early to share examples of girls and women who aim high or have entered careers where women are few and far between.
- Back her up. When she puts her hand up, asserts herself, or takes the lead, let her know you’re proud of her and will support her.
Need some help with all this? What she does outside of school can set her up for a happy, fun, and productive school year…and beyond. A recent survey of 3,500 parents, caregivers, and volunteers conducted by Girl Scouts of the USA found that Girl Scouts helps girls build exactly these kinds of skills.