It’s a tough world for anyone. As a parent, you’re likely more concerned with how tough it is for your kids. The experience of growing up can be intensely challenging for both boys and girls alike, from toddlers to teenagers. You’re probably wondering how you can help your child navigate this complicated terrain, and what role you can play in preparing them for a promising future. If you’re raising one or more daughters, you want to know how to help prepare them for life.

Love Yourself

Confidence, in many ways, is tied to self-love and self-esteem. One of the best things you can do for your child is to love yourself, and model that on a daily basis. Monkey see, monkey do, and that even applies to the deeper side of life. If you take good care of your appearance, don’t talk bad about yourself, and give yourself grace and forgiveness after making mistakes, your daughters will see that. They’ll learn to extend that same love to themselves, and self-care will come naturally. Through that self-love, confidence will flourish.

Give Her Independence

It’s important to help all children set realistic goals, and allow them to pursue those goals on their own as much as possible. A daughter who’s equipped for the real world is one who knows how much hard work success takes. She knows what she can do, and what she can’t. Help her understand by letting her work out things on her own. Let her see the real-life consequences for her actions. While some of those consequences are too extreme early in life, help her experience as many as you safely can. A dose of reasonable expectations will help keep her confidence high, because she’ll know what she’s capable of, and she won’t crash over failures.

Encourage Assertiveness

It’s no secret that many people find being assertive difficult. Rather than teaching your daughter, either directly or indirectly, to be a people pleaser, teach her to respect others instead. Be sure to let her know that respect isn’t the same thing as pleasing. Help your daughter pursue activities that encourage assertiveness, from sports like boxing, to speech and debate. The more she is rewarded for her assertiveness in her youth, the more she’ll value it as a woman.

Raising a human being is hard work. From changing diapers, to encouraging her during her college application process, you have a great deal to give your daughter, and many things to teach her. Sometimes, the bigger picture can fall by the wayside in the face of daily stress, but it’s good to step back and appreciate it once in awhile. You’re not just taking a toddler to the park, or forcing an twelve-year-old to do her homework. You’re contributing to a bright future, and you’re helping a young woman gain confidence. Like a ripple effect, you don’t know who your daughter will become, or whose lives she’ll touch, as a result of your parenting now.