'Girls can rule the world – all they need is confidence.' This new book is a guide for girls to become fearless and not afraid to take risks or experience failure. As a parenting guide, the book emphasizes the importance mothers play in modeling confidence to help boost their daughters' physical and mental health.
The bestselling authors of The Confidence Code have written a follow-up aimed at raising daughters who don't expect to be perfect and have the self-confidence to try new things where they aren't assured of success. Authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman wrote The Confidence Code for Girls to help tween and teen girls - and their parents.
Girls should know that it's cool to be different.
- Olympic Medalist Hilary Knight
When asked why they wrote the book, Kay and Shipman explain, "It’s a paradox familiar to parents everywhere: girls are achieving like never before, yet they’re consumed with doubt on the inside."
A typical girl’s self-confidence drops by about 30% between the ages of eight and 14 – and fathers are better at spotting the dip than mothers, many of whom themselves lack confidence.
- The Confidence Code for Girls
The book is full of practical ideas and exercises, written for their young audience, on how to stretch their self-confidence and manage peer pressure, especially on social media. The artwork in the book features girls from diverse backgrounds and experiences, with quizzes, illustrations and stories to reinforce the message of how to achieve #GirlPower.
What the research says
The journalist authors based their book on research showing that "it's in girls teenage years that confidence really drops off. We've spoken to thousands of mothers and fathers who tell us their own experience backs up the evidence. If we can help girls today then we can go a long way to closing the confidence gap that emerges later in life."
Girls, Sports and Confidence
Among other areas, the book highlights key times when girls seem to lose confidence just when they need it most – when they're leaving home or making early career choice. Add to that a different area of study in which researchers have found that a drop in confidence also occurs when it comes to physical activity.
Girls are dropping out of sports and skipping gym classes as early as Grades 5 or 6 because of their newly developing breasts. A study of 2,089 girls, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that 75 percent of girls between the ages of 11 and 18 report breast-specific concerns – the most prevalent of which is breast bounce – as a reason they avoid physical activity.
To makes matters worse, the onset of puberty has fallen by five years since 1920. That means that, in 2010, the average age that girls reached puberty was around 10.5 years old, and given the trend, maybe even younger today. This compares with almost 15 years old in 1920.
Confidence Code Resources
To accompany the book, the authors have created a website TheConfidenceCodeForGirls.com, with additional resources and tips on how girls can increase their self-confidence, including a CQ (confidence quota) quiz and have an Instagram page @confidencecodegirls to help girls #CaptureConfidence.