6 Things Every Daughter Wants Their Mother to Know:
Raising a girl is difficult in this day and age. There’s so much pressure to be, look, and do things a certain way. In general though, most of us want to raise happy, healthy, and productive children. And there are an infinite number of ways to teach all of that to your daughter. She needs you to know what to do to get her there.
1. I need you to tell me I’m beautiful
Girls see the pictures in the magazines and the girls on the billboards. A young girl today expects herself to have the perfect body, perfect face, and perfect hair. We know those photos are airbrushed, but that doesn’t change the expectations we have for ourselves or from society. It’s important for a mom to let her daughter know she is gorgeous just as she is. It’s also important for mom to feel beautiful as she is. Our daughters take their body image cues from us. If we focus on our health rather than our looks, then we are sending a much more positive message.
2. I can do anything, but not everything
Most parents have pretty high expectations for their kids. It’s not neccesarily the expectations that are a problem, but perhaps the amount or intensity of those expectations. You can’t expect a child to have a perfect GPA, be the captain of the basketball team, a concert pianist, and be able to cook a four course meal. All of this just sets your daughter up for failure. Expect grades based on her actual abilities, and let her choose her own activities to be passionate about. Let her know you are there to help but not to demand.
3. I look up to you
Though she may not ever tell you, your daughter looks up to you a great deal. She measures her own self-worth and success by who you are. If you are highly educated, then she will expect to become educated as well. If you look like a model, then she will expect to look like one too. If you can maintain a perfect home and make all of her clothes, then she will expect to be able to do that as well. Enjoy including your daughter in your accomplishments, but remember to praise her good qualities, even if they aren’t like yours.
4. I need you to push me
While some parents tend to push too hard, it is also just as common to want to protect your child as much as possible. In an effort to protect, sometimes parents don’t teach their kids to assert themselves or even to reign in their emotions. If your child is an introvert, it can be hard to encourage her to socialize, but she needs to be able to. An outspoken child also needs to learn to control themselves. Push her outside her comfort zone, but always be there to help.
5. I am proud of being a girl
Too often in our society women are referred to as ‘the weaker sex.’ It is true that men and women are different, but that doesn’t make women weaker. Women everywhere are proving they can run as fast, work as hard, and do just about anything a man can do. Feminism isn’t about hating men, but about celebrating being a woman. I mean we can grow humans! I don’t see men doing that. Let your daughter know that being a woman is not something to be ashamed of.
6. I am worth it
Your daughter will learn how she should be treated based on how you let people treat you. If standing up for yourself is difficult, then think about how you would want your daughter to behave in a certain situation and act accordingly. Your daughter is worth being loved, cared for, and respected. It’s up to you to make sure she knows that.