M.O.D Mother Of Daughters
In the beginning, girls are usually the ones that talk early, become involved socially, and do well in school.
However as they grow older, with many expectations on them and a lot of society and social pressure, things often become more difficult for girls as they get into those pre teen- teenage years.
The early years are the foundation years to raising confident, resilient, successful women.
Children change the moment parents change their perspective on parenting.
Here are five tips to consciously guide your daughter;
#1 – Encourage Your Daughter to Have a Healthy Body Image
Starting young is the key. Model Healthy eating habits and body acceptance…. it all starts with us. First you must love your body, in order for your daughter to love her body.
Involve her with choosing her clothes. The path of least resistance begins with choice and involvement. The less power struggles in the early years, the less resistance in the tween years.
Entering into the tweenies stage (8-12yrs), body image expectations can create self doubt and insecurity through social pressure and Fashion Magazines.
Research shows that 15 mins of looking through a fashion magazine, mood shifts from curiosity and enthusiasm to comparison and putting oneself down, so limit the type of magazines you have at home.
For a teen, who is already image conscious, this can create serious health issues like bulimia and anorexia.
A healthy body is a result of a healthy Mind. Focus on total wellbeing (how do I feel) rather than image (how do I look).
Direct praise away from appearance.
It’s important to Encourage physical activity and start team sport early, research shows that girls who play sports have higher self esteem because they look within for value rather than looking to boys for validation.
#2 – Provide Your Daughter with Good Examples and Role Models
I’ll say it again “Model healthy eating habits and body acceptance” it’s two of the most important values we can role model as mums to our daughters.
Holding a healthy image of our own, really is the holy grail of self worth.
Our language about ourselves is key, because our daughters learn from our attitude and actions.
Embrace your body and show pride in being a woman.
Dad plays a part too, because the bond between Father and Daughter is important in her development regarding how she is treated by a male and her worth as a woman.
Of course, while being good examples as parents is important, girls also need other role models in their lives.
Help her find great role models in strong women that are successful, whether it be friends, family members, or even famous women well known for being strong, resilient women.
#3 – Spend Quality Time Together
Spending quality time with your daughter from a young age is important.
She needs 1:1 time with both her parents, but especially her mum.
Listen to understand rather than listening to react and build an open, trusting relationship, where she can confide in you about anything, and know she won’t be judged by her decisions.
Really get to know your daughter and find out those things that make her unique. As you spend time together, you’ll build a relationship that lasts through the different stages.
#4 Demonstrate The power of positivity
As parents we have a great influence. Help your daughter develop a critical eye through which to decode and filter media messages.
Teach her to delve below the superficial and decide for herself where someone’s negative behaviour patterns are stemming from. Are they being nasty because deep down they are either feeling insecure, jealous or intimidated?
She will learn to observe and critically reflect rather than take it personally. This will play a part in developing her leadership skills from a place of self assurance rather than from a place of insecurity.
Words have power! So a simple way to teach your daughter to deflect verbal nastiness rather than absorb it is to respond a with a flick off comment, like;
- “Thank you for sharing”;
- “That’s how you feel now, you’ll get over it”; and
- “Are you talking about me or you?”.
This will empower your daughter to stand in her power and respond rather than react.
Teach your daughter NOT to be a pleaser, we can’t please everyone. People pleasing creates insecurity and anxiety.
Encourage her to speak her truth in a positive way and stand up for what she believes in.
Be true to herself with decision making by honouring her values and morals.
Be a team player, but not a team welcome mat! A great team player is one who is confident in her decisions and abilities and contributes with an open mind and role models positivity.
Teach her to tap into a growth mindset and be solution orientated rather than problem focused. Its a skill! The more we do it, the better we get.
Refrain from talking trash about other women. Talk from a place of observation rather than from a place of judgment.
Don’t allow boys and men in the household do it either, even as a joke as it can be quite harmful. Home is a safe haven, a place of safety and security.
#5 Help Her Develop Self Confidence, Self Esteem and Self Worth
These values require patience to teach, but are the most important life skills.
Benjamin Franklin says “ It’s not what we give our children, it’s what we teach them to do for themselves that make them successful adults”
It elaborates on the quote “Tell me and I will forget, Show me and I may remember, Involve me and I learn”.
Children need to learn critical thinking, so encourage them to figure out answers for themselves.
Failure is how they learn, the mindset of “At first you don’t succeed, try and try again” teaches persistence and self belief.
Teach practical knowledge. Being street smart is just as important as being book smart. When children learn things for themselves with actual practical experience, they will become more confident in their abilities.
Effective open communication is the key to a trusting relationship between parents and children.
Listen to understand and validate how your daughter is feeling. It will allow her to feel heard and in turn she will listen to you. It’s never too early to learn how to validate people.
Zone in on her strengths, which will instill confidence in her abilities. This will allow space to transform her weaknesses without her feeling that she isn’t good enough.
All learning is state dependent. Her emotional state gets anchored in the learning, so focus on learning through play and trade cleverness for bewilderment.
Teaching bravery through;
- Whole body listening by looking at someone;
- Making eye contact when she speaks to someone;
- Standing tall; and
- Speaking in a nice clear voice, encompasses Self Confidence, Self Esteem and Self worth.
And last but certainly not least, instilling Etiquette and manners from a young age. Teaching your daughters how to behave in a social gathering and interacting with others is very important.
Look out for my next blog on M.O.B Mother Of Boys.
Be the change you want to see,