Things to teach your teen daughters
Being a parent is hard, there’s no question about that. You have to decide on family values, how to raise your kid, how to feed your kid, etc. Raising girls is a special kind of challenge.
It’s tough from the beginning, and there are always going to be people who question, judge, or disagree with your choices.
A pre-teen girl is at a unique moment in her life. The spark that is her potential grows more intense, yet she’ll have to fight against gender norms that threaten to diminish it.
So what are the things that we, as parents, should teach our daughters? How to make them more confident, more independent?
These are 10 things Moms should teach your daughters.
1- How to feel beautiful
Teach your daughter that she is beautiful because of who she is in her heart and mind, not because of how she looks or how she dresses. Point out that, as cheesy as it sounds, real beauty does come from within. Help her understand that trying to be sexy won’t make her beautiful, because she is already beautiful without amping up her appearance. Build her confidence in who she is apart from her looks and explain to her that confidence translates into beauty.
But since research shows that girls in their pre-teen and teen years start showing more dissatisfaction with their bodies, you’ll need to be careful about even implying that she needs to change the way she looks. Engage in surface beauty changes for the fun of it — getting a new haircut, learning to use makeup, exercising — not to improve her appearance
2- How to handle emotions
Girl drama isn’t a given. Explain to your daughter that she can choose how to express herself calmly and maturely. Teach her how to reconcile differences with others. Teach her that she is the boss of her feelings and actions
3- How to protect herself
There are decisions men don’t think twice about—walking home alone at night or entering a hotel room. For women, these and many more are a measured risk. Women are acutely aware of their physical vulnerability and often live with anxiety and fear.
Give your daughter the information she needs to protect herself physically and emotionally. Give her age-appropriate lessons on safety. When she’s in preschool, talk about strangers. As she gets older, tell her about staying safe if she’s away from you at school, at a friend’s house, or if she’s confronted by someone who threatens to harm her physically or interact with her in an inappropriate way.
4- How to deal with the online world
Help your daughter see that the online world is not the real world. Be sure that she’s spending more time with you and your family than with her online community. The more time that she spends online, the greater her chances of feeling discouraged about what other girls have that she doesn’t — be it their clothes, their bodies, or their friends. Have a no-phone rule at meals, in the car (yes!), and in her bedroom overnight.
5- How to work hard
Help your daughter understand that working hard is the key to moving forward in life. Reward her hard work with praise. Point out the link in her own life between her hard work and success. Tell her you are your own hero.
6- How to have faith
A strong faith will help your daughter navigate the challenges of life. It will serve as the basis for her standards and the choices she makes. Teach her about the power of faith. Teach her how to strengthen her faith. Make her beliefs strong.
7- How to make realistic choices
Our daughters have as many educational and career opportunities as men. But unlike men, our reproductive years are limited. So, inspire your daughter to follow her dreams, but also have her look at her choices realistically. Yes, she can choose to have a career, but if being a wife and mom are important to her too, she’ll want to make that a priority as well.
8- How to stand up for herself
Studies show that girls are encouraged by both parents and teachers to be sweet and conciliatory. And while we don’t want to send our daughters into the world with a chip on their shoulder and their fists raised looking for a fight, we need to let them know that it is okay to stand up for themselves and voice their beliefs and opinions.
So tell your daughter that she can express herself strongly, but respectfully. And, if someone is mistreating her, empower her to say, “I don’t really like the way you’re treating me, so I’m going to go now.”
9- How to feel self-compassion
It’s easy to be one’s most unforgiving critic, no matter gender. But girls, get a lot of messages that it’s important to please others. So when they experience a setback, it often feels like letting someone else down.
Research shows that adolescent girls may be exposed to more interpersonal stress than boys. That makes them more likely to ruminate on negative feelings, which puts them at greater risk for depression.
To help prevent this cycle of suffering, parents teach their daughters how to deal with failure: “What we want for girls to have is the capacity to move through a setback without beating themselves up.”
This means teaching a girl how to relate to herself and practice self-compassion in a moment of crisis. It’s important that instead of criticizing herself harshly, she focuses on the universality of disappointment and practice self-kindness. By realizing others share that experience, she’ll be better prepared to treat herself compassionately and develop resilience.
10- How to be dependent
Teach your daughters to be independent. To do things for yourself and not have to depend on others. This will help them to become strong, confident, and knowledgable.
So, tell them
That you’re perfect. Just the way you are. If someone bullies or is mean, that’s their problem and not yours. You’re great. Look after you and treat people how you wish to be treated.
Be brave. Be careful. Be safe. Be adventurous.
Just be yourself
When is it a good time to talk to your kids about money and finances? Click Here to find out