5 Secrets to Raising Today’s Daughters
Dr. Shekina Farr Moore
As a parent you may pride yourself on raising an upstanding daughter but make sure you’re keeping the lines of communication open and not uni-directional. Sometimes moms ask themselves, “What could she possibly know about life that I don’t know better?” But a 1989 experience simply is not the same as a 2017 experience. (Hello, social media and cue the hashtags.)
In fact, a study by the American Psychological Association (Stress in America™, 2014) revealed that teen stress rivals that of adults and, during the school year, they report stress levels even higher than those reported by adults.
Essentially, your daughter may not be able to relate you all the time, but the reality is that, like most young women, she wants to have a good relationship with you. So, here are 5 things moms raising daughters need to know:
- She needs down time
Moms often forget the pressures that are on their daughters to perform–academically, athletically. Well, it really begins to pile on for those who have younger siblings to take car of while you’re working or getting your down time. Some time to do the things that help her to unwind is just as important—and quite healthy.
Girls spend 40% more time on chores than boys.
- She wants you to be her biggest cheerleader
How about the commercial of the dad who is at his daughter’s dance recital watching a football game on his phone? It’s not a good look. Too often society raves about the accomplishments of young men while expecting young women to do the same without much recognition. So, when it comes to the home base, she is counting on her mom to be her biggest fan. Make a concerted effort to acknowledge her wins, big and small. It will teach her to celebrate herself. Even though she may act like your congratulatory remarks and ice cream treats are no big deal, trust…it is…and she will be beaming. Memories and relationship are everything.
Researchers suggest that teachers unintentionally give more classroom attention and more self-esteem building encouragement to boys than to girls over the course of the school day.
- She is not a perfect angel or princess
Moms often forget how rapidly teen girls change their looks, interests, friends and identity. Girls often say they wish their moms (and dads) would take a continued interest-in their lives beyond just their grades. If they did, they would recognize that their interests are continually changing. They also yearn for trust. When parents treat them like they are going to break the rules, they often do. While she won’t always be a perfect angel, you should put some faith in her and provide an opportunity for her to meet the challenge.
- The reality is times have changed
Periods, boyfriends, shaving armpits…Snapchat? Yeah, that’s right. You didn’t have to deal with social media on top of all the other things young women have to deal with. Your daughter knows you had to walk 2 miles in the snow to school; that you only went out to eat once a year and that you couldn’t wear red lipstick until you were 21. But in the age of social media, none of your “the way it was done in 1989” speech is going to resonate because it is no longer relevant to the lives of young women today. Instead, ask your daughter about her interests and the story behind those interests. Spend time with her to learn about her life outside the walls of your home.
- She wants to be challenged
Women become leaders by internalizing a leadership identity and developing a sense of purpose. To accomplish this, they need mentors. Their first mentor is you, mom. So, start now. Challenge her to aspire to do whatever she wants to do by taking an interest and holding her accountable to what she says she wants to do. Encourage her to seek opportunities, experimentation and challenging assignments. Then, guide, affirm and encourage her as she charters new territory or is in the discomfort zone. Remind her that being stretched is all par for the course.
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- 5 Secrets to Raising Today’s Daughters
As a parent you may pride yourself on raising an upstanding daughter but make sure you're keeping the lines of communication open and not uni-directional. - May 29, 2017