Raising girls is hard work, well raising kids, in general, can be hard work but I only have a daughter so for me it’s all about raising girls. My daughter is eight so I’ve been parenting awhile and preparing for her entering the tween and teen years. It can be frightening because as parents we want to protect our children but the reality is there is only so much we can do. So I have put together the 12 things I think mothers should know when raising a daughter.
1. Your makeup is now her makeup. Mine really likes doing makeovers on herself. With time lessons will have to be taught on applying less but for now it’s just for fun.
2. Telling them about periods is really uncomfortable and awkward, but I want her to be prepared for when it happens. It’s my job to be open about my body and what’s going to change with her body. She needs to be comfortable talking to someone about it and it should be me.
3. the world will try to get them to grow up too fast and it’s your job to keep them girls as long as possible. (That’s why even though she hates it no makeup when we go out, only appropriate clothes, no cell phone yet. It’s my job to set boundaries)
4. Encourage and support their relationship with their father. They need you as their mother so much but they need to know a man loves them so they don’t fall for a boy pretending too.
5. Teach them the value of saving money so that hopefully someday they won’t have to depend on anyone to take care of them financially.
6. Be careful how you talk about your body in front of them. You will become their example for how women should few their bodies. So speak kindly about yourself in front of them. I also try to limit body teasing or talking negatively about weight as much as I can in front of my daughter. At 8, she is already aware of body sizes and issues and worries about them. I reassure her that her body is the right size and healthy.
7. Protect them but also teach them to stick up for themselves. The world needs more strong women. My daughter knows I’ve got her back but she has to give dealing with a problem a couple tries before I step in.
8. Compliment your daughter on things other than her beauty or appearance. She needs to know there is more to her self-worth than beauty. So tell her she’s smart or funny or kind. Things that won’t fade with time.
9. Set boundaries in your life with how people treat you. So that she can watch you and learn to do the same. We are their greatest teachers and they learn from what we do more than what we say. So if you are strong and demand being treated well there is a better chance she will grow up and do the same.
10. Follow your own dreams and passions. Set the example that what you love to do is important so that she will believe in her own dreams and passions. It’s why I share with her my blogging goals and achievements so she can know that I have goals and things I do that I work hard to be proud of.
11. Teach them to be smart when it comes to being around men and boys. Learning to trust your instincts and gut feelings is important so when they come to you with those feelings believe them and value them because next time when it counts they might not.
12. Help them realize that their body is to be valued and treated with respect. Show them this by only letting your body be treated with value and respect. Have open and honest conversations about relationships and how they should and should not be treated.
I hope my list will help those of you raising girls have an easier time of things. As moms, we all need some extra support and guidance from other mom’s especially those that have been doing it longer.