The relationship between a mother and daughter is one of the strongest bonds you can have in life. There will be many highs and the lowest lows. But like fine wine, it can get better with age. A mother is a daughter’s biggest role model and influence. As a mother, make sure you are her biggest cheerleader and not her worst critic. Your opinions and feedback are important… even if she doesn’t act like it.
1. “I love you”:
The 3 most important words in any relationship. It can communicate the message of unconditional love. Life for your daughter can be challenging, frustrating and painful at times. People can be cruel and harsh. Racism, sexism and hatred are real issues in the world. So show your daughter that she is “lovable” and what love looks like. Remember that unexpressed love is meaningless. Expressing love can also help you be in touch with your feelings, communicate and internally feel the love you are giving.
2. “Education is powerful”:
Education and knowledge is power, especially for women. Encourage college and a career. It opens opportunities for your daughter to: *Apply for higher paying jobs *Change socio-economic status *Open her own business *Break the glass ceiling *Build opinions *Feel more confident A college education or specialized degree can help with learning, accountability, challenge ideas, expressing opinions, organization and the power of hard work. It can also help her advocate for herself and challenge employers who may be acting unlawful or unethical.
3. “You deserve better”:
Teach her what healthy relationships are and how to set healthy boundaries in a relationship. Encourage her to stand up and advocate for herself. Help her understand the consequences of a toxic relationship and that she deserves happiness.
4. “What a good friend”:
Teach her what a good friend is and identify the qualities that make him/her a good friend for your daughter. Teach her that friendships should encourage, inspire and encourage her. They shouldn’t consistently put you down, criticize and hurt you. Remind her that almost all her friends may disappoint or hurt you at some point. It is important to see how they respond and how they change when you communicate your feelings. They should be able to work through problems if they are truly a good friend.
5. “Be Independent”:
Encourage her to pursue her dreams and become an independent woman. Teach her that men may come and go. Depending on a man for finances can be very dangerous. In unhealthy situations, it can allow your daughter to put up with circumstances and treatment that is toxic because she is completely dependent. Encourage her to do well in school, learn and choose a career that she wants. Or even better, encourage her to own her own business and become her own boss!
6. “You are enough”:
Society tends to make us feel that we are not enough. Starting in middle school young girls pick apart everything they don’t like about themselves – their hair, body, face, etc. All those thoughts can snowball to the point where they feel that they are not enough. They can be their worst enemy. Can you imagine how they would feel if they picked everything they loved about themselves. Help her identify her strengths and build her self-esteem.