Raising children is difficult in general but I think it’s especially hard to raise little girls. My daughter is nine and I’m already trying to prepare myself for her to enter 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 a few things I think would be helpful to mothers of little girls.
1. How we dress and apply make-up will influence our girls
My daughter really loves playing dress up like most girls. Since she was three years old, she has always loved high heels and make-up. In time, lessons will have to be taught on applying less but for now, it’s just for fun. She notices that I dress modestly. I think it will influence the way she chooses to dress in the future.
2. Telling our daughters about the things to come like their period is really important. They should 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 me about everything.
3. The world will try to get them to grow up too fast and it’s our job to keep them girls as long as possible.
That’s why even though my daughter hates it, no makeup when we go out, only appropriate clothes and no high heels. Yes, they make high heels for little girls! No inappropriate jewelry and NO cell phone yet. It’s my job to set boundaries.
4. Encourage and support the relationship with her father
A girl’s father is one of the most influential people in her life. They have a big impact on their daughter’s development to grow into a strong, confident woman. He helps shape her self-esteem, self-image, confidence and opinions of men. The type of men that women get involved with are directly related to the kind of relationship a girl has with her father.
5. Be mindful of how you talk about your body in front of your daughters
You will become their example for how women should view their bodies. I have to admit I have made some major mistakes when it comes to negative talk about my body. Children hear and see everything. I now try NOT to speak negatively about my weight in front of my daughter. At 9 years old, she is already aware of body size and worries about it. I try to emphasize that she should stay healthy by eating clean and keeping active.
6. Protect them but also teach them to stand up for themselves
My daughter is super sweet and sensitive but she is also a people pleaser. I want her to grow up to be a strong woman. She knows that my husband and I will always have her back but we also want her to learn to stand up for herself.
7. Compliment your daughter on things other than her beauty or appearance
My daughter always hears about how lovely she is from us all but that’s not the only thing we focus on. Little girls need to know that there is more to their self-worth than beauty. We make sure to focus on our daughters other attributes, like her intelligence, talent and her kind nature. Things that won’t fade with time.
8. Set boundaries in your life with how people treat you
Our children 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.
9. Follow your own dreams and passions
Set the example that what you love to do is important so she will believe in her own dreams and passions. It’s why I share with my daughter 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.
10. Teach them to be smart when it comes to being around the opposite sex
I always speak to my daughter about the importance of trusting her instincts and gut feelings. It’s never too early to speak about relationships. I talk to her about how important it is to marry someone who will respect her and treat her well, just like her dad treats me.
These are just some things I think will help other moms raising girls. As mothers, we all need extra support and guidance from each other, especially those that have been doing it longer. Please feel free to express your opinions and share your experiences. I know I am always looking to grow and become a better mother.