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Raise a brave daughter with these 6 vital lessons

Posted July 18

Growing up, girls face a storm of negative and unhealthy mindsets partly provided by society. Despite the worldly whirlwind, our daughters can still grow up to be confident, kind and accomplished women.

As her parent, she needs to learn these crucial lessons from you —

Brains over beauty

The world raises girls to believe her looks are her most valuable attributes. Rescue your daughter from growing up with that mindset by teaching her that physical beauty is low on the totem pole of her important features.

Instead of striving for impossible societal beauty standards, teach her to strive for intelligence and kindness. Teach her to work hard and accomplish her goals. Teach her to value herself for her brains instead of her hair do; her accomplishments instead of the size of her thighs.

Bravery

The world needs more girls who take risks — who choose intimidating majors in college, who voice their opinion in public and in private, who pursue promotions, who know they won’t be perfect at something but try for it anyway. Raise your little girls to be these brave women by teaching them confidence at a young age.

In society, girls aspire for perfection, so they’re cautious and careful to avoid things they fear they won’t excel at. Support and encourage your daughter to push herself, to try things outside her comfort zone and to not be afraid of failure. Instead of growing and settling for easy options, she’ll grow up with confidence in her capabilities and accomplish great things.

Support other girls

If you leave it up to society to teach your growing girl, she’ll learn to compete with other women. With this mindset, tearing other women down comes naturally — insulting your classmate gives a false sense of bolstering yourself up while you tear others down. This mindset starts early ... it's in playgrounds, classrooms and even at home between sisters.

Instead, teach your daughter that she doesn’t need to compete with other girls. Show her how to support her peers. Let her be a friend to everyone and learn for herself how good she feels when serving others.

Don’t compare

Women compare all too often. How many times have you walked into a room and compared another woman’s body, outfit or ability to your own? This habit only ends in unhappiness and self-deprecation.

An especially important lesson you can teach your young daughter is to not compare her weaknesses to others’ strengths. Instead, teach her self-love and self-acceptance so that she won’t feel the need to compare herself with others to measure her worth.

Love yourself

In a society that profits from women’s self-doubt and insecurities, liking yourself is a rebellious act. Break this mold and help your daughter be comfortable with her imperfections.

You, more than anyone else can influence how your daughter sees herself. Show her ways to see that she's an amazing human being with vast capabilities and unique beauty.

Be her own person

Before she is a daughter, a wife, a sister or friend, she is her own person. Girls often grow up in anticipation of fulfilling the role of wife — which is wonderful on one hand. Marriage is one of the greatest joys in life, and it’s good to look forward to. But while your daughter spends so much time anticipating her role as spouse, is she forgetting that she is a whole person on her own?

Teach her that she is complete even if she’s not a daughter to two parents. Teach her she’s a whole person even if she doesn’t have a lot of friends. Tell her that her self-worth is not diminished by her single status. She should grow up knowing she’s a somebody first before she becomes somebody's wife or friend.

If you make an effort to raise your daughter with these invaluable lessons, she’ll grow to be a woman who is ambitious, loves herself and builds others up. What mother wouldn't want that for her daughter?

McKenna Park is a staff writer at FamilyShare. She's a happy wife, puppy mama, ice cream addict and film nerd. Contact her at mpark@deseretdigital.com.

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