Do you worry about raising your daughter in today's toxic world? Here are the best things YOU can do for her:
1. Never degrade yourself
Growing up, I never ever heard my mom say anything negative about herself. She would make fun of her dance moves and joke about forgetting kids' activities. She would laugh when she messed up and apologize when she made mistakes.
But I never heard, "I look terrible," "I am the worst," or "I am such a failure."
I'm sure my mother had many of those thoughts when she burnt dinner, didn't get ready for the day, or forgot I had a school project. But I never heard her degrade herself- even when she was pregnant. Even when she sat out in the rain at soccer games. Even when she stayed in sweatpants all day.
I have never heard my mom talk negative about herself.
And this has totally shaped MY self-esteem.
It isn't in my disposition to tear myself down. I don't look in the mirror and see everything that is wrong. I am fully aware of my weaknesses and imperfections, but I am confident and happy. And I owe this to my mother.
The best thing you can do for your daughter's confidence and self-image is to love yourself. Be positive. Be kind to yourself. You may think you look terrible, but never say it. You may feel like a failure, but don't let your kids know it.
You are shaping your daughter by what you don't say.
2. Love your spouse
SO many parts of a daughter's life are shaped by how her parents treat each other; she will learn how to interact with others, how to solve problems, and how to value her own relationships.
You set the tone for "normal." If parents are always fighting and bickering, she will think this is normal in a relationship. If parents love, support, and encourage each other, this is what she will expect.
From your example, your daughter will learn what to expect from men and how she should be treated. She will visualize the man of her dreams based on the people in her life.
I never doubted that my parents loved each other.
I want to be a wife and a mother like my mom. She always stood by my dad, held his hand, and fearlessly supported him through triumph and trial. I want to marry someone like my dad. He works hard but puts my mom first in his life. He is loyal, respectful, and good.
If you want your daughter to thrive in relationships, show her how.
3. Don't be her friend
I love my parents because they're my parents.
Your daughter can be friends with a million different people, but you are the only one that can be her parent.
So, be her parent.
A parent sets rules and says no. A parent teaches disciplines, defends, and encourages. They are honest, kind, trustworthy, and sacrifice in her behalf.
As parents, you are your daughter's heroes. She looks up to you and wants to be like you. Use your unique position to guide her life in the best direction possible.