Raising daughters is no easy task. I have always heard that girls are easy and boys are hard... I don't know about that. I believe girls are hard and boys are easy. Easy for me to say, I don't have a boy. Mothers and daughters have a special relationship, sometimes strenuous and sometimes wonderful.
As a mom, we are usually the ones that get blamed for everything by our daughters. Just as we have a unique relationship with our girls, girls have a special bond with their daddies. And daddies are always cooler than the moms— at least in their daughter's eyes.
It's easy to compare our daughters to ourselves. We often see them doing things we did, making mistakes or acting in ways we did, and we don't want them to do those things. Wanting to protect our girls from bad boyfriends and other poor decisions is normal.
However, when we correct them and stay on them constantly, it can do more damage than good. Girls, especially when they are young, are sensitive and soaking everything in. If we tell them to lay off the cookies because they will get fat, that is negative. It could give her a complex now or later down the road.
And no mother wants their daughter to feel poorly, and we sure don't want to be the cause of our daughter's low self-esteem. Some things we think are helpful, aren't always.
It's important to realize when we are hurting more than helping. When we are nagging and coming off as obtuse instead of understanding and caring to our daughter's needs.
12 Over Protectiveness Causes Girls To Seek Approval
Being overprotective is not always a good thing. Being overprotective can lead to a negative impact on our daughters. While it's good to be protective sometimes, other times it can cause our daughters to question themselves. Why are we so strict on them, are they really bad kids? It can lead to them questioning themselves and feeling that there must be something wrong.
Of course, our girls need boundaries, curfews and what not. And no matter how much we want to keep them safe from the world, we have to let them live their lives.
Treating them like they are bad when they haven't done anything wrong, is not right. Nobody likes to feel like they've done something wrong when they haven't. Allowing our daughters to go to a friends house and having a little trust in her will help build her self-esteem.
11 Don't Be A Nag
As mothers how we treat our daughters is how they will grow up and treat themselves. If we raise them to believe they're not good enough, they will go through life believing that. How we speak to our girls is the voice they will begin to hear in their head.
I would hate for my daughter's inner voice to be negative and mean. That's not to say I have never snapped at her or said something I wish I hadn't. But overall I try to build her up. I want her to know her worth and for her inner voice to be kind.
We need our daughters to believe they can, that they are worthy and that they do matter. When we have negative inner voices we have low self-esteem. It is our job to not let this happen to our daughters.
10 Modeling Self Conscious Behavior
From personal experience, I know that raising a daughter is challenging. We live in a world where on T.V., the internet, billboards and in music they are being told to focus on their looks. How they compare to other girls. Are they too fat, too skinny, too tall or too short? They are taught by society that they are never enough.
The last person they need is to hear it from is their mother. Looks are way too revered in this society. It's up to us to raise girls who have healthy body images and know that looks aren't everything!
When we as moms put ourselves down in front of our girls we are sending them a message. The message that we don't think we are good enough. If a girl thinks her mom is not enough, she will end up thinking she is not enough. We don't want to raise daughters with low self-esteem. It's time we build ourselves up and our daughters by speaking positively about ourselves.
9 Listening But Not Hearing
Daughters are wonderful. It's a blessing to watch them grow and blossom, turning into young, independent women with their own thoughts and ideas about the world. Starting from the time they can talk, we as moms need to listen. I know life gets busy, and sometimes it seems their chatter never ceases.
It's so important to listen when they want to talk to us. Not just listen, but actively listen. Don't half ass it.
Our girls need their mothers and want our approval. They need to know we care and that their voice does matter. When we tell them we are busy or not right now, and constantly put them off, it hurts them. It lowers their self-esteem and they think they don't matter. The last thing any mom wants is for her daughter to think she doesn't matter.
8 Being A Know It All Mom
The know it all mom is always on her daughter's case. No matter what her daughter does, it's not good enough or right. Sometimes this comes from a good place. We as moms are not and were not perfect people growing. We all make mistakes, and we don't want to see our daughters make those same mistakes.
Constantly berating and belittling them, or assuming the worst will only put strain on the relationship. Causing resentment and low self-esteem in our daughters.
Sometimes we need to take a step back and think proactively about how to help our daughters. Help them without judgment, without criticizing them, help them understand that we truly have their best interest at heart. Coming across combatively will lead to hurt hearts and feelings.
We need to try and connect with them, instead of coming off as judgmental and a know it all.
7 Telling Her She Can't
When raising girls we want them to think they can be whatever they want to be. That they can do whatever they want to do and the world is their oyster. Just as hopefully, all of us believed when we were little.
When they come to us telling us of their hopes and dreams we need to be supportive. When a mother tells her child that she can't do something, or she will never be that, it severely damages their self-esteem. A girl with poor self-esteem is more likely to partake in drugs and alcohol at an early age and has a higher risk for teen pregnancy.
Poor self-esteem can make a girl do things that would negatively impact her life. Which is why we must build them up. Whenever my daughter say she wants to do this, or be that when she grows up, I let her know I believe in her and that she CAN do anything she sets her mind to.
6 Comparing Her To Others
Imagine how you would feel if your husband compared yo to his coworkers wife, or how it felt in school when a teacher would compare you to another student. It stings, doesn't it. So if we know the damage this does, why would we knowingly inflict this kind of damage onto our own children, especially our little girls?
Because mothers are the biggest role model little girls have, everything we say and do carries so much weight with our children. So if we're constantly comparing our girls to other children, then they'll start to feel that you prefer that child or person over them, but also that they're simply not good enough to be your daughter.
Instead of comparing with another child, you can always teach your child ways that you think would benefit them. Help them to understand what you're trying to teach them, and that way the lesson should stick.
5 Being Dismissive
When our daughters do something special, or something they think we will proud of, don't dismiss it. Some moms will never be happy or show they're proud of their daughters, and it more than likely goes back to how their moms raised them. Other moms are dismissive because life is busy and it is easy to get caught up in the day to day grind.
As moms we have to be aware of our daughter's needs. When our daughter brings us home a 100 on her spelling test or a necklace made in art class. Praise her for a job well done! Even when they are little, when my daughter would bring me a flower I always let her know it was the best, prettiest flower I had ever seen in my life.
We need stop dismissing them and show them how much we care.
4 Reminding Them Of Our Sacrifices
We need to help our daughters grow and become healthy young women with great self-esteem. They have to learn that they are in charge of their own happiness. Not us or anybody else. When we constantly remind our children of things we gave up when we became their mom, it's teaching them that their happiness is contingent on others.
If we're not happy with ourselves, we will never be happy with anyone else. Our daughters included. So saying things to our daughters about how cool our lives were before her, and all of the sacrifices we had to make, will end up making her feel bad and set a negative precedent on her happiness.
Once again it is up to us to watch what we say and how we help our daughters grow into healthy, happy adults.
3 Putting The Kids Second
There are mothers out there that simply don't get it. Life is not all about them anymore. They want to constantly one up their daughter. These narcissistic moms will put their daughters down. Letting their own daughters believe that their mom is better than them. That everything is about their mom and they are irrelevant to their mom.
It's sick and somewhat twisted. If this sounds like you, stop it!
Our daughters need to have good relationships with us. A mother-daughter relationship is one of the most important relationships in a girl's life. And never being able to think she is better or as good as her mom will only stifle her self-esteem.
2 Putting Up With Put Downs
Our daughters are aways watching us. We are their teachers for life. From the moment we have them, we are their biggest role model and influence. When they see their mom being treated poorly, they will begin to think they deserve that as well. It may come in the form of a subconscious decision, but they will end up around people who don't respect them.
Girls who see their mothers in an abusive and bad relationship are more prone to winding up in bad relationships themselves. When they see their moms taking crap from a mean boss, they will assume they just have to take shit from people as well. To raise strong daughters, we must be strong ourselves, and not allow people to treat us disrespectfully.
No one deserves to be treated disrespectfully.
1 Pointing Out The Flaws
Most of us wear makeup, whether it be every day, sometimes, or on special occasions. There's nothing wrong with wearing makeup either. It can help us accentuate our looks, and makes a statement. As moms, we have to be careful of the message we are sending our girls.
If we are raising our daughters to believe they are not pretty unless they wear makeup, we are sending a negative and wrong message to them. Little girls in pageants start wearing makeup as young as one-year-old. They grow up believing they have to wear it to be beautiful.
This is not true. Makeup is something that is fun, can be useful, but certainly not a necessity. We need to make sure our daughters know they are beautiful with or without makeup.
When raising daughters there's certainly no right or wrong way. We as moms have to do what we feel is best for our girls. Raising strong, healthy, happy women is the goal. And we definitely do not want to be part of our daughter's poor self-esteem. Raising a daughter is challenging, and no matter how we try, there will be times we fall short. In their eyes or our own.
Trying to be a good mom, and care about their needs is important, though. There are some hard years when raising girls, teenage years are the ones that come to mind. I have the best mom in the world, but when I was a teen nothing she did was right. We fought a lot. We were, and are still, a lot alike. Which is probably why we butted heads so bad back then. Now we are very close.
What I am saying is, no matter what, nor how hard it can be, our daughters will appreciate us. They may not tell us all the time. But they will be happy they had strong, caring moms who helped them develop a healthy sense of self and good self-esteem.
All we can do is try and be self-aware. We need to keep in mind our actions and words deeply affect our daughters. Who they are and turn out to be is the greatest reflection on us. We all want that reflection to be a good one, one that makes them proud, and one that makes us proud.