What A Girl Needs From Her Mom
Having a daughter has been one of the most joy filled experiences in my life. There is no doubt that a mother-daughter bond is special, but as a Mom, there is great responsibility that comes from the relationship with your daughter.
If you have more than one child, you know that each child has needs that are expressed and met in different ways, and beyond that, needs from a mother and father are also different. I always hear emphasis on the father-daughter relationship, which I believe is such a critical relationship for a young girl, but I don’t as often hear about the importance of a mother-daughter relationship.
What your daughter needs from her mom:
She needs you to believe in her.
Being one of your daughter’s biggest fan’s is a great way to instill confidence. Especially when our daughters are young, it is important for them to feel like they can conquer the world. If your daughter doesn’t feel like you believe in her, it’s likely she won’t believe in herself.
The earlier you can instill belief in your daughter and make her know without a doubt that you have confidence in her, the sooner she will learn to believe in herself.
She needs you to validate that her worth comes from within; not performance, appearance, or successes.
Growing up nowadays is brutal. Girls are mean and social media opens a whole new world of false appearances, expectations, bullying, and standards that will never be met. Your daughter needs to know that you are proud of her, think she’s beautiful, and that your love is truly unconditional.
Just as us moms have; our daughters will make plenty of mistakes throughout their childhood. It’s important to extend grace to our daughters and teach them no matter how many or how big of mistakes they make they are still worthy of love and forgiveness.
They also need to know that whether they get A’s or D’s or 1st or last, we are still proud of them, still love them, and they are still worthy. We need to teach them how to navigate conflict in relationships and not let that conflict define who they are in a negative way.
3. She needs you to model self-awareness and self-care.
Modeling good self-awareness and self-care is important because it will teach your daughter to be healthier mentally and emotionally. A way to model self-awareness is to acknowledge your emotions. It’s likely your daughter already picks up on your emotions, especially the negative ones.
Verbalizing your emotions and the reasons for them can be very helpful. You can say “I’m really stressed today because I have A and B to get done and haven’t finished either yet” or “I’m feeling sad today because….” Your daughter needs to know how to express her emotions in a healthy way and identify why she is feeling the way she does.
Even in the times we don’t know why we are feeling the way we do it’s important to teach them to acknowledge that too. “I feel really anxious today, but I don’t know why”.
4. She needs you to show her how to respect herself and be confident.
You may not notice but your daughter watches you a lot and will pick up on how you act, how you treat others, and how you treat yourself.
Your daughter needs to see what it looks like for a woman to value herself, respect herself, and be confident. If you do these things, she will notice!
5. She needs you to spend time with her.
Time is so valuable. Take your daughter on mother-daughter dates. Pursue her heart. Ask her questions. Listen and let her know you hear her. Spend time teaching her life skills like cooking, sewing, cleaning, laundry, etc… these things can turn in to quality time rather than chores and can be a great outlet for deeper bonding.
Build traditions with your daughter that are both specific to you and her, and also with your family. Traditions are great ways create memories and celebrate things you value (like your daughter!!).
6. She needs you to give her space to make mistakes and learn for herself.
This may be one of the most challenging ones. I don’t know any mother that likes to watch their child walk down a dangerous road with obvious mistakes or heart ache ahead. But the reality is that we can’t control our daughter’s lives and we can’t prevent them from making mistakes, nor should we.
Our daughter’s need to learn to make good choices and live a responsible life, but they won’t learn that without messing up.
The best thing we can do is be there to support them through all the ups and downs. Our daughters need to know they won’t be perfect, that they will make mistakes for the rest of their lives, and that they can overcome those mistakes, learn from them, and be better because of them.
The worst thing we can do for our daughter’s is set a precedence that they should be perfect, and that mistakes shouldn’t be made.
She also needs you to not force beliefs on her. For me personally, faith is an important part of my life. Of course, I want my daughter to believe what I believe, but I need to give her space to choose it for herself.
The best thing we can do as Mom’s is to model our beliefs and incorporate aspects of it into our daily lives.
If religion is important in your family you can pray with your children, read them bible stories, teach them about the bible, do family devotions, and model quiet times, but you can’t choose the religion for them, they need to choose it themselves, so don’t force it on them.
7. She needs you to speak truth about yourself and teach her to do the same.
Negative self-talk can be so destructive to young girls. As a counselor for teenagers, I see far too many girls that allow negative self-talk to define them and impact harmful decisions they make.
Whenever your daughter says something negative about herself, make her say three positive things about herself. This helps transition her thinking and helps you to reinforce the importance of positive self-talk.
As moms, we need to model positive self-talk and not put ourselves down, especially in front of our daughters.
If we say things like “I look fat in this” or “I feel ugly” or “nobody likes me” we are teaching our daughters that this is okay and it’s not!! Whenever my daughter says something positive about herself, I try to praise it by agreeing and acknowledging the power of saying positive things about herself.
8. She needs you to give her permission to disagree and say “No”
This is different than allowing them to disobey or be disrespectful. If we are teaching our daughters to care about themselves they need to learn to say “No” and know that their “No” matters and should be respected.
Our daughter’s need to learn to say no as a means to stand up for themselves, set boundaries, and develop skills for self-protection.
If she doesn’t feel like her no is ever respected by her parents, she won’t have confidence to say no outside of the home. Daughter’s need to develop their independence and the worst thing we can do is not give them that freedom. Your daughter needs to learn to take responsibility for her self-protection.
Raising daughters is a privilege and great responsibility. As Mom’s we have such a great opportunity to influence our daughters in positive ways and teach them to be confident, respect themselves, set boundaries, and be healthy. We need to exemplify these things, and show our daughters grace as they learn.
The time you invest in your daughter’s life won’t be wasted. Even on the hard days it is worth continuing to pursue her heart and love her well.