Being the mother of a young girl can be one of the rewarding and joyful experiences a person could ever have. There is so much to learn from a daughter, and yet there is so much more to teach.
The bond between a mother and daughter is a special one. Mothers have the highest honor of raising their daughters to be independent and strong, but it is no easy task. A mother must work hard to provide her daughter with the information and guidance she will need to go out into the world and make a difference.
If you are the mother of a pre-teen, you might be wondering what your daughter needs most from you. To guide you, here are the ten things pre-teen girls need from their mothers.
If you believe in your daughter with everything you have, then she will have the confidence to believe in herself. Take time out of every day to share your certainty in your daughter’s abilities. Encourage her to try anything and everything she’s wanted to.
It can be hard being a girl, and she will likely face many challenges as she paves her way in the world. Be the quiet voice in her ear that provides limitless affirmations, which propel her forward and encourage her to push her boundaries.
2. An Understanding of Worth
Many young women struggle with understanding and navigating their worth. Of course, many of us feel the pressures that society has created, making us feel inadequate if we are not the “perfect” wives, partners, or mothers.
Mothers need to recognize these pressures and have open lines of communication with their daughter about them. Girls should know that unreal expectations are unfair and that they should never compare themselves to what society is portraying as “acceptable.”
Remind her that she is loved, she is beautiful, and that she is enough.
Just like adult women, young girls will make mistakes in their life. It is once these mistakes are made that they will look to their mother for guidance.
Instead of being angry or judging your daughter for her failures, help her to see that she is still worthy of love. Allow her to figure out how to forgive herself and remind her that no woman is perfect, even though society will try to tell her otherwise.
We all make mistakes, and we learn from them and become better. Give your daughter that knowledge, and she will carry it with her through her many trials and tribulations.
4. Validation of Their Feelings
Females go through all kinds of emotional roller coasters, and sometimes we are made to feel ashamed of those feelings from outside pressures.
A daughter will need her mother to encourage her to feel all of the emotions on the scale. To do this, you can practice sharing feelings yourself, explaining to your daughter when you are feeling sad, frustrated, or stressed.
By doing so, you will help your daughter to be more comfortable talking about her feelings. This can also help her to feel okay about changing emotions, and help her to find suitable ways to deal with them.
Encourage your daughter to talk about her feelings, and to find actions that make her feel better. Perhaps it’s a walk in the park or exercise. Validating her feelings and helping her manage them will make her feel more in control.
5. Self-Care Help
Pre-teen girls need to learn the importance of self-care from their mothers. This covers a plethora of practices, such as hygiene practices, healthy eating, and adequate exercise.
This also includes mental health. Your daughter should know that she must take time for herself, doing things that she loves and which make her happy.
If there is something that doesn’t feel right physically or mentally, your daughter needs to know that she can speak out about it without judgment. Women often fall into the trap of feeling ashamed or guilty about their issues, but mothers should encourage open conversations about even the hardest topics.
6. Mother-Daughter Dates
It is so vital that a daughter knows her mother values time with her. Life can get busy, but your daughter will need you to set aside one-on-one time for the two of you.
This is an excellent opportunity to bond with your daughter a little more and to speak about things that she might not bring up at home. Dates can be as simple as a picnic or dinner or even playing a sport together, so you always have that special time set aside.
You might even be able to establish some traditions with your daughter that you can practice for years to come. Traditions are a great way to create memories together, and they will remind your daughter who she can turn to any time she needs someone.
7. Positive Affirmations
It can be so hard to hear a young girl put herself down. Yet, it is a common practice that many of us learn from an early age.
As a mother, your daughter will need you to teach her about positive self-talk, as well as honest conversation. Your daughter needs to know that she’s not the only one who puts herself down, but that she should instead be lifting herself up.
Make yourself vulnerable by explaining your struggles to your daughter and offering solutions for her. Explain the idea of positive self-talk, where you say only good things about yourself and refrain from focusing on negative thoughts.
If you hear your daughter say something negative about herself, have her also name three amazing things about herself. This kind of thinking can be trained into the mind and will help her shape a brighter image of herself.
8. The Power to Say No
Many women fall into the category of ‘people pleasers’ since they find it so hard to say no to people’s requests. Many women feel like they are required to help others, even if it gets in the way of the things they want to do.
The guilt that we feel for not saying yes to everything can be so overwhelming. However, a daughter needs to learn from her mother that the word “No” is wonderful and more than acceptable in all situations.
Daughters should understand that they have no responsibility to say yes to other people and that they are more than allowed to disagree or reject others’ needs. Additionally, this word is significant when it comes to a girl’s body and her personal preferences.
9. Educated Dialogue About the Body
Pre-teens will likely be asking a lot of questions about their bodies, and the bodies of other people at this time. They may hear things at school or see something on television, and the first person they will ask will be their mother.
Mothers need to be prepared for all kinds of questions on the topic of health and sexuality. Children are curious, and they are only looking for honest answers.
Try to avoid feeling shocked or horrified by what they may ask you; if you make them feel ashamed or embarrassed, there is a good chance they will turn to someone else for future help.
Keep an open mind, and try to offer the most expert answers you can. If you don’t know the answer to something, tell your daughter that you want to double-check some information before giving her an answer.
You might find that some questions should wait until they’re a little older. In these cases, give them a basic answer instead of brushing them off. Chances are they will ask someone else if you don’t at least help them interpret if something is inappropriate or not.
Of course, the most important thing you can do is educate your daughter on her body and her rights. Teach your daughter that her body is her own and that she is the only one with say over how it is used, or not used.
Implementing the word “No” in this dialogue is also encouraged.
10. Respect for Herself
Your daughter is watching you more than you know, which is why it is so critical that you are always thinking about how you speak to yourself, and how you portray yourself.
If you present yourself to the world with a sense of confidence and self-respect, your daughter will pick up on these traits and practice them as well. Remember to speak with intention and kindness, and to be assertive when you are standing up for yourself.
This is especially important when your daughter is around, but it can be useful to practice this for yourself as well! Too often, women give in to the societal expectations to stay quiet and be polite, so it is important to be forward and confident if you want your daughter to do the same.
Preparing for a Pre-Teen
Your daughter will be going through a lot of new experiences as a pre-teen, and she’ll need your support every step of the way.
These tips will help you and your daughter navigate this new time in her life so that she can confidently make decisions and learn essential life lessons. She won’t necessarily learn and master all of these lessons in a day, so you must stay consistent.
Keep practicing positive self-talk, encourage her changing goals, and remind her that you are always available to talk. Even if the only thing she learns is that she has a support system behind her, this will do wonders for her growth.