We live in a challenging world. In some ways, kids have never had it so easy, but in other ways, they have far more to deal with than we ever did. Teenagers are continually exposed to peer-pressure, online and offline, and it is hardly surprising that their confidence plummets once they are exposed to the cruelties of social media. All it takes is a few nasty comments and your daughter’s self-confidence will be in pieces.
Be a Confident Role Model
How you act as a mother will play a big part in your daughter’s emotional development. A daughter will always look to her mother during their formative years. You are your daughter’s role model, so it is important that you set a good example. Be confident and encourage her to speak her mind, even if her opinions are controversial.
It’s OK to take pride in your appearance or use safe diet pills to lose weight if your obesity is causing health problems, but if you are obsessed with your appearance, what is that teaching your daughter?
Young girls are highly impressionable. Looks matter in the online world, but what young girls need to know is that looks are not everything. Praise her intelligence and remind her that she has all kinds of amazing talents. It’s OK to follow popular celebrities, but only if they are good role models.
Encourage Smart Choices
Plenty of young teenagers are seduced by the idea of superstardom. They see reality TV stars achieve fame and fortune by doing very little other than looking pretty. If your daughter expresses an interest in singing or dancing, encourage her talents, but try to steer her towards academic subjects. Remind her that smart choices and a good education are worth more than 15-minutes of fame on a talent show. Avoid criticizing your teenage daughter. Talk to her about what she wants to do with her life and remind her she has choices.
Learn from Mistakes
Conversely, being an overprotective parent is just as unhelpful. Teenagers need to make their own mistakes if they are to find their way in the world. Most teenage girls are notoriously fickle and argumentative. If you tell them the sky is blue, they will argue it’s pink.
Ultimately, you have to let your daughter make her own decisions, even if you don’t agree with what she wants to do. As long as it is not illegal or dangerous, cut her some slack. Freedom of choice leads to a greater sense of self-confidence. It is not easy watching your child make mistakes, but it is how she learns.
Support Your Daughter
When your daughter does well, celebrate her success and be happy with her. When she gets it wrong, be there to pick up the pieces and support her, no matter what.
Be her advisor, but not her best friend. Too many mothers make the mistake of trying to be their daughter’s friend. You cannot be a friend and a parent; the two jobs do not slot together well.
Finally, listen to your daughter. She needs to learn her voice truly matters.