As a parent, you have many important life lessons to teach your daughter. The world has changed a lot since our grandmothers, and even our mothers, were young. They have lived very different lives from those our daughters will lead, and today's youngsters have many challenges ahead of them Here are some of the essential lessons to teach your daughter …
Teach her to be kind and offer help whenever she can. It feels good to make others feel good and you benefit from feeling just as good if not better on the inside.
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One of the most important lessons to teach your daughter is that she must value herself and her body. She should feel that she is worth achieving good things. As for sex, many girls don't have the self-confidence to say no to pressure. So teach your daughter that she should only have sex when she is completely ready, and she should avoid sending revealing pictures of herself to anyone.
Another really important lesson is to teach your daughter that it is essential to be capable of earning her own living. Financial independence means that she need never wonder where the rent is coming from or depend on a man. Help her learn about every aspect of money matters, and she will be better placed to cope with life's challenges.
In these times where girls are bombarded with messages that try to sexualise them, it's essential that we try to explain to our daughters that they don't have to buy in to that message. Show them that their minds are a lot more important and will take them further in life. Intelligence lasts a lot longer than looks.
I wish I'd asked my dad to show me how to do DIY! Teaching your daughter practical skills will be very useful, so that she can deal with basic household and car repairs. Make sure she knows how to cook, so that she eats a healthy diet and doesn't end up living on prepared meals.
Far too many girls feel that there is something wrong with their physical appearance. They find fault with every part of themselves and their negative body image affects their whole life. Show your daughter how to feel confident about her looks, and that she should be happy with what she has. She should not compare herself unfavourably to media images, or let mean comments affect her.
Your daughter should feel that she is equal to men in every way. Whatever they do, she can do. There are no professions that are closed to her; she can be whatever she wants. She can play sports, fly a plane, and be independent. But equality goes both ways - she should also respect men as her equals.
This is a lesson that you should teach all your children, not just girls. They should not expect anything to be given to them. Instead, they must learn to work for what they want. Too many adults expect their parents to subsidise them, sometimes to the point of thousands of dollars. It's understandable that you might want to help your children out, especially if they hit hard times, but teach them independence. Don't let them assume that they can treat you as a bank.
Parenting is definitely the hardest job you will ever do. Many think that raising girls presents more challenges, especially in these times of unspoken messages about body image. The important thing is to teach your daughter to be independent and confident. What lessons do you wish your parents had taught you?
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