I’m a mum of three daughters (and a lady Labrador but I don’t think she counts)! I’ve heard the phrase “smug mother of girls” more times than I care to mention. And it’s true that female toddlers are more inclined to sit and colour and less inclined to climb the furniture. Sometimes. But those little girls grow up. They become petulant pre-teens, wiley teenagers and eventually their own women. They will face pressure, knock backs, heartbreak and emotional extremes. So it’s really important to teach your daughters a few vital skills to equip them for the journey ahead.
As mothers, then, it’s our job to instil in our daughters the skills and emotional resilience to navigate adulthood. And to worry ALL the time, of course! So what are the five things you should have in mind as you raise your daughters? We’re not talking about specifics here – you may favour life skills like shelf construction to dressmaking. Not everyone can learn everything. We’re talking about core concepts that should run through your discourse.
It may feel wonderful to brush your daughter’s cascading tresses each evening, and we’re not saying to never do it again. But teach your daughter how to do it herself. This goes for eyebrow tweezing, leg shaving and period care, too. Go for a run together. Ask for her help in chopping fresh vegetables. Be the one to show her how to look after her body and you’ll give her a sense of control over her physical appearance. This lays the foundation for a feeling of confidence in herself and the way she looks.
So, self care can really help with equipping your daughter in skills of self love. We’re not talking about vanity, here. We mean the kind of love that will inform your daughter’s decisions in choosing a career and a partner. Knowing her own worth, and appreciating the worth of others. When she makes a wrong decision, explain the reasons that it was so. It’s infuriating to watch your child make the same mistakes you did. But she needs to make mistakes to learn; don’t rob her of those experiences. Instead navigate her through them and be the place where she knows there is no judgement.
Now, this is nothing to do with hair dye (she’ll work that out for herself and probably enjoy the process thoroughly)! This is all about heritage, and is is why grandparents are so important if they’re around. Knowing where you come from is key to making your daughter feel grounded. This helps to give any human meaning and direction, although they probably won’t seem to care initially. Don’t let this discourage you! As a small child, take your daughter through old photo albums. Let her touch the pages. Don’t lie or keep things shrouded in secrecy.
Love of Learning
Academic achievement is clearly something we all want for our children. However, a love of learning is something quite different. Accept your daughter’s preferences and give her a degree of autonomy. Explore things together and you will help her to develop an enquiring mind. This is great for both school AND lifeskills. After all, it takes a certain inquisitive mindset to look up that YouTube tutorial in the first place..!
Knowing when to get back on the horse. And knowing that it takes time to achieve your goals. These traits are all about perseverance, and it’s something that you can teach by example. If your daughter sees you giving up, this will become her normality. So show how you keep going with that evening course or bootcamp membership. Even when it’s hard. When you don’t want to go to the industry networking event, put on your control pants and get out there!
All of these things are entwined with confidence. This is a vital attribute that will ease many aspects of your daughter’s life. At Elle Courbee we have a wardrobe of foundation pieces that can give you the physical confidence to guide your daughters in developing the resilient soul that they deserve!