As she matures, respect her need for privacy — Be sensitive to your daughter’s need to separate from you as she grows up. If she doesn’t gradually begin to distance from you she will never be able to leave home. Be sensitive to her cues, as she attempts to set healthy boundaries with you. Her first attempts at setting healthy limits in relationships will be with you.
Give her increasing responsibility and freedom — Before she leaves home, help your daughter to learn that she can make good decisions and function independently. By your actions, let her know you believe in her judgment, and that mistakes are an inevitable part of the decision-making process. Self-reliance is a key component of self-confidence.
Help her understand the truth about male/female relationships — This is another delicate topic, so listen up! Are men and women equal? Absolutely! Are they the same? Absolutely not! Research has demonstrated that males inherently pursue challenges and tire of things too easily attained. They also need space from us. So teach your daughter to work with nature, not against it. In this way you will set her up for potential success in romantic relationships, not repeated heartbreak.
Encourage her to do for others — Here’s a news flash: Girls can become totally self-consumed. Focusing on someone else will help put your daughter’s problems and perceived shortcomings in perspective for her. And making a difference in the lives of others will do wonders for her confidence. Encourage her to volunteer in your community. Best of all, do this with her!
As a woman and role model, get your own house in order — Remember that she will pattern herself much more after what you do than what you say. If you want her to establish healthy relationships, work on your own.
If you’d like her to have direction and purpose, determine what you are passionate about and pursue it. If you hope she will develop self-discipline, work on this yourself.
If you fall short on any of these steps, don’t despair. Instead, applaud the healthy efforts you have made, and begin adding new steps one at a time. Your daughter will thank you for it … way down the road!
Tags: daughter, limit, relationships