Wisdom//

7 Ways to Ensure Your Daughter Grows Up Confident and Happy

A doctor's advice to all fathers who want to teach their girls to be successful, healthy, and happy.

Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

As a physician and a mother of two girls, I have personally experienced the nefarious effects of negative male comments and behavior on both me and my daughters.

The negative experiences haven’t stopped me from maintaining my positive attitude. I hold out hope for fathers and am committed to providing guidance and help to the fathers and daughters lost in the storm of adolescence.

Fathers, your daughter needs you and you cannot afford to lose your little girl now. Take my advice: I assure you that your daughter and her mother will thank you. The results will amaze you, and your relationship with women will improve overnight!

Following my advice will help your daughter develop a better self-image and more confidence, and will prepare her for good and successful relationships with boys. Isn’t that what you really want and need to give her?

Think before you speak.

Your daughter is sensitive and everything you say, she reacts to on an emotional level. When you think you are being honest and supportive, you may be destructive and hurtful.

Understand that teenage girls are extremely self-conscious about their appearance and body image.

Any references to appearance or body image should be positive and reassuring. If you don’t have anything positive to say, don’t say anything at all. Lying is not an option. Let your daughter start the conversation about sensitive issues. If she doesn’t, wait. Bring up her strong points. Find her strong points.

Discuss concerns about your daughter with her mother.

Even when the relationship between mother and daughter is at its most difficult, chances are that her mother has a little more insight into how your daughter is feeling. Working together will benefit your daughter, and that is the goal.

The relationship between you and your daughter will shape the relationships she has with other males. If you are not supportive or loving toward your daughter, she will seek support and love in shallow, short-term relationships that place her at risk.

Do not withdraw when your daughter becomes a teen.

Don’t be scared of the physical changes in her. She is still your girl. The time she needs you the most is when she starts becoming a woman. Gently reassure her about her appearance and encourage her to feel good about herself. Your support and emotional presence will accomplish more than years in therapy.

Appearing scared or uninterested pushes the insecurity button in your daughter. She is the same person you love to play with before she started to look like a woman. Don’t make her feel awkward because her body has changed. If you are supportive, encouraging, and kind, she will not come home with blue hair and multiple piercings.

Hear and listen to your daughter.

She is no longer a baby, and although she still desperately needs your approval, she knows there are other ways to look at life than your way, no matter how successful you are. She doesn’t always have to be wrong. You don’t always have to be right.

Spend time speaking with your daughter.

Listen to her interests: boys, shopping, other girls, anything she wants to talk about. Every encounter with her is a teaching opportunity for you. Consider yourself lucky if she shares her life with you.

Notice your daughter as a person in her own right, not as an extension of her mother or you. Learn to see her as an individual. Treat her with respect. Accept your daughter. Don’t push too hard, or you’ll lose her. Acknowledge and reinforce your daughter’s achievements and encourage her potential.

If you are uncomfortable with a particular topic, say so to your daughter rather than avoid or deny its existence.

Give her hope for her future.

Excerpt from Dr. Erika’s Hormone Solution for Your Daughter: A Guide to Health, Weight Loss, and Well-Being for Your Teen by Erika Schwartz, MD with permission from the author and publisher.

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