When you were young, you probably had questions to ask your mom but didn’t know how to ask. The questions I wanted to ask required vulnerability and I wasn’t sure my mom would handle it well. So instead of asking, I made assumptions and used comparison with peers and relationships with boys to get answers. And that gave me damaging results.
Thankfully, I had friends, mentors, and a relationship with God to help me come to healthier opinions of myself as I became an adult. Are you leaving your daughter vulnerable by not answering these questions as her mom? Your daughters need you to answer these 4 questions even if they don’t know to ask.
1. Am I trustworthy?
Girls need to know you trust them to manage themselves. Controlling and nagging our daughters teaches them they are not capable without us. There are better tools to use to get things done, like using consequences and rewards. Control comes from fear and powerlessness. When we try to control our daughters they feel our fear and learn to fear themselves. Trust them and teach them to trust and believe in themselves.
2. Are you proud of me?
Often, we find ourselves bragging about our kids to other people, but we forget to tell them to their faces that we are proud of them—and why we are proud. All kids want to please their parents and to be believed in. They need to know you are confident in them and their abilities to succeed in life. Even if you have concerns about certain behaviors, it’s important to balance correction with lots of affirmation.
3. Do I have what it takes?
Most of us have doubts and insecurities. Girls are especially susceptible to comparison and often conclude they are not good enough. But girls whose moms validate them and champion them are less likely to come to those conclusions. It’s also good to be honest regarding their shortcomings and work together to overcome them with optimism. This teaches them confidence in their abilities to grow and affect change.
4. Are you there for me?
Girls need to know that no matter what, Mom is there for them and on their side. Withholding yourself in anger or using the silent treatment teaches her that love shuts itself off when she doesn’t perform well. Playing the devil’s advocate when she’s in conflict with someone might make her feel ganged up on. You don’t always have to agree with her, but she needs to know you are right there with her no matter what.
If your daughter needs to connect with her father, here are 5 things he should be sure to say to her.
Did you have these questions to ask your mom and never did? What else would you have asked?