Last week, we learned about the messages that our girls hear constantly from the world. We also learned a few things we can do about it. If you missed that blog post, you can read it right here.
I shared with moms how we are not helpless in the matter, and how we can counter the negative messages that are infiltrating our daughters’ days. I want to go a bit deeper today and give us moms an even greater challenge. I want us to consider some messages that our girls SHOULD be hearing, and how we can be sharing them.
FIVE MESSAGES EVERY GIRL SHOULD HEAR
1. TRY IT! TAKE A RISK.
While the world is telling our girls to be perfect in all ways- body, mind, and spirit- the message our girls receive is that they cannot make any mistakes. They have to be perfect. This is not only unrealistic but dangerous. As our girls believe more and more that they need to be perfect, they will fear stepping out of their comfort zones, fear taking changes on new things. They will fear imperfection.
We need to give them the opposite message, and that starts with two simple words.
Our daughters should be encouraged to try new things, to step out of what feels comfortable and to take some risks. It’s one of the key components to building a girl’s confidence.
2. IT’S OK IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE- IN FACT, IT’S AWESOME!
Anyone who has ever tried anything new knows that you don’t go from start to professional in one day. Mistakes are inevitable. But they need not be feared.
In addition to encouraging our girls to try new things, we should encourage them to make mistakes at these new things. We should celebrate with them when they try and fail, because it’s proof that they TRIED.
Remember when your daughter was just a toddler? Remember when she was learning to walk? She fell a lot, didn’t she? And what did she do? She looked at you for your reaction so she would know how to react. She needed to know if this fall was a good thing or a bad thing. And I know what you did. You didn’t sulk, or cry, or berate her for the fall. You clapped your hands, then reached yours out to hers, and helped her up to TRY AGAIN.
That’s how she learned to walk. And that’s how she’ll learn to fly.
3. I’M HERE FOR YOU
Just like you were there for her when she toddled, she needs to know that she has someone she can trust today, especially if she’s going to try something new, take some risks, and inevitably fall again. Remember, the world will leave her high and dry. The world expects perfection (and without trying, too). Your daughter needs to know someone accepts her as she is- risk, mistakes, and all.
4. THAT’S NOT REAL. NOBODY IS PERFECT.
Seems a given, but we still need to point these lies out. When it comes to the “perfection” she sees in movies, or TV, or on her Instagram feed, we need to keep pointing out the lies. Every ad is photoshopped. Every Insta pic is filtered. Every perfect body has an imperfection- and that is OK!
Our daughter’s need to hear us celebrate imperfection and reality, so that they can learn that their reality should be celebrated too.
Don’t forget, this means more than just the advertisements and the newsfeeds. This mean celebrating the imperfections in our own mirrors, too.
5. YOU ARE WORTHY, YOU ARE VALUABLE, AND YOU ARE ENOUGH, TODAY, JUST AS YOU ARE.
Yes, we want to encourage our daughters to take risks, to make mistakes, to try for more, to be anything they want to be. But we must also assure them that they are valuable today, just as they are, before they accomplish any new risk or challenge.
Our daughters need to know that they are worthy, exceptional, and enough today, in the body they have today, in the grades they make today, in the mistakes they make today. They are worthy simply because they exist.
They can choose what they want to accomplish and who they want to become, but they must never let the world define them by any of it.
Then of course, we need to back that up. How? By accepting the same in ourselves.
These five messages are game changers for our girls, so let’s not forget them. In fact, let’s keep them with us so we remember to share them each day. I’ve created a mobile checklist for you to keep on your phone.
Every girl needs to hear these messages. That includes your daughter. And that includes you, too.