My 10 year old daughter has a friend who Iím pretty sure is headed down the road of self-destruction. The girl juggles two boyfriends (yes, at 10), inhales a package of cookies in one sitting, and already talks about her body as if itís a tool. I feel bad for her because itís not her fault that sheís headed down this path. Sheís just mimicking what she sees her mom and older sister do in life. This girl is a lot like other girls today, and I really just wish their mothers would teach them more proper ways to care for their health and beauty.
Hereís what I wish others would teach their daughters about health and beauty:
#1: Take Care of Your Body
Having unhealthy snacks from time to time is okay, but gorging on them is not. Eating three meals a day with two healthy snacks is the best way to fuel the body for continued energy throughout the day. Treats are just that Ė treats. Once a day or even just a couple times a week is better than eating a whole package of cookies in one sitting.
#2: Respect Your Body
When you respect your body, others will respect it. I wish parents would teach their daughters that their body isnít used to attract people. Itís used to express their thoughts and beliefs. By teaching girls how special their body is they will be more likely to only share it with someone who will care and respect it as much as they do.
#3: You Are Enough
Parents can be harder on their daughters than they really need to be. For instance, my daughterís friend constantly tells her that her mom isnít satisfied with some of her cheerleading techniques. The mom has hired private lessons and makes her practice daily. Now, she doesnít want to do cheerleading anymore. If her mother just let her enjoy cheerleading, she probably wouldnít be so stressed about it, and may be able to improve over time instead of just quitting it all together and feeling like she failed.
Thatís why itís important that parents teach their daughters they donít have to be perfect. Letting go and ensuring that they understand they ARE enough can propel them to a level of self-confidence that will help them do great things in life.
#4: Beauty Doesnít Come in One Shape, Size or Look
Everyone is beautiful in her own way. People, especially young girls, need to know that because society will try to tell them different. This can bring down their self-esteem, which means they will look for acceptance from the outside world. The outside world can be cruel, and can segue girls into being obsessed with weight and bodily features they canít control.
#5: Be Active
Many kids arenít as active as they should be. Technology keeps them inside glued to screens. Spending time outdoors running and playing helps them not only stay physically fit, but improves their social interaction. It can be hard when there are no kids in the neighborhood to play with, but parents can set up playdates with friends at school. This teaches girls that spending time with friends is important in life, and thatís something they will want and need to do later on.
#6: Try New Things
Iíve always felt that you wonít know what youíre good at unless you try it. Thatís why my daughter has tried soccer, gymnastics and dance. Soccer and gymnastics didnít work out for her, but dance did. When parents help their children try new things, they not only help them find activities they really enjoy, but show them they need to try different things before finding what they like best.
#7: Be Nice
Girls get into their fair share of drama. Most of the drama starts because someone isnít nice. Some girls will tease their friends to the point of tears, and they will walk away satisfied. Surprisingly enough, some parents condone that type of behavior, and all itís doing is teaching future generations itís okay to be treat others badly. I wish parents would see that the world would be a better place if everyone would just be nice to each other. Whenever my daughter says something mean to a friend or her brother, I immediately ask her if that was nice and how she would feel if someone said that to her. Showing her that what she said or did isnít acceptable can help her see that she shouldnít do it, and others shouldnít do it to her. If only other parents would teach their daughters the sameÖ
I think, as adults seeking to live a minimalist life, we can all make life easier on our daughters by helping them understand how to treat themselves and the people around them. When you think about it, simplicity comes from living life to its fullest by having great life experiences. That can only happen when parents teach their daughters how to live a healthy and beautiful life.
Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and freelancer, with experience in writing for parents of troubled teen girls. Tyler has offered humor and research backed advice to readers on parenting tactics, problems in education, issues with social media, mental disorders, addiction, and troublesome issues raising teens. Connect with Tyler on: Twitter | Linkedin
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