My 10 year old daughter has a friend who I’m 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 it’s a tool. I feel bad for her because it’s not her fault that she’s headed down this path. She’s 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.
Here’s 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 – 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 isn’t used to attract people. It’s 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 daughter’s friend constantly tells her that her mom isn’t satisfied with some of her cheerleading techniques. The mom has hired private lessons and makes her practice daily. Now, she doesn’t want to do cheerleading anymore. If her mother just let her enjoy cheerleading, she probably wouldn’t 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.
That’s why it’s important that parents teach their daughters they don’t 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 Doesn’t 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 can’t control.
#5: Be Active
Many kids aren’t 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 that’s something they will want and need to do later on.
#6: Try New Things
I’ve always felt that you won’t know what you’re good at unless you try it. That’s why my daughter has tried soccer, gymnastics and dance. Soccer and gymnastics didn’t 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 isn’t 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 it’s doing is teaching future generations it’s 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 isn’t acceptable can help her see that she shouldn’t do it, and others shouldn’t do it to her. If only other parents would teach their daughters the same…
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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