- knowing your own mind, and trusting it.
Does your daughter know her own mind?
Is she allowed to trust and follow this?
Having a daughter who knows her own mind can be challenging, but can you celebrate it?
- she’s more likely to find a path in life that really suits her.
Having a child who is full of ideas, passions, and ideals can be exhausting, but can you encourage it?
- she’s more likely to think things through for herself when offered something harmful.
Having a daughter who is sensitive can be inconvenient at times, but can you honour her sensitivity?
- she is more likely to pay attention to that funny feeling that tells her that a situation isn’t safe and get herself away.
Trusting our intuition
There is much in our culture that dissuades us from listening to our gut feelings. Young children rarely have as much time with their parents as they would choose. Children are often made to eat foods they don’t fancy. Children have to stick with teachers they don’t warm to; and some of the children that they have to spend time with are mean or they clash with. Children do not have as much time to create as they would like. Children are forced to study areas that hold little interest for them in order to pass exams. Children are swamped by advertising that encourages them not to like the way they look, or the possessions that they have, or the life they are leading.
Our children are programmed not to pay attention to what they really want or how they feel.
So how can you help your daughter to be the girl who:
pulls herself and her friend out of the party when things are getting a bit out of hand
says no to drugs
finds the words to stand up to someone who is bullying
avoids the boy who makes her feel uneasy
chooses not to shop lift, even when her friends are urging her to, because it feels wrong
and walks away from the man who is acting strangely at the bus stop
Does your daughter know what makes her heart sing, and is she free to follow that?
* Talk to her about recognising to the quiet voice of reason and paying attention to it.
* Teach her to notice how her body feels when something isn’t quite right
(girls usually find that their tummy, shoulders, mouth, or hands can alert them).
* Discuss strategies for how to respond when she doesn’t feel at ease
(text you, find a friend, take five minutes in the toilet to think clearly, seek a trusted adult, run).
* Notice when she expresses an interest in something and help her to develop that.
* Support her passions, and help her to shrink the disliked bits of her life.
Sometimes we say we want strong, independent, confident daughters, but then we suppress those qualities when they thwart our own purpose.
As you want her to honour her-self, then you must too.
Listen. Respect. Respond.