We see it all the time in the media and online—girls are feeling under more and more pressure to fit in and conform, but is this truly what we want for them? Sure, being able to fit in is nice, and it may be easier for teenage girls to “fit in” instead of sticking out, but is this actually what is best for them in the long run?
Many parents truly believe that their daughters will be more successful, not when they conform, but when they are confident individuals who make their own choices and take charge of their lives. While it is easy to say that you want your daughter to be “strong” and “independent,” the real question is: How do we go about doing this?
Listen To Your Girl
The first point you need to realize is that you can’t force a girl to be strong and independent. You should never try to force her into making certain choices or worry too much about who she hangs out with (within reason) or what they look like. The best idea is to help her along the way as she grows into herself.
When you are trying to raise a strong and independent girl, think about how you would want to be raised. Would you want your parents to be strict, controlling, and overbearing? Or would you wish that your parents were less involved in their lives?
Here are some points to think about when raising your daughter:
Home Is Where The Heart Is
Make sure she knows that she will always have a home to come to and there is a space of her own if she needs a place to be alone. There are some great ideas for gifts for teens that can help foster privacy and the creation of private space; gifts such as journals and door signs that ask for privacy are a great idea for this.
Choosing The Right Friends
Don’t let her get too comfortable with the people she is hanging out with. You needn’t be overbearing about this, but you should try to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that the people she is hanging out with are good people; but keep talking to her and remind her about respectful boundaries—even with friends.
Teach Her To Be Independent
Make sure you teach your daughter to make decisions for herself and to put herself first.
As she grows older and gets more confident, your daughter will start taking more responsibility for her life and it will become easier for her to make these choices.
Teach her that it is acceptable to stick up for herself. It is important for a young girl to learn the skills of how to stand up for herself, and how to stick up for other people as well.
Sharing Is Caring
Teach her not to take other people’s belongings from them; and to be an honest individual who doesn’t care about what other people think of her.
If your daughter is acting in a way that makes others angry or upset, however, she should be willing to listen and acknowledge that they are entitled to their feelings.