Being a teenager in 2018 vastly different then a generation ago. The influx of social media and cell phone usage by teens is at an all time high, which is both a blessing and a curse. Unfortunately teens use their social media accounts, as their primary gauge of popularity and self-worth, which puts added pressure onto parents to ensure they develop confident young adults.
The relationship dynamic between mothers with daughters can often be like a rollercoaster. To be open, even my relationship with my mother certainly has been, even to this day. Children model what adults do, not what they say, so it’s important for mothers to be the best role-models they can be for their daughters (and sons).
I often think about what I wished my mother would have told me, as I was braving my teenage years, and I’ve narrowed it down to these five…
I support you, no matter what
A daughter who has a strong, reliable support system in her mother feels more grounded and confident to try new things, and learn and grow from different experiences. She will know that even if she attempts something new and fails, her mother will support her, and have her back, empowering her to make smart choices, which can lead to great opportunities for her future. Having a supportive mother, eliminates the feeling of shame which so many teenage girls feel throughout middle school and high school.
I’m proud of you
No matter how old you are, hearing the words; “I’m proud of you”, instantly lifts a person’s spirits and makes them feel loved and accepted. Telling your daughter that you’re proud of her, especially when things haven’t gone according to plan, gives her a sense of accomplishment and the courage to try again.
Your self-worth has nothing to do with your body shape or weight
Studies have shown that women are judged based on their weight and body shape. This rarely happens towards males, so as a mother, it is crucial to instill confidence in your daughter that her character, her choices, and the type of person she chooses to be, is more important than what she looks like.
Who you spend your time with is very important
The 5 people you spend most of your time with need to share your values and morals, and they also need to be there for you in good times and in bad times. Friends, who do not meet these criteria, are not really your friends.
Take few opinions.
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received was, take few opinions. Girls from 5-50 years of age are constantly asking others for their opinion to validate their choices, on what they wear, how they look, and what they should do or say. If you ask 10 people for their opinion, you’ll get 10 different responses. Learn to value your own opinion for every choice you make.
Written By Julie Kelly
Julie Kelly is first generation born Australian from European parents who immigrated from Egypt back in the 60’s. Throughout her life Julie felt like the square peg that never fit in the round hole, and endured many challenges in life such as losing her best-friend in High School to an accidental drug overdose, her parent’s divorce and surviving a terrible car accident caused by a drunk driver. Throughout her life, Julie always chose to rise above her struggles, and tried to find the Grace in every situation, living by the motto that everything happens FOR you, not to you.