5 Ways Moms Can Encourage Their Daughters


In this lesson, we learn five ways (in no particular order) mothers can encourage their daughters to shine their lights a bit brighter.

She didn’t think she could do it.

In fact, my husband offered to pay her fifty dollars if she would.

For years, she refused.

Then one day, she climbed up the ladder and my third grade, heights-fearing daughter, slid down our backyard curly-slide.

Turns out, she could do it. She just allowed fear to tell her she couldn’t.

So it got me thinking . . . How many other ways has she limited herself simply out of fear?

I’m sure more than I could ever imagine.

Next, I wondered how often I limited myself simply out of fear.

I’m sure more than I could ever imagine.

Personally, I believe fear lies at the root of every negative emotion.

For a girl who suffers from low self-esteem, the fear could be rejection by her peers. Or others finding out she isn’t perfect. Or the fear she isn’t normal.

I also believe fear is how the enemy does his greatest work: he immobilizes us into complacency so we won’t let our light shine as brightly as it could.

Here are five ways (in no particular order) mothers can encourage their daughters to shine their lights a bit brighter (the next five will be featured next month):

  1. Assess your own self-confidence. You know the saying, “monkey see, monkey do”? Well, it’s true in parenting as well. It’s amazing what they notice, isn’t it? They watch and listen to us more than we know. So if she hears you trashing yourself or being afraid to try something new, she just might trash herself and be afraid to try something new as well.
  2. Avoid saying “You always . . . ” and “You never . . . “ Your daughter likely hears she’s hopeless when she hears these phrases. Whatever negative behavior follows these two statements, it can become her identity if she “always” does it. When others have named who we are and we begin to believe it, it’s called the self-fulfilling prophecy. And it’s not a myth.
  3. Encourage her relationship with her father. The power a father has in shaping his daughter’s identity is immeasurable. In her book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, Dr. Meg Meeker stated that girls with absentee fathers have higher rates of drug-use, engage in premarital sex at an earlier age, have a higher likelihood of experiencing eating disorders, and a higher chance of suffering from depression. However, if your daughter doesn’t have an earthly father, don’t despair. During my childhood, my grandfather stepped into this role for me. If this is not an option, then keep communication lines open.
  4. Recognize the importance of pillow talk. This is a great time to check-in with the state of your daughter’s heart. Simple questions like “How’s recess going?” or “Who did you sit with during lunch today?” are great questions that often lead to other discussions.
  5. Point out the good things she does. It took me a few years as a parent to realize my children didn’t come out of the womb knowing exactly what to do and say and when to do and say them. They are still learning (we are, too – we’ve just had a head start!). So I could constantly dwell on things like globs of toothpaste around the sink or the muddy footprints throughout the house or I could focus instead of what my children do well. This doesn’t mean we ignore offenses; but it does mean we balance this out with encouragement.

Before we sign-off for today, I need to tell you: there is never any condemnation in Christ Jesus. If you are reading some of the above and think “Oh, no . . . I just said “You never” to my daughter last night!” don’t beat yourself up. We all have less than stellar parenting moments. Each day is a new day with new mercies – praise Him for this!

Written by Natalie Snapp

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