Raising Daughters: Tips for Protecting them from Bad Media

Raising girls who feel valued in a society that depicts the feminine in less than desirable terms is a challenge. These tips are great reminders for mothers and daughters and can be used successfully by fathers.

Make sure you keep your communications open and flowing

Why is it important to do this:

The relationship between mothers and daughters is a strong one. However, it is not always an easy relationship to maintain. Maintaining this strong relationship between mothers and daughters takes time. It takes open lines of communication, and most importantly, listening. If the mother fails to listen, the daughter will feel unheard and then her feelings will become hurt and she will shut down. She will be left feeling unloved and unlovable, and will not be able to trust anyone but herself. She will withdraw from the world and isolate herself. This is not good for either the daughter or the mother.

What is the worst thing that can happen if you don’t do this:

If the mother fails to communicate, the daughter will feel shut out, not included, and unloved, causing her to isolate herself and withdraw from the world–or model herself after poor role models she is exposed to in the media. This is not good for either the mother or the daughter.

Steps you can take to do this:

Set aside time each week to talk about your daughter’s progress. Let her know that you are here for her when she needs you. Open your heart to her. Be a listening ear. Let her know that you care and that you love her. Give her a hug and let her know that she is special to you.

Discuss your concerns about stereotyping

If we can openly discuss how women are portrayed in magazines, toys, music and film we’ll open up a new door to conversations about what’s going on out there.

Why is it important to do this:

Talking about your concern will help you and your daughter to understand one another better.

What is the worst thing that can happen if you don’t do this:

It is possible that your daughter may misinterpret your concern and use your concern as an excuse to treat you poorly. She might blame you for making her feel bad when she wants toys or listens to problematic songs all hr friends do. This would be very hurtful to you and make it more difficult for you to build a strong relationship with her.

Steps you can take to do this:

Before you have a talk, think about what kind of things she could say to you that might be disrespectful or hurtful if you question her choice in movies, influencers, etc. If you are concerned about your daughter’s behavior, say something to her before you have a conversation.

Be an example of unconditional love for your daughter

Love your girl unconditionally. Don’t agree with them all the time. Set boundaries. Be their parent. But accept who they are, even when they are not behaving in a way that you would prefer or listen to pop artists you don’t approve of. Do this, even if you dislike certain aspects of your daughter.

It’s a good thing to have some healthy respect for the tween in your life and involve yourself in it on HER terms. You can choose to have a spa day as a celebration of your union. Get up every morning and take a walk around the block together. Bake something together. Have a family game night. Play board games. Create a memory with your daughter. Share the stories you remember from that time in your life. This is not an interrogation or lecture, but an opportunity to really connect and build something special.

When you spend time with your daughter and keep the communication open and flowing you will find that it is easier to guide her to make good choices.

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