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10 Things Parents Should Never Tell Their Daughters

10 Things Parents Should Never Tell Their Daughters

Remember that upsetting moment in your twenties, when you realized that everything does come down to Mom, Dad and Me? If you do, try not to forget it again, since it is a revelation that will someday soon come to your children as well. Being a parent, they say, is giving our kids two things – roots and wings. Keeping a balance between those is what makes the task so unbelievably hard. Misconceptions and unreasonable beliefs we endow our children with are rusty tools, and as all that’s covertly damaging, they tend to stay. It’s an inheritance they will pass on to their children, creating a vicious circle that never ends. If your little girl is off to womanhood, be cautious but determined, gentle but steady-handed, and never stop learning how to be better. In fact, start right away, and find out what never to say to your lady to be.

1. You’re a little young for that

“Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement." - Golda Meir

    “Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” – Golda Meir

    Young girls never lack responsibility. It’s not a gender myth that they are more meditative and ruminative then boys. Every child dreams and fantasises, but girls actually plan their future from a very early age. If you ask a kid what it would like to be when they grow up, a boy will tell you “an astronaut” or “a magician”, but a girl’s answer will be different. Their aspirations towards becoming teachers, nurses and actresses (which are usually the answers), show not a shortage of imagination and ambition, but exactly the opposite – their instinct to be solid and level-headed. With that being sad, be mindful of the fact that most girls do get the wedding of their young dreams, marry a man that resembles their childhood prince and achieve professional success in a field within reach of their goals. Therefore, if your girl decides to confide her hopes and desires to you, never underestimate their potency. Instead of telling her not to rush, help her embark on her journey. Support her determination and nurture it. Doing anything less would break her confidence and make her unsure of her own judgement. As an alternative, tell her this: “You can achieve whatever you want if you work hard, consider obstacles and learn how to overcome them.”

    2. Lower your expectations

    “I hope the fathers and mothers of little girls will look at them and say Yes, women can.” – Dilma Rousseff

      “I hope the fathers and mothers of little girls will look at them and say Yes, women can.” – Dilma Rousseff

      In the spirit of that, you should learn to recognize your girl’s potential early on, and never mistake greatness of talent for childish delusions. If by any chance, your sassy little lady comes forth with a wish of becoming something very specific and unusual for a child, like a painter, a horse rider or a psychologist, that only means that her interests are multifarious and her enthusiasm exceptional. Instead of advising her to lower her expectations and stick to being a child, enable her to explore her flair. Help her learn more about her wishes and find out for herself is she’s apt for realizing them. To cut her wings from the beginning would teach her to stay satisfied with what she already has, and never to reach for more. If a girl is not allowed to get to know her potentials and perceive a strength to outdo them, she will never reach fulfilment and self-realization. Let her find inspiration in powerful women, and support her to be ahead of her time. When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another, would be Helen Keller’s first lesson.

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      3. That’s a job for a man

      “I may be wearing makeup, but I can throw a fastball by you at the same time.” - Jennie Finch

        “I may be wearing makeup, but I can throw a fastball by you at the same time.” – Jennie Finch

        The most common barrier on the young girls’ road to professional and intimate development is simultaneously the biggest and most harmful gender misconception – there are jobs for men and jobs for women, and the line between them should not be crossed. Unfortunately, sexism is not yet surpassed, and is to be detected in fathers and mothers both. As a social illness, sexual discrimination has let its roots far and deep, and your efforts to rip them out will never be completely successful. The least you can do is teach your girl not to stumble upon them. Naturally, you will have to set an example and preach gender equality in your kitchen and garage both. For a father, that means introducing a girl to power tools, sports and stick driving. For a mother it means not keeping a girl over a sink and a washing machine. The more she learns about both worlds, the more she will be equipped for independence. With words as simple as Nobody can tell you what you’re suited for and for what you’re not, you’re preparing her to deal with this problem outside of the nest.

        4. You’re wasting your time

        “Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputations… can never effect a reform.” – Susan B. Anthony

          “Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputations… can never effect a reform.” – Susan B. Anthony

          Another frequent mistake we’re making as parents is not giving a chance to our children to waste time. What is meant by that is trying different things in life, even when we already know that they will be fruitless. A little angel or a high-strung teenager, your girl will most certainly come in the phase of her young life when she would want to take a year off to backpack through Europe, learn how to play bass guitar or try earning some extra money for herself by waitressing in a cafe. Even if her idea doesn’t look like a productive way of preparing for future adulthood, it’s an inevitable part of her road to maturation. To her gentle heart, You’re wasting your time means Do whatever you want, but I’m looking forward to saying “I’ve told you so”. Unfortunately for parents, young people are so busy growing up that they don’t have much time to think about what we actually meant to say. Therefore, try telling her this: If you’re certain that you’ve thought things through, have a go, and we will examine the process and figure out the next step together.

          5. I’ll do that for you

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          “I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.” – Louisa May Alcott

            “I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.” – Louisa May Alcott

            When our kids are still so young that we can smell that sweet baby odour on them, we tend to be a little too overprotective. That burning desire to keep them as safe and unburdened as possible usually doesn’t lessen even when they grow up. However irresistible it may be to parents to solve all of their children’s problems for them, on the long road, it may do more harm than good. Now, telling your growing-up girl not to worry, and finishing her house chores or doing other difficult tasks instead of her will not raise many arguments. She would hardly complain at all, at least until she’s old enough to acknowledge all of the consequences of such pedagogical measures. Before that time comes, I’ll do that will make her highly dependent, given that she won’t be able to obtain many skills and practical knowledge for herself. On the verge of her self-reliance, she will feel lost, confused and incompetent for her fully-grown existence. So, be smart and think likely instead of allowing your instincts to take over. For that, Try for yourself, and I’ll help you if you can’t do it is entirely appropriate.

            6. That’s not very ladylike of you

            "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” - Charlotte Bronte

              “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” – Charlotte Bronte

              Having a girl is the most delightful experience a parent can have. Delightful, because of all of the ribbons, stuffed unicorns and doll dresses laying around the house – or at least that’s what parents expect. Gender differences are beautiful and exciting revelations every kid will discover on its journey through adolescence, but sometimes they are imposed and, therefore, exhausting. Painting your baby girl’s room all pink is one thing, but expecting her to fit into your image of a perfect little lady is another. Often, parents are prone to following gender codes and general beliefs created by society and leave little space for a child to develop its own gender identity. For that reason, what you may think is ladylike, your girl can experience as unnecessary preconception. If she likes wearing baggy clothes and enjoys punk, there’s no rule against it. Instead of forcing her to be something publicly considered as feminine, support her to be nothing more than herself. Her unusual choices have nothing to do with her intellect and humanness, and ultimately, that’s all that matters.

              7. Don’t worry your pretty little head

              "I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou

                “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

                Adolescence is the most terrifying ride for both parents and the child. By experiencing the world of womanhood for the first time, and drinking her first cup of intolerance and injustice right after her first shot of tequila, a young girl can be utterly startled with what she feels. Puberty is confusing and messy, and constant mood swings and anxiousness are the least a parent can expect. That being the case, Don’t worry so much is the most potentially troublesome, triggering line a pubescent girl can hear. It creates the widest gap between a parent and a child, and is, for that reason, always followed with You don’t understand me. So try to! And if you can’t, at least let her know that you’re doing your best. In this blossoming age, a girl needs her safety-net the most, so be sure that she knows that she can find one in you. Otherwise, slamming the door will be just the beginning of ongoing misunderstanding between two sides. By telling her I understand, you’re showing her that you respect her emotions, and are willing to listen and give advice and help whenever she needs it.

                8. Look up to her!

                “Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.” - Judy Garland

                  “Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.” – Judy Garland

                  While she is little, there’s barely a thing more exciting for a girl then trying to look like her older sister, cousin or a family friend. Even her mom’s closet seems like a world of infinite potentials. But those things change once your daughter starts acquiring her own identity. Being a teenager is an exhausting quest for uniqueness. For a young woman anxious to discover her place under the sun, any sort of comparison to another girl is a source of frustration. Imagine being in a state when you don’t fully grasp who you actually are and who you’re supposed to be, while someone persistently trying to compare you to a different person. Nerve-racking, isn’t it?  By pushing her to look, behave or simply be like someone else, you’re tearing down what’s already a shaken image of her individuality. Therefore, whenever you think of establishing a good role-model for your little girl, start from yourself. As an alternative to Look up to her, say nothing at all, and actually give her an example to regard on a daily basis.

                  9. Try not to eat so much

                  “Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.” - Judy Garland

                    “My smile is my favorite part of my body. I think a smile can make your whole body.” – Serena Williams

                    Talking of puberty, another thing a parent should never neglect is a girl’s growing sense of her body. Adolescence is a phase of familiarisation with a physical being, and for a girl, that means constant struggle with images imposed by popular culture. It’s a time of insecurities, self-doubt and lack of confidence. The last thing a woman to be needs is for her closest to meddle. Therefore, approach her body issues with the greatest caution and thoughtfulness. Never tempt her to eat more if you notice she’s on a diet, but take interest in the matter and advise her to talk to a nutritionist and eat healthier food. Such advice is proper in opposite case as well. If you notice she’s been neglecting her body and putting on weight, be subtle about it. Instead of Don’t eat that junk, get informed on other choices of nutrition, and gradually implement them in your family routine. Also, inspire her to exercise more, and do that by setting an example yourself.

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                    10. You’re too good for him

                    "A woman has got to love a bad man once or twice in her life, to be thankful for a good one.” - Marjorie Kinnan

                      “A woman has got to love a bad man once or twice in her life, to be thankful for a good one.” – Marjorie Kinnan

                      This tender age can be a bit more difficult for girls than it is for boys in one way. Rejections and heartbreaks are severe for both, but they can leave some serious, long-lasting marks on a girl’s heart. Besides that, it’s somewhat harder for a girl to introduce her chosen one to a family. Parents are usually more protective over girls once they start exploring their sexuality, and their love choices are traditionally unfitting to parent’s anticipations. Even if you notice how mismatched your girl and her sweetheart are, never voice your opinion directly. Instead of You’re too good for him or You’re not a good pair, show interest in him, and motivate your daughter to confess to you whenever she has a problem of intimate nature. If it does occur, encourage her to understand where it comes from. As an alternative for categorically rejecting her beloved, try explaining that every individual is unique, and sometimes differences between the two can’t be surpassed. Be absolutely careful that your attitude towards your girl’s boyfriend isn’t formed with prejudice about his social status, family or appearance.

                      "A woman has got to love a bad man once or twice in her life, to be thankful for a good one.” - Marjorie Kinnan

                        “The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.” – Peggy O’Mara

                        However lovely it may seem, raising a daughter is an emotional roller-coaster. Girls pay attention to what you say and, mind you, how you say it. Regardless of how tired and frustrated you are, remember to take a deep breath and count to ten before making a statement she won’t forget. Words are a powerful tool, and the right choice of them will foster a girl with a mind, a woman with an attitude, and a lady with class.

                        Featured photo credit: Girl playing with a rabbit via bhmpics.com

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                        More by this author

                        Vladimir Zivanovic

                        CMO at MyCity-Web

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                        Last Updated on April 11, 2019

                        How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                        How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                        Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

                        I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

                        I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

                        Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                        How Communication Skills Help Your Success

                        Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

                        Create a Positive Experience

                        Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

                        When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

                        What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

                        Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

                        As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

                        Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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                        Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

                        Help Leadership Skills

                        It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

                        Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

                        As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

                        Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

                        If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

                        Build Better Teams

                        Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

                        In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

                        If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

                        When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

                        Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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                        How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                        There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

                        Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

                        1. Listen

                        Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

                        Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

                        People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

                        Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

                        Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

                        2. Know Your Audience

                        Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

                        Here is a good way to think about it:

                        Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

                        You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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                        3. Minimize

                        I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

                        He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

                        Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

                        State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

                        The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

                        4. Over Communicate

                        So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

                        What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

                        Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

                        Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

                        Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

                        There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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                        5. Body Language

                        The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

                        When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

                        In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

                        When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

                        Conclusion

                        Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

                        Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

                        There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                        Now go communicate your way to success.

                        More Resources About Effective Communication

                        Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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