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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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                        Vladimir Zivanovic

                        CMO at MyCity-Web

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                        Last Updated on January 15, 2019

                        What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

                        What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

                        When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

                        Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

                        It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

                        While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

                        Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

                        What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

                        How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

                        It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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                        People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

                        “A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

                        In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

                        Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

                        As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

                        When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

                        It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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                        What are Interpersonal Skills?

                        Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

                        In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

                        From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

                        For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

                        Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

                        How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

                        There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

                        There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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                        Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

                        I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

                        Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

                        “That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

                        Don’t overlook introspection.

                        While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

                        Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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                        When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

                        Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

                        “Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

                        The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

                        The Bottom Line

                        You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

                        Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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