As mothers we all want our daughters to grow up strong – both in mind and body. But how can we help them to become the confident, healthy young woman we wish them to be?
The most important thing we can give to our daughters is unconditional love. Knowledge of that love will see them through toddler stumbles, school issues, teenage heartbreak, friendship breakdowns, and life itself.
But there is so much more that we can do to turn them into healthy, confident, competent women.
Building strong girls
Here are some tips to start you off:
1. Read to them.
There are so many books now that celebrate strong girls and strong women. Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls is a gorgeous book that tells the stories of inspiring women down through the ages, from scientists and astronauts, to boxers, writers and painters. This book will show them that they can achieve anything in life that they put their mind to.
2. Feed their bodies.
You can’t build a strong girl without helping them to build a strong body. Healthy meals and essential nutrients will keep them on track. Iron rich foods are very important during the tween and teen years – these include beans, legumes, cereals, nuts and leafy green vegetables.
They don’t have to become the next Katie Taylor, or even be the school sports star, but building strong bones and muscles, and helping them fall in love with being active, will set them up for a future of healthy living.
4. Build confidence
Confidence is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children. Unfortunately however, many children suffer from a lack of it, feeling just not good enough in at least one area of their lives – be it school, sports, socialising, or looks. Talk to your daughter about confidence. What does it look like? Who does she know that is confident? When did she last feel good about herself? You’ll find these conversations lead to other places and you’ll be surprised by how much you learn about her along the way.
5. Talk to her openly about periods.
Don’t be afraid to explain the science behind what is happening during menstruation. Go through each stage and chat through a list of ‘What ifs’ so that she is prepared for any unexpected issues along the way.
Tween and teen girls, who have started mentruating need to ensure their bodies are getting enough iron. Find out more about this below.
6. Be her role model (even if that scares you)
Be brave, be confident, be kind. Show your daughter what a strong woman looks like – even if you’re quaking inside! Our daughters look up to us, copy us and often become us – so be the very strongest YOU you can be.
‘Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them’.
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