Never under-estimate the job you are doing as a parent; the Author of Raising Girls, Gisela Preuschoff states: “the most difficult part about raising children is the work you have to do on yourself.”
Children look to us for every thing and our behaviour will determine their behaviour and so much more. Preuschoff wrote about parents asking themselves questions like: How do I behave? What kind of example am I setting for my child?
The better parents know themselves, and their triggers such as anxiety, feelings and desires, the better chance children have of being free of these influences.
“The first role models for a girl are her mother and father. If you are careful, alert, communicative and present, you can’t do anything wrong,” Preuschoff said.
She said mothers needed to deal with the baggage they had in their youth to prevent mother-daughter relationship problems.
A girl’s father is so important in her life and as Preuschoff states: “Don’t undervalue this vital relationship.”
If parents have undervalued this relationship in the past, they can move on and do something about it now for their daughter’s sake. It is never too late to make something right.
Dr Bruce Robinson in his excellent book, Daughters and Dads, talks about what daughters learn from their dads and in particular from the unconditional love a dad can offer.
I have a 12-year-old daughter and she spoke about unconditional love today after something on the radio suggested it wasn’t always the case. My daughter was puzzled by the thought that ‘unconditional love’ was sometimes ‘conditional love’. Thankfully, she has a very good relationship with her Dad and she sees him every second weekend.
As mothers and fathers we can decide a lot in the early days and one thing is the books our daughters read; we should do this carefully and make sure the female image is one we want for our daughters.
“Fairy tales teach us that all problems can be solved as long as you accept the challenge, follow your own path and don’t give up,” Preuschoff said.
Parents need to look for positive role models, work on themselves and have a clear vision for their children.