When I became a mom of a boy four years ago, I faced the biggest challenge of my life in raising him for a happy and especially a good man in today’s world, where it is difficult to find authorities. Now, becoming a mom of a girl, I realized how much more of challenges I have in front of me. Media pressure, influence of manufacturers of clothes and toys, obsession on ideal body, nutrition disorders, prone to depression and other contemporary dangers are waiting on almost every corner. So, how to raise a daughter for a happy and conscious woman today?
First of all, where shall we look for authorities in raising children today and how to be a model ourselves? If we are fortunate that in our family are grated healthy parenting and family patterns, we can be sure that they will be “inherited” by our children. However, it appears that our parents and grandparents, and sometimes even us, did not struggle with things which our children must face now. Moreover, living in a constant hurry and dependence on technology, we often do not notice that our child is experiencing a problem. And there are many dangers in today’s world, to which a very special attention pays Steve Biddulph, one of the contemporary authorities in the field of conscious parenting. From 25 years, this fameous psychologist and family therapist has helped families in raising their children and the collected experiences he presents in his books. He is also married for 39 years and is a father of both boys and a girl. One of his best-sellers is “Raising boys. How to help them to be happy and well-balanced men”, based on which I wrote about an important role of mother and father in their son’s life (HERE). Today, there is turn for “Raising girls. How to help your girl grow up happy, healthy and strong” in which he highlights how dangerous place for girls is today’s world and how big task we have to perform as parents to bring them up for conscious women.
Already in the beginning of the book Steve Biddulph realizes how disturbing is the fact that the age of girls entering adulthood significantly decreased over the last five years. Currently, 14-years-old girl is like her mother once at the age of 18 years. Can we imagine how difficult it must be for girls to face such a reality? Or maybe today we take it for granted? The author states that girls development phases differ significantly from the development phases of boys. He helps us, parents, to go through them painlessly, showing how important it is above all the leading role of a mother in her daughter’s life at each of these stages. The mother is a role model, a person of the same sex, and for 95 percent of girls has the greatest impact on them from the very beginning. Mum learns what is being a woman. Therefore we, mums, should realize how our daughters are affected by our good example, starting to look at ourselves and our lifestyle as well as becoming calm and stop being in rush. This is particularly important and not easy in busy, technologized today’s world. Next, we need to realize how important are our hormones of love (oxytocin), hugging our daughter and responding to her crying during her infancy stage, so as to avoid developping the so-called “physiological depression ” and “learned helplessness”. Instead, we should instill a sense of security and love, as well as teach the way from stress to calm, which then our daughter will be able to use for the rest of her life. In addition, it is important to share common interest in exploring the world as well as to gain social skills, especially dealing with emotions. Finally, there is a crucial importance of our active participation in the development of identity and passion of our daughters to be sure that she enters adulthood being fully conscious and happy woman.
Besides, Biddulph shows how important in our daughter’s life is the role of the father as a model of a man. Especially, his attention and respect from the first moments of his daughter’s life, as well as his time spent alone with her, which is not embarrassing either for her or for him (no sexual subtext). For a father it is crucial being able to give her the belief that she is important , beautiful and intelligent.
With such an active and vigilant presence of both parents in the upbringing of their daughter, she will not have a problem with taking over responsibility for her life. Moreover, she will consciously and effectively avoid the contemporary threats, such as media pressure for the perfect look and obsession with body, anorexia, bulimia , premature sexualisation, particularly dangerous sexting, depression, alcoholism, or drug abuse.
I recommend both “Raising boys …” and “Raising girls …” as a set of universal, easy, and most effective solutions to any contemporary parenting problems, which is worth reading and applying. With this set of guides we can be sure that we establish good patterns in our family and help our children grow up into conscious, wise and confident adults.
This post was written in a collaboration with REBIS.
I also recommend other reliable parenting guides of which a presentation you will find HERE and HERE.
With these set of advice, family life and upbringing children is not difficult anymore 🙂
Photo – family archive; www.do-ramki.pl