Every parent dreams of the day that their little girl grows up, goes to college, meets the man of her dreams, gets married and has a family of her own someday. But what about all the scrapes, bruises, fights with her best friend and breakups we parents deal with in the meantime? How do we know we are properly preparing our little princesses for the day they will be mature, responsible women?
Below are ten topics that help our little angels turn into the great amazing women we know they will be someday. Along with each topic we have included an activity for either Mom or Dad to participate in with their daughters to help with the conversation.
1. Be Honest
Of course this is one of those topics that will be touched on as your daughter gets older. It may start when she and a sibling argue over a toy, her first bad report card or as a teen when she takes the car without permission. Honesty is something that will reflect on your daughter’s character throughout her life.
Activity: A day in the park together
2. Religious preferences
This is a topic that will vary for everyone. Whether you are Christian, Catholic, or Jewish, we all have our beliefs and want to pass these on to our daughter. If church is a large part of your life this may be an easy topic. If you are someone who encourages their child to choose their beliefs try this conversation starter:“Do you believe in Heaven? What do you think it looks like?”
3. Being true to herself
Girls have it pretty rough, and it starts pretty early on. Wanting to protect our children is a natural parental instinct. So what do we do when we feel they are hurting or have low self esteem? We want to find out why. Talk to her about being true to who she is. Remind her what makes her special and never degrade her thoughts or perception of herself, just encourage her. Activity: Try this conversational game with her: “If you could be anyone in the world who would you be and what would you do if you had one day?”
4. Birds and the Bees
Calling all dads. Yes, that’s right, we said dads. This is not just a talk for your son and you. Or for the mother and daughter. Research has shown us (and interviews with girls) that daughters look to their dads for boyfriend’s approval. Your little princess may not be five and in her tutu, but she is still your little girl. Talk to her about the kind of man you know she deserves and about the special gift of purity. Or whatever your personal opinions or beliefs are here.
5. Eating disorders
Alright moms, this is your cue. How do you talk to your preteen about weight management, anorexia and living a healthy lifestyle WITHOUT setting her off the deep end? We encourage this talk to happen early on, stay on your toes, teach her to eat healthy at a young age, as early as six. When it does come time to talk to her, regardless of her weight or size we feel it’s necessary. Anorexia is an issue in girl just as young as 8. Compliment her often, show her new style and looks, and for an activity: Shopping day with Mom and Grandma. Show her how great she looks and let her choose her own style.
6. Kotex Conversation
There will be a time and place for this but if you aren’t prepared for it, it will hit you like a freight train at midnight. If you aren’t sure what to say, remember the conversation you had with your mother and how you felt the first time you got your period.
7. Money talks
As parents, we have learned through life experience that money is not something that grows on trees. The sooner we can teach our girls about budgets, coupons and saving, the sooner she will value her possessions and share a sense of adult responsibility.
Activity: Start a chore chart with set amounts next to them allowing her to choose. AFTER a full day of housework with Mom.
8. Less is more
When your daughter grows up, starts high school, goes shopping with her friends and becoming impressionable it will be important to teach your daughter that less is more. (In the clothing department)
9. Dressed in White
Again, guys this area of expertise is for you, as well as Mom. Your daughter will need you now more than ever. Whether she is 18, 25 or 35 us girls never get to old to have our dads at our sides on that very important day. Let her know you are proud of her, you approve of your future son in law, and most importantly, no matter what you will always be there to talk.
Activity: Alone time, right before the grand walk. Doesn’t have to be a long conversation, look her in the eye hold her; tell her it will be ok. Give her something small of yours for her to hold in her hand as she walks down the aisle.
10. Death and Dying
No one wants to be the one to give bad news to a son or daughter when a loved one has passed away. And depending on your faith preferences this can be handled differently for many. Take your daughter somewhere that holds meaning for you both and answer any questions she may have as well.