Do you want to give your daughter the self-esteem you never got from your own mother? Counseling women in psychotherapy for over 30 years, I hear this one wish mothers have above all others… ” I just want my daughter to feel good about herself.” What if I told you there are 3 ways you can profoundly enhance your daughter’s self-esteem? And what if I told you these tips won’t take more time or cost you more money? Would you listen to me? Good -stay with me… I have help for you. First, let’s consider where you are coming from.
What happened in your childhood that damaged your self-esteem? Was mom Narcissistic, Borderline or have traits of these disorders? Perhaps she was depressed, alcoholic or simply beaten down by life? Did the way she raised you leave you feeling you were “not good enough”? If so, by her treatment or example, your self-esteem suffered. If you took on the role of the Good Daughter you learned to be good for mom at your expense. Now that you have your own daughter, you want more than anything to give her the self-esteem your mother never gave you.
How do you give to your daughter what you didn’t get? There is so much pressure on mothers today. You worry you will mess her up by 1) what you do 2) what you don’t do. You are exhausted by trying so hard and yet, once again, you end up feeling like it’s not enough, feeling that you’re not enough. It wasn’t good enough for your mother, and now you wonder if you are a good enough mom for your daughter. You feel like you can’t win. In over 30 years of counseling women in psychotherapy, I’ve learned mothers are exhausting themselves and mistakenly doing exactly the wrong thing to help their daughter’s self-esteem. I know a better way.
Here are 3 ways to increase your daughter’s self-esteem-
How to Give Your Daughter The Self-Esteem Your Mother Never Gave You
Transcript -( If you’d rather read)
Many mothers today are afraid, afraid for their daughters. Mothers want to give their daughters self-esteem. They had a lack of it from their own mothers. If you can relate, I bet you’re running your self-ragged trying to do the right thing, trying to be a good mom. The problem is, so much of what you expect yourself to do is backfiring on you, and I know why.
Why me? I’ve spent the past 30 years counseling mothers and daughters in psychotherapy.
I’ve learned a lot, seeing what can go wrong. Perhaps more importantly though, I’ve raised two girls to adulthood and lived to tell. I know what it feels like, to wanna strangle your daughter one minute and be willing to take a bullet for her the next. Here’s the advice I give to my clients and the advice I wished I could give to my younger self.
Number one, when you see your daughter struggling, don’t steal the lesson. When you swoop in and rescue and fix it too often you prevent your daughter from learning from her mistakes. It’s learning from mistakes and bouncing back that she learns resilience. And it’s knowing her successes are hers and hers alone, that she gains confidence.
Number two, your example is more powerful than your lecture. You tell your daughter, she is as good as anybody, then you put yourself last, you don’t set healthy boundaries. Your daughter is watching and taking notes. You then wonder why she can’t stand up to that mean girl, or why she can’t say “no” to that bad boy?
Number three, own your “no”. Learn how to say “no” and mean it. Say “no” to your daughter, say “no” to your own mother. Say “no” to those messages that are telling you, “You’re not a good enough mom. Unless you buy your daughter one more thing. Unless you provide her with one more opportunity. Unless you orchestrate one more over the top celebration.” Those same messages are telling her she isn’t good enough without straight teeth, hair and A’s.
As a psychotherapist, I’m telling you mothers and daughters are cracking under this pressure. The pressure to do it all and be it all. Anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction. And those are just the moms. Because, the truth is, as much as you like, you can’t live your daughter’s life for her. Trying is exhausting. You prevent her from truly growing up, and keeps you both locked in unending power struggles. How do you turn this around?
Know your worth, as a woman and as a mother. When you know your worth you can cheer from up in the stands, rather than run down onto the field. When you know your worth, you can prove your value. Instead of lecturing your daughter endlessly on hers. When you know your worth, you can say “no” with confidence, so you can show up for your “yes”.
In the next seven days:
- I’d like for you to resist over-helping.
- Do something for yourself, don’t apologize or explain.
- Say “no” to someone you love, kindly, but firmly. This will probably be hard. No, scratch that, this will be hard. But if you can parent from the place of self-esteem yourself, I think you’ll see the power struggles melt away.
This is the way, the only way that you can give your daughter that self-esteem that both you and I know she is going to need.
To find out if you are experiencing the Good Daughter Syndrome go here.
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