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How to be a Positive Role Model for Your Daughter

With a daughter entering her teen years you may be feeling like she hears what you say less and less. It's perfectly normal for her to be forming unique opinions about her world. And while she may not hang on your every word like she did as a toddler, she is probably still watching and noticing how you handle your life. This is a great time to lead by example and become a role model for the way you want your daughter to behave.

Be a problem solver by looking for resolutions to problems rather than spending time complaining about them. It’s easy to point the finger at someone or something else when problems arise but this rarely helps. Instead, accept the situation as it is and move to find a solution. When it’s appropriate you can do some of your problem solving out loud for your daughter to hear.

Avoid gossip and be direct in your communications. Pay attention to how you talk about other people even if it’s someone that you don’t know personally. Media messages around physical appearances leave girls vulnerable to competition with each other. Set an example of unity and inclusiveness. When squabbles arise between friends it’s always best to talk to that person or persons directly.

Strive to maintain consistent habits and routines around mealtimes, bedtimes and exercise. Between school and extra curricular activities your daughter’s life may be getting more and more hectic making it hard for her to fit everything in. Reinforce the importance of self care by doing it yourself. Even when we are very busy we should never skimp on keeping our own tanks full.

Being a role model for your daughter doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect. We are all human and it is OK for your daughter to see you make mistakes along the way. Think resiliency, not perfection. Keep reaching for the higher goal but accept yourself even when you don’t quite reach it. Having empathy for ourselves will greatly increase our capacity to have empathy for others. Thinking of yourself as your daughter’s role model can be an enriching life experience for both of you.