As parents, we are tasked with a pretty important job, part of which is to help provide emotional support to our children. Our daughters, most especially, need our help more than ever, and making sure to give the right support can make all the difference in the world.
A major portion of this task is providing the support that they need. Sometimes, the support that they need, may not be the support that we think they need. We are living in a world that grows more complex by the day. With each passing moment, our world is becoming an increasingly chaotic place. Social media, school bullies, boy troubles, societal expectations, and increasing responsibilities can make life stressful for our daughters. This is where we come in, to help them to work through these emotions and come out empowered on the other side.
Here are 6 ways to give your daughter the emotional support she needs.
1. Listen more, talk less.
Your first instinct as a parent may be to lecture your daughter. However, doing so will only push her to shut down or tune you out, especially if she isn’t ready to hear what you have to say. Instead, say, “I am all ears. Let’s sit down and talk. You can vent to me. What’s on your mind?”
2. Validate her emotions.
As she explains what is bothering her, do not trivialize what she is saying. Listen to her, and make sure she knows that how she is feeling is normal and completely okay.
3. Focus on what she can and cannot control.
Take note of what she can and cannot control in this situation. When it comes time to insert your advice and feedback, you can explain to her that while she may not be able to control x, y, and z, she can put her focus on a, b, and c. This will help her focus on what she can do, instead of allowing what she cannot to destroy her peace.
4. Ask her if she wants your advice.
Before you go off on a tangent, gently ask her if she wants your advice. If she does not, then hold onto it until she does. If you force it on her, she is not going to take it.
5. Don’t ignore signs of struggle.
If you notice your daughter’s grades suddenly falling, or notice that they are struggling in any area of their life, do not ignore it. This should be immediately addressed. The reason is, that at the beginning of her struggle if you help her then, instead of waiting, you are far more likely to be able to help her avoid some major additional struggles down the line.
6. Be sensitive & attuned, not parental or reactive.
No matter how hard it is- put your parental side away for a moment. Do not react strongly. Do not make faces or pass judgment or make her feel inferior. LISTEN TO HER.