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Raising little girls is a unique job, and much of how we handle our daughters and model for them is ultimately what they will pick up. When preparing your daughter for womanhood, it’s really important to keep that in mind.

If we don’t model the right behavior for our daughters, we are setting them up for failure. When dealing with your daughter, try to remember the most important lessons that you have learned. It’s especially important to remember the things you wish you had learned sooner and the things you wish your mother had taught you, but didn’t. Get clear on your values, set a good example for your daughter, and make sure that you teach her the following things to prepare her for womanhood.

1. Stand up for what you believe in.

Always remind your daughter that she has a voice and that if she believes in something, she should stand by her beliefs, and not allow others to take her voice away. Too often, young women are raised to be people pleasers, which oftentimes results in them standing back on their own beliefs and opinions to make others happy. Make sure your daughter knows that standing firm on what she believes is more important than pleasing others.

2. Have respect for yourself, first and foremost.

So many young girls are being taught that their body is their worth. They see musicians and Instagram models who have absolutely no respect for themselves and they think that is what they need to be like to be accepted. In turn, many let their boyfriends degrade them because they don’t think they deserve better- because they don’t understand self-respect. Teach your daughter to respect herself and to always demand the respect that she deserves from others.

3. The importance of having good friends.

As parents, it’s our job to teach our children social skills. While much of this is done by having a healthy relationship with your child- it’s important to emphasize the value of a good friend or a group of good friends.

4. Your value is much more than what you look like.

When you are a female, there is so much emphasis put on how we look and there is immense pressure to be perceived as hot or beautiful. Unfortunately, society’s standards of beauty are unrealistic. Instagram models who have photoshopped themselves beyond recognition post images online, and little girls see that and wonder why they don’t look like that. They don’t realize that nobody really looks like that. However, the thing is- a woman’s value is so much deeper than her looks. It’s what is on the inside that matters (not to sound cliché’).

5. Life is full of choices, don’t let society hold you back.

Just because something isn’t traditionally a female path, does not mean that your child should feel limited. For example, if your daughter wants to be a mechanic, a welder or whatever the case may be, make sure she knows that she can do whatever she puts her mind to.

6. Finding love is more important than finding lust.

When kids first start exploring the realm of dating and connecting with the opposite sex, unless we talk to them openly and honestly, they are going to get their information from other kids. Much like the blind leading the blind- it’s likely they are going to accept things that are not necessarily true. Young girls are pressured so much by young boys to have sex, otherwise they are called a prude. Teach your daughter that sex should be the product of love, not vice versa. And that love is far more important than lust.

7. Men are different from us and that is okay.

It will help to put things into perspective if you explain to your daughter that men and women are different. Contrary to what many would have you believe-there are science backed differences between women and men, and it’s those differences that provide balance in the universe. Explain the differences between masculine and feminine, and why each of us have different strengths and weaknesses.

8. You don’t have to be in a relationship to be happy-work on you first.

Remind your daughter that it’s perfectly okay to be single and to work on building yourself up, before worrying about dating. While it’s okay to have a partner, to get married and all of that- it’s also okay to be single until you figure everything else out. Let her know there’s no pressure to rush.

9. Perfection is overrated.

Lastly, please let your daughter know that perfection does not exist. While we should always strive to do our best-our expectation should never be perfection, because if it is- you are setting yourself up for failure. Teach her the importance of doing her best and that mistakes and failure happen, but that there is always room to start over.