Teaching by Example: Helping Your Daughter Find Positive Female Role Models

Strong family relationships help children transition into stable and mature adults, but these relationships are especially crucial during the teenage years. Your child’s associates will strongly influence their morals, self-esteem and confidence. Unfortunately, with our media-driven culture, many teens look up to entertainers, sports figures and other celebrities as their role models. While not all of these negatively influence your children, they might not always be the best choice for your child to emulate.

The Importance of Mentors for Teens

Teenagers learn by watching and observing others. As a parent, you want to make sure your teen has positive role models to look up to and follow.

Fortunately, more than 75 percent of America’s children say they look up to family members, teachers and community leaders as their role models. Teenagers who identify with role models they know personally show stronger academics and higher levels of self-esteem .

Positive role models help shape the well-being and developing body image of your teenage daughter. She is more likely to face issues with eating disorders, sexual harassment, relationship issues and bullying. While you might assume you have an open dialogue with her, sometimes she might feel more comfortable talking to someone else for guidance and support.

You want your teenage daughter to have someone to look up to with the same values and virtues that you wish to instill in her. Role models should have positive characteristics, such as leadership and morals. The transition from childhood to adolescence is extremely challenging.

Teachers and coaches powerfully influence your teen. With a focus on education, teachers can instill intellectual curiosity and the drive for educational advancement. Coaches emphasize the value of fitness, sportsmanship and team effort.

How Working Mothers Help Their Daughters

While it is difficult to achieve balance between home and work, professional women serve as great role models for their daughters. Harvard Business School released a study in 2015 stating that children, especially daughters, benefit from mothers with a career. On average, daughters with working mothers were paid 4 percent more than their peers and were more likely to be promoted into senior positions.

Ways to Impact Your Daughter

While a system of supportive role models can positively impact your teen daughter’s life, you are the best role model for your child. Try the following tips:

  • Practice safety and behavior that you want her to emulate.
  • Teach kindness and empathy.
  • Focus on listening.
  • Set appropriate boundaries.
  • Show her love and understanding while ensuring that she is surrounded by positive influences with her best interests in mind.
  • Keep the lines of communication open.
  • Let her know that she can always approach you without fear of judgment.

If you find that your teen is hanging out with the wrong crowd, consider seeking outside help to get them back on track. Raising a troubled teenager can be difficult, and often traditional help from you and the community is not enough. Now is the time to intervene and find a program that will best fit your teenager’s unique needs.

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