If you are a mother to daughters, I hope you already know what a privilege it is to shape future generations of women! While it's easy to get caught up with the everyday errands and chores of raising girls, don't lose sight of your influence. You have the chance to raise incredible women who will do incredible things.
With that in mind, I've created a list of 6 irreplaceable gifts that you can give to your daughter.
1. A record of your life
If you don't think your daughter wants to know your inner thoughts, I can assure you, she does (or will someday). Good or bad, mothers are an examples of what it means to be a woman. Girls learn about the world, about love and marriage, and about raising children from their mothers.
I'm the mother of two 13-year-old girls. One of them was adopted at the age of eight after being in the foster care system for several years. My daughter longs to know her mother's story. She may not know details about her birth mother, but I'm working to make sure she will know my story.
Whether you journal, scrapbook, record spoken words or videos, share your story with your daughters.
2. Acceptance and connections
Whether your daughter is two or 42, she wants to know that you are a safe place. Love and acceptance of who your daughter is (not who you want her to be) is a tremendous gift only a mother can give. This type of acceptance will not only grow her character, but will strengthen her confidence.
Maintain connection with your daughter - even when she frustrates you. That strong connection creates a friendship that can't be found in any other relationship.
3. Assurance of her worth and beauty
Our girls learn quickly that the world will judge them. They learn that character matters far less than physical appearance to many people. As moms, we can teach them about true beauty. We need to teach our daughters that outside beauty can't compare to the beauty of a woman who is filled with joy and knows her worth. The world will constantly try to tell our daughters that they aren't enough; empower her with a firm belief that she will always be enough, no matter what someone else tries to make her believe.
When our daughters are young, we tend to want to help them succeed, rather than fail. As mothers, we need to understand that it is crucial that our daughters learn how to fail, and move on with grace. Your little girl needs your permission to not be perfect. She needs to know that it's OK to make mistakes. Give her help when she truly needs it, but give her the gift of letting her fail once and awhile. Let her know that you believe in her no matter what, and then cheer her on to her next success.
5. Lessons about independence
It is easy to get caught in the trap of doing things for our kids because it is easier or because we love them and want them to "enjoy just being a kid." Childhood is a time filled with fun and adventure, but it is also the only training ground they get for life in the real world as an adult.
Teach your daughter how to care for herself, her home, her money, and her education. Teach her to create a household budget, interview for a job, keep a clean home, and manage a checking account. Show her how to balance her work and home life. You can do all these things while still allowing her to enjoy childhood.
Give her the gift of doing things the right way, instead of learning it all the hard way.
6. The power of legacy
At the end of your life, how you loved is the legacy you will leave behind. Teach your daughter that this is a legacy that is worth her time and effort. Help her learn to love well, to value people over things, and to give the gift of her time and gifts. Teach her that people are always more valuable than things, than work or even being right.
Show her by example that when you get the chance to honor someone with your time and attention, it is a worthwhile investment.
CESI is a not-for-profit that helps consumers achieve financial freedom by offering a complete life cycle of services: debt management, housing counseling, credit counseling, student loan counseling, financial education and pre/post-bankruptcy counselor.