One thing I have discovered as a parent of girls over the past 15 years, is that one of the most important things you can establish as a parent, is a reliable, trustworthy and respectful bond, between yourself and your daughters.
They need to feel safe and secure in their family environment and you need to show by example the sort of women you want your daughters to be.
So with this in mind here are 10 things that every Mum should teach their girls
How to have confidence in yourself
One thing we all know about girls is their penchant for feeling a lack of self worth.
Whether they are comparing themselves to peers or to a magazine cover model, they are forever criticising their appearance or their performances to that of others. We need to reassure our girls that they are beautiful every day. Congratulate their achievements and efforts, even if the results were not what they expected. Encourage them to try new things and to breakout from their comfort zones.
How to be her own person
Peer pressure is an ever increasing problem. The desire to "fit in" and be popular sometimes overruns every other aspiration of a teenage girl.
Everyone has that innate desire to feel accepted and liked. We need to teach our girls is that if you genuinely like, accept and appreciate yourself, then others will naturally flock to you. Teach them that that little "inner" voice telling them something feels off in a situation, then you must listen to it.
Help make them feel confident enough to make their own decisions without the outside influence of others.
How to respect herself and others
I see too many teenage girls these days obsessed with boys and finding a boyfriend. It makes me wonder why this is?? Are they not getting the self validation at home and therefore need to seek it elsewhere? Do they feel incomplete if they are not part of a "couple" or are they just trying to find someone just because everyone else has a boyfriend and to be part of the crowd?
If your daughter does have a boyfriend, talk to her and make sure that she is not feeling pressured to do anything that she is not comfortable with. Help her to have the confidence and courage to say "NO" and encourage her to talk to you without the fear of reprisal or negativity.
If she has respect for herself then others will too and if they don't, at least she has the confidence and skills to remove that person from her life.
How to be self disciplined and self reliant
Get her to take responsibility for her own possessions, completing her homework and helping with the household chores while she is at a young age. This will help her later in her school life to have responsibility for her own learning and also to realise that "Mum" isn't always going to be there to make her bed and wash her clothes.
By doing this you are teaching her a valuable skill that will aid her in all aspects of her life and help her to become an independent young woman.
How to talk openly and honestly
I think one of the most important things between a parent and their daughter is to keep the lines of communication open. Teenagers and especially girls tend to keep things bottled up inside either because they feel too embarrassed to talk about it or they believe they can handle the problem themselves, even worse they are sometimes under the belief that if they ignore the problem and it will go away all on it's own.
Don't be embarrassed or scared to talk about even the most difficult of subject matters (Dad's this includes you too!!).
If you start this at an early age, later in the teenage years they won't be afraid to come to you for advice about anything that is going on their lives. I can't emphasise enough how very important communication is between a parent and a teenager.
How to be a good friend
Every girl needs a best friend, they are a great confidant, a person to share those life experiences with, to go shopping with and lets face someone who will be honest with you.
A friendship just like any other relationship needs to be valued and nurtured. Yes there are going to be times that the two of them won't get along or disagree on something, but knowing how to get past those times and appreciate each other as individuals and to consider each others feelings is a valued life lesson.
Aside from any future partner or a family relationship, the "Best Friend" is probably going to be the most important person in a young girls life.
How to wear make-up correctly
I see teenage girls continually walking around caked in make-up. Every single one of them doesn't need it to be beautiful. A nice, natural looking face with minimal eye makeup and maybe a bit of lip gloss is much nicer than looking at one covered in foundation, eyeliner and mascara.
All girls like to experiment with makeup, even as a little girl I was often caught rummaging through my Mums makeup draw. Experimentation is completely natural, let your girls experiment as much as they like within the confines of their own home, but don't be afraid to offer some constructive criticism if they go slightly overboard.
How to pen a "Thank You" Note
This is one aspect of society that seems to have taken a nosedive with the advent of the internet and social media. Emails and responses on Facebook seem to the norm these days as an effective form of written communication.
There is nothing nicer than receiving an official "Thank You" in the mail from a well received gift or sentiment. Taking the time to write one shows that you truly appreciate the effort made and you are happy to them let them know....old fashioned...yes.....but truly appreciated nevertheless.
How to "Dance Like No-ones Watching"
How many hours did we spend dancing in front of our mirrors and singing into our hairbrushes. Teach your girls not to be scared of letting you inner "Pop Star" out. I still let mine out occasionally much to their horror.
Apart from great fun!! It is also a great way to release tension and to blow off that little bit of extra steam.
Put on your favourite dance tracks and spend some time dancing around with your girls, you will have a ball!!
They will always be the life of the party!
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