When you give birth to a baby girl, you can’t think of anything more precious than your daughter! You just can’t get your eyes off that tiny bundle of joy! As she grows up, you dress her up in pretty clothes, braid her hair, and teach her how to walk, talk, sit and behave! You think of all the things you want to do for her when she grows up! Deep inside, there is a thought scares you the most – the fact that she will leave you one day & find a home of her own!
Amidst all this, you might unintentionally neglect how she feels about everything around her, how she is when she’s not at home and not around you. Take out time to find out the different thoughts running through her mind! Even if she is just a baby, there are some things she needs to hear from you. These words will mould her in ways you would not believe. There are facts about people and things that will matter in the future and she should be exposed to them as early as possible in life. This is not just to keep her safe, but to groom her into a beautiful and confident young lady.
Things That Your Daughter Would Love to Hear from You First
1. “You’re no less than a son!”
The last thing you want your daughter to feel is that she is not as good as her brother, cousins, or her neighbour’s son! No doubt, most families have gotten out of the phase where the desire for a baby boy reigned supreme, but Indian girls and women are still compared to boys & men in numerous fields. She may not come to you saying that she feels left out, not now, neither in the future. It’s your job to tell her that she isn’t less capable than a boy, and she need not limit her dreams based on her gender. Tell her about her good qualities and how much you admire her spirit. She needs to know now that she’s smart enough and there’s nothing that can stop her solely because she is a girl!
2. “Beauty lies on the inside.”
Soon enough, your daughter will start wearing pretty earrings and painting her nails for fun. While all this is very attractive, you should make sure that she is aware of what actual beauty is! Now is the time to teach good values to your daughter. She should hear from you that no matter how pretty her dress is, her kind heart is what makes her beautiful. Emphasise on the importance of honesty and caring for others. Teach her how to share and think about others as well. One of the best ways to inculcate this is by allowing her to feed birds and water plants. She will develop a sense of love for nature as well as humans!
3. “Intelligence is attractive.”
Young girls get carried away easily with appearances easily, even before puberty. Your daughter might be interested in growing out her hair or wearing pretty clothes. She may live by example, the one that you might be setting for her. Put one thing out in the open for her to understand – there is nothing more attractive than intelligence. This does not solely mean doing well in school or performing well in exams. Push her to be smart and observant. Teach her how to analyse different situations and think out of the box! She will definitely admire this skill when she grows up, in herself and in others!
4. “Round pegs & square holes are beautiful too!”
You should be the one telling your daughter that nobody is perfect. Tell her for a fact that she, too, is not perfect and that it is absolutely okay. The ultimate aim of life, after all, is not to achieve perfection, but to accept our flaws and flaunt our uniqueness. You need to tell her that even though chasing excellence is good, what’s important is for her to accept and love herself. Once she accepts her tiny imperfections and works on correcting them, only then can she grow up to be the best version of herself.
5. “Kindness is an essential quality.”
You would love to see your baby girl grow up to be a kind, loving woman, wouldn’t you! But compassion is not something you can teach her later in life. Now’s the time to teach her how to love others around her. Be it her elder sibling or her parents & grandparents; she should be kind to all. Lead her by example by being helpful to those around you, even strangers! She will merely mirror your actions now, but later in life, she will truly appreciate good values and the importance of a pure heart.
6. “Your life, your rules!”
It’s natural to care for and protect your baby girl, especially in a society where you can barely trust your neighbour! She might not always like you telling her what to do, and what not to do. Give her your word – tell her that when she grows up, she will not have to be told what to do and how to live. Tell her that no man or woman will have (or should have!) that kind of authority over her. She will be free to choose the kind of life she wants to live, and she will make her own rules; she’ll just have to ensure that neither she nor anyone in her life faces any harm due to those rules. Tell her now that she can live as she wants after she crosses a particular age. Trust us, she will look forward to that birthday!
7. “Your voice is significant.”
During family get-togethers and social gatherings, and for that matter, even in our daily lives, we get so distracted that we often turn a deaf ear towards what our children want to say! It’s only human to do so, but a child may feel that her voice is going unheard. You need to ensure that your little girl doesn’t feel this way. Give your daughter a chance to express her views. Encourage her to speak up when she wants to! Don’t mix this up with any tantrums that she might put forth when she doesn’t get her way, though. Whenever she comes to you to say something, no matter how busy you are, take some time to listen and respond to her.
8. “Not every person you know is trustworthy.”
This is one essential lesson all girls should learn at a young age. It’s up to you when you choose to educate her about the concept of the ‘good & bad touch’. But when you tell her, teach her that no other man or woman apart from her immediate family can be trusted. No uncle, no grandpa, not even her best friend’s brother! Make it very clear to her that she can only trust her parents and siblings when it comes to personal stuff. She should know right now that the world can be a dangerous place and that there are very few who genuinely care for her well-being.
9. “You can trust me with all your secrets.”
Kids often end up fearing their parents, either their mother or father (or both!). It can be plainly because of something they said or did, or maybe, their absence is the very reason behind kids thinking that they cannot speak to their parents about their problems. Make sure your daughter does not fear you! Be it a tiny fight at school or a glass she broke accidentally, make sure you create a bond where you are the first to know about such things! It may be about small things now, but she should have a sense of security right from this age. She should see you protecting her, supporting and encouraging her throughout. If you must correct her, let her know why you are doing so, and at a time she is not emotionally vulnerable. You’ll be surprised at how mature a child she can be when corrected the right way.
10. “Be yourself!”
Your baby girl might find herself lost trying to imitate her beautiful elder cousin or aunt! She might feel intimidated or even jealous without you even realising it. She might emulate the woman she likes, but you have to be there for her when she does. Tell her she’s beautiful and smart and that a bright future awaits her. Tell her that she is unique in her own way; she is irreplaceable. Introduce to her, her skills and unique talents so that she knows right from a young age that she has a lot to offer without having to emulate somebody else.
11. “Be someone who can be trusted.”
It’s no secret that young girls often turn towards gossip! They learn something about someone and immediately spill it out to the other. Teach her now what being reliable means! Let her know that she should not be the kind of girl who gets carried away with chit-chat, letting out everybody’s secrets. Tell her that she should be a girl everybody can trust. Teach her what being a true friend means. Real-life examples will work best!
12. “Smile more often.”
Tell your daughter that she has the prettiest smile. Tell her how you love to see that smile, and that the sight of her tears or her sulking face hurts you. Make her feel special and say this to her every day. This will surely boost her confidence, and through her eyes, she will start seeing herself for the extraordinary, beautiful child she is. While she should know that it is okay to be overwhelmed with emotion, she will also know just how special she is and that confidence will stay with her all her life.
13. “Your failures shouldn’t stop you!”
Your daughter is young and full of life. But there will be moments when she will doubt her potential. Be it while learning to ride a bike or taking a new dance lesson, she will have her moments of doubt. Before she does, be there to tell her that there is nothing that she cannot do! Teach her about failures and how they are the stepping stones to success. She should hear from you that constant practice is what will help her achieve what she truly wants.
14. “The world is not fair!”
There’s a well-known phrase that reads, “If you expect the world to be fair with you, just because you’re fair, then you’re fooling yourself! It’s like expecting a lion not to eat you because you didn’t eat him!” Just like that, make her totally aware of the people out there and how different their views & opinions can be from that of hers! Now’s the time to prepare her, to tell her that she will have to be tough when she grows up! She will have to deal with all kinds of people in the world. Gently bring to her notice that she will have to be kind, but without expecting the same in return. This will save her a lot of disappointment and teach her a healthier approach to meeting people with different values than her.
15. “Follow your dreams.”
Make it very clear to your child that she is free to do whatever she wants when she grows up! No one should force her to get into a particular college, to join the family business, or marry a specific guy! Her life will be what she wants it to be; surely you will be there to guide her and support her, but the ultimate decision about her life’s matters will be hers and hers only! She should hear from you that she will get the liberty to follow her dreams.
So go ahead and say each of these things to your beautiful baby girl. Not just once or twice, but every single day! She needs to hear this from you. Trust us, this will boost her confidence in unimaginable ways. These simple lessons can prepare her for life, and hesitate not, for her childhood is the right time to start talking about stuff like this. Young minds are the most impressionable and thus, are easy to mould! If your baby girl is not yet of the age where she can comprehend all these things, write a letter to her mentioning the above and hand it over whenever you feel is the right time! Just know this, she will thank you for each lesson when she grows up to be a young, confident woman!