What is it like to be a woman? What type of woman do I want my daughter to become? I ask myself these questions and find myself growing within the process too.
Helping a young woman find her feminine balance is not an easy task. When helping a teen in my office navigate this path, I take the job very seriously. What responsibility we have, those of us who offer guidance to girls of all ages. How much of our guidance comes from our own pasts? Our own experiences.
Helping Teen Girls Evolve Their Core Identity
How can a girl know who she is in her relationships if she is unsure of whom she truly is? One of my favorite things to do in the therapy office is to help middle and high school girls identify and evolve their authentic selves; to piece by piece develop that core identity. I can’t tell you how many times I have received a phone call from a parent looking for a particularly labeled therapy to stop their daughter from cutting or thinking about suicide. SO many times, I find myself coming back to helping these girls love themselves and become in touch with their core identity
When girls practice being a woman, they make conscious decisions to bridge the lives of today with their lives of tomorrow. Children learn that babysitting is practicing to be a mother and diligence with chores is practicing to be a reliable employee and loving a sibling is practice for loving a spouse. None of it matters if our girls are not well rooted in who they are.
Our Responsibility to Model What it is Like to be an Authentic Woman
Finding the Portal into Our Girls' Feminine Worlds
I find myself brainstorming with parents of teens often to help them identify these doorways. Some children are more open in the car, others become vulnerable and connect when alone with the parent at a restaurant. I remember one mom of a distant teen found value in climbing into bed with her daughter to have night chats in the dark.
Look for the portal into your child’s world. Although it is often camouflaged with brush and other prickly bushes, chances are it does exist. Girls do not learn to navigate life on their own, but they will find information both right, wrong, helpful and detrimental. It is our job as parents and the helping professionals in their lives to guide them and teach them how to be authentic and women they can respect and love.