You’ve been blessed with a beautiful baby girl, and want her to grow up as a strong, independent, and successful woman.
While you’re doing a pretty good job trying to keep your cool, sometimes you lose it. You end up saying hurtful things that can have a lasting impact on your daughter.
Your encouraging words can work wonders and help her feel secure in herself.
On the flip side, some things you say to her may sound innocent, but they can cut like a knife and scar her for a lifetime. Negative talk increases stress levels, and you don’t want your daughter dealing with extra stress.
It’s essential to know what you should never say to your daughter and what you should often say to make her feel loved and supported.
Need a list to get an idea?
Read on! I’ve got you covered.
10 Things A Mother Should Never Say To Her Daughter
It doesn’t matter how tempted you are; there’re a few things you should never say to your little girl. Let’s get right into them, shall we?
What’s wrong with you?
When your daughter is upset, you should ask her what’s wrong to make her feel better.
You need to lose weight/You’re getting fat.
You want your little girl to grow up as an independent woman with high self-esteem.
If you keep telling her to watch her weight and what she’s eating all the time, she’ll become self-conscious. It may also lead to her thinking that not having an ideal body means she’s not beautiful.
You’re dramatic/sensitive for no reason.
It doesn’t matter how silly you think her problems are, do not discount her feelings. Instead, have a heart-to-heart. She must feel like her emotions are valid, and she can talk to you whenever something happens.
Also, let her cry and express her feelings instead of shutting her down.
I told you so
So you warned your daughter to keep away from someone or something. They didn’t listen to you, and something went wrong.
In a situation like that, your first instinct might be to say, ‘I told you so.
If you rub it in her face, she’ll be scared to share anything with you whenever things go sideways.
You’re impossible/You’ll never be any different.
You’ve told her 100 times not to do something, but she keeps making the same mistake. Now, if you tell her she’s never going to change, it implies that she’s incapable of improving things.
Experts suggest not to use words like ‘always’ or “never’ so that your girl has a window of opportunity to improve.
I wish you were more like (insert someone’s name)
Comparing your daughter to their siblings or other kids is one of the most psychologically damaging things you can do to your girl.
It attacks their sense of self-worth and confidence if you say that you want them to be more like somebody else. It stresses them out and lowers their self-esteem.
I’m disappointed in you.
Ouch! It doesn’t matter how disappointed you are; you should never say this to your kids. She certainly needs to know how her actions weren’t ideal and can’t continue doing them.
But saying you’re disappointed in her can make her feel like a total failure.
Instead, tell her how unhappy you feel with what she did and how she can do it differently next time.
Behave like a Girl, will you?
When you’re criticizing your daughter for acting like a Tomboy and telling her to:
…in a ‘ladylike’ manner, you’re reinforcing gender stereotypes while hurting her self-esteem.
Girls can’t do everything/That’s not a woman’s job
I’ll leave you right here.
It’s tempting to threaten her to get her moving when she won’t leave her friend’s house or the supermarket after you’ve repeatedly asked her.
Since you aren’t going to do this, veiled threats like this will do more harm than good.
Also, refrain from saying things that demean her effort or question your love for her.
- I don’t love you.
- You could do better.
- You’re too selfish/needy.
- Stop being such a baby.
- You’re making that up.
- You’re the smartest.
- It’s my way or the highway.
- You don’t want to make me angry.
- You’re dumb/stupid.
- Shame on you.
Negative talk will have a lasting impact.
As they keep growing, your frequent criticism or veiled threats, along with the comparison with others, negatively affect your child’s cognitive development.
Children who grow up in an environment where they feel judged all the time tend to put very high expectations on themselves and others.
This will affect all aspects of her life, including her future relationships.
Unfortunately, sometimes our well-intentioned words and actions can have a negative effect. One of the most destructive things mothers can say is to inadvertently contribute to their daughters’ negative body image.
Body-shaming comments, whether intentional or not, can have a profound impact on a young girl’s self-esteem and self-worth.
From an early age, girls are bombarded with messages about how they should look, weigh, and present themselves to the world. And all too often, those messages are negative.
As a result, many girls develop a distorted view of themselves and their bodies, leading to a lifetime of negative self-talk and self-doubt.
When moms comment negatively about their daughter’s bodies or appearances, it can reinforce the idea that there’s something wrong with them and that they’re not good enough. It can also contribute to developing disordered eating habits and an unhealthy preoccupation with weight and body size.
Even positive comments that focus primarily on weight or physical appearance can also be harmful by teaching young girls that their worth is based on their appearance. This can lead to an obsession with diet and an unhealthy focus on weight and appearance.
Instead, mothers should focus on fostering healthy habits, such as clean eating and regular exercise.
Dismissive or Disrespectful Comments
The effects of this kind of communication can be devastating to a young girl’s sense of self-worth.
Imagine being constantly told that your opinions and feelings aren’t valid, that your ideas aren’t worth considering, or that you’re incapable of achieving your goals. This kind of dismissive language sends the message that your daughter’s thoughts and feelings don’t matter and that she’s not worthy of respect.
Over time, this can erode her confidence and self-esteem, making her feel invisible and worthless.
When moms use disrespectful language, it also teaches a daughter that it’s acceptable to speak to others in that manner. This can lead to a cycle of disrespectful communication, where the daughter internalizes these negative messages and begins to use the same language and tone with herself and others.
On the other hand, using respectful and empathetic language can positively impact a daughter’s self-worth. By listening to and valuing her thoughts and feelings, a mother shows her daughter that she is worthy of respect and that her opinions matter.
By teaching empathy, moms can also help their daughters understand and respect the perspectives of others and develop healthier relationships with those around them.
In short, the words moms use have a powerful impact on how our daughters see themselves and the world around them.
So, choose your words wisely and strive to communicate with respect, empathy, and understanding.
Your daughters’ self-worth and sense of self depend on it.
It’s only natural to want to see our children succeed and be proud of their accomplishments. But when it comes to daughters, it’s important to be careful about how we express that pride and avoid comparing them to others.
The harm of comparing a daughter to others, whether a sibling, a friend or a random person, can profoundly impact her self-esteem and self-worth.
Constant comparisons can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem, causing her to doubt her abilities and to feel like she’s never good enough. It can also lead to a constant need to compete and to be the best, which can be emotionally and mentally draining.
On the other hand, even positive comparisons can be harmful. For example, praising her for being the “smart one” among her peers can pressure her to maintain that reputation and make her feel as if her worth is tied to her intelligence. This kind of pressure can lead to a fear of failure and discourage her from taking risks and trying new things.
Instead of comparing your daughter to others, you should focus on recognizing and celebrating their unique qualities and talents. By doing so, we are encouraging them to develop their individuality and to be proud of who they are.
This will give them the confidence to try new things, take risks and build a more positive self-image.
In short, as a mom, one of your jobs is to build up and support your daughters, not to tear them down.
Let’s encourage them to be their best selves and to focus on their personal growth and development rather than compare them to others.
What mothers should tell their daughters instead
You should encourage your daughter to dream big! To overcome whatever life throws at her with confidence.
Say things like:
I’m proud of you.
We all make mistakes and learn from them. What matters is if we’ve given it our best shot. So if your daughter screws up, let her know you’re proud of her for trying so hard instead of scolding her.
Positive parenting is much better for the soul…
I love you no matter what.
She needs to know that your love is unconditional and doesn’t solely depend on her success or good behavior.
I knew you could do it.
Instead of always pushing her to be perfect, teach her to be consistent and let her know you have faith in her.
Cheer her on and celebrate her wins, however small they are.
You’re on the right track.
Teach her not to give up in the face of adversity, tell her how great she’s doing, and inspire her to keep moving forward.
It’s not practical to expect yourself to stay in control of your emotions all the time. Your daughter will inevitably push your buttons occasionally.
Kids have a good handle on making you angry, don’t they?
So, don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember that you’re shaping her personality with your words and actions.
So, whatever you say or imply, let your child know that you’re coming from a place of love, and she’ll turn out just fine.