You’ve been blessed with a beautiful baby girl and you 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 and 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 of the things you say to her may sound totally innocent on the surface, 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, right?
So, it’s really important to know what are the things you should never say to your daughter and what you should say often to make her feel loved and supported. You need a list to get an idea?
Read on! I’ve got you covered.
Table of Contents
- 10 Things A Mother Should Never Say To Her Daughter
- What’s wrong with you?
- You need to lose weight/ You’re getting fat
- You’re being dramatic/sensitive for no reason
- I told you so
- You’re impossible/ You’ll never be any different
- I wish you were more like (insert someone’s name)
- I’m disappointed in you
- Behave like a Girl, will you?
- Girls can’t do everything/ That’s not a woman’s job
- I’ll leave you right here
- Negative talk will have a lasting impact
- What mothers should tell their daughters instead
- I’m proud of you.
- I love you no matter what.
- I knew you could do it.
- You’re on the right track.
10 Things A Mother Should Never Say To Her Daughter
Doesn’t matter how tempted you are, there’re few things you should never say to your little girl. Let’s get right into them, shall we?
What’s wrong with you?
Well, when your daughter is upset you should definitely ask her if something’s wrong so that you can make her feel better.
But, if you say this after she’s made a mistake, she’ll start doubting herself and believe that she’s not good enough and there’s something fundamentally wrong with her.
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 and think that not having an ideal body means she’s not beautiful.
You’re being dramatic/sensitive for no reason
Doesn’t matter how silly you think her problems are, don’t discount her feelings by saying things like this. Instead, have a heart to heart so that she feels like her emotions are validated 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’. But, if you rub it in her face like that, she’ll be scared to share anything with you whenever things go sideways in the future.
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 making things better.
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.
If you say that you want them to be more like somebody else, it attacks their sense of self-worth and confidence. It stresses them out and lowers their self-esteem.
I’m disappointed in you
Ouch! Doesn’t matter how disappointed you really are, you should never ever say this to your kids. She certainly needs to know how her actions weren’t ideal and she can’t continue doing them.
But, saying that 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 dress, sit, and talk in a ‘ladylike’ manner you’re reinforcing gender stereotypes while hurting her self-esteem.
You don’t want to hinder her growth by forcing her to fit into the ideal image of a real lady created by society.
Girls can’t do everything/ That’s not a woman’s job
Sure your little girl can do anything she sets her mind to and you should tell her that. But, the moment you make it a gendered issue, you put them in a box that limits their potential.
Forget societal pressure and let her break free from the deep-rooted sexism by allowing her to do and learn whatever she’s passionate about.
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.
However, since you actually 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 make her question your love for her such as-
- 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
If you think that your negative words mean nothing to your daughter since she doesn’t seem to listen to whatever you say and your constant nagging falls into deaf ears, I’ve got news for you.
Children get affected when they’re yelled at even before they start communicating and responding to it.
Maybe you’re not yelling at your daughter. You don’t need to. If the way you speak to her makes her feel inferior and criticized all the time, your daughter will start to internalize the negative talk and believe them.
As they keep growing, your frequent criticism or veiled threats along with the comparison with others affect your child’s cognitive development negatively.
Young girls see themselves through their parent’s eyes and if your daughter feels like she isn’t enough and can’t live up to your expectations, she’ll end up feeling alone, unloved and unheard.
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.
What mothers should tell their daughters instead
You want to encourage your daughter to dream big and 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, instead of scolding her, let her know you’re proud of her for trying so hard.
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.
To 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 and it’s inevitable that your daughter will push your buttons occasionally.
Kids have a good handle on making you angry, don’t they?
So, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just remember that you’re shaping her personality with all of 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.