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The Balancing Act

Empowering our girls often seems like a balancing act. How do we build their self-confidence and inner strength to navigate this crazy ever changing world? As mothers of today, we are navigating their exposure to social media, their academic pressures and the lack of emotional connection of our youth. All of these areas increase the difficulty of this balancing act.

As a mom of a 14-year-old girl, I am often faced with the daily struggle of helping her make decisions for herself and the gentle guidance that we as mothers must administer. It's that invisible and quite often not so clear path that we help our daughters follow. Like a surgeon with a scalpel, we must carefully guide our teenagers through the bumps and valleys in their lives. Exerting just enough pressure and allowing them to grow and make their decisions.

In order to appreciate them as individuals, we must also recognize and value some of the important influences in their lives. I think it goes in the following order: Number 3 is friends, number 2 is friends and the most important is friends. I know...that can be an uphill battle if not managed correctly. When I converse with my daughter on certain issues, it's maintaining relevance in her life without being overbearing. It's about showing her that I love her and that the feelings she shares with me are safe. In the midst of all of this, it's also helping her maintain her sights on the importance of academics and being successful in advocating for herself when necessary.

One of my most valuable tools when discussing topics with my daughter is listening. I try to stop what I'm doing and give her my full attention. Whether the topic seems nonsensical to me in nature, I give my ear to listen to the current on goings and discussions of her day. I lay the foundation for building trust and non-judgement. However, in the end it is all about giving her the tools to manage this ever changing world. The foundation of trust and love that I strive to create will hopefully help her perfect her balancing act as a young woman in this world and ultimately allow her to achieve whatever goals she might set for herself.

What are some of the tools you use with your daughter in helping her to navigate her world?