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Six Phrases That Disempower Your Daughter

We all want the best for our daughter, right? The intention is so strong yet sometimes we really need to check ourselves and become aware of how our words and our actions may be adversely shaping her reality. As a mum to two young girls, I am the first to notice how my words and actions may be limiting my girls.

We all want the best for our daughter, right? The intention is so strong yet sometimes we really need to check ourselves and become aware of how our words and our actions may be adversely shaping her reality. As a mum to two young girls, I am the first to notice how my words and actions may be limiting my girls. Reminding myself that I want to raise girls who are aware of their own personal power and use it in ways to raise their own vibration and the energy of those around them keeps me in check.

"You're so pretty."

Consistently focusing on your daughter's outer appearances instead of her inner intelligence can be detrimental. Making her looks a primary focus creates unhealthy and unreasonable expectations of herself and invites her to put all of her energy into improving her outer beauty rather than expanding her mind. Alternative ways of acknowledging your daughter could be by saying "You're so strong," "You're so brilliant," "You're so kind." If you do want to compliment her outer appearance, find ways to highlight her natural beauty as it relates to her whole self so that you are not necessarily focusing on the features but rather on the person who possesses them. An example could be: I love the way you face lights up when you smile." What are some other positive statements you could use to compliment your daughter's inner light?

"I look awful!"

Every time you think or act in a way that is disrespectful to yourself, you are unintentionally setting your daughter up for a pattern of low self worth. You are her first role model and her first understanding of what it is to be a woman. She is always following all your cues. Even when you think low-quality thoughts about yourself, you are unintentionally acting in a way to validate those thoughts and bring those qualities to life. Choose your words carefully when describing yourself. Trash comments like "I'm so fat" or "I look awful today" because the main message that you are driving home for her is "I am not enough" and that is certainly not the lens through which you want your daughter to view herself. How can you create a more loving relationship with yourself?

"Stop crying."

Using phrases like this especially as our girls are moving through tough transformative phases of their lives, is basically sending the message that she should hide her emotions. It is my belief that it is through those emotions that we can create meaning and magic in our lives. The ability to express our authentic feelings is what makes us part of the human race while providing us with a connection point to ourselves and to others. Nurture your daughter's emotions by acknowledging and validating her, even when you don't understand or don't agree with her views. What's one way that you can honor your daughter's emotions?

"You need to be more girly."

So often we hear parents telling their kids to be more "girly" - what does this term really mean? Where does the line get drawn between a girl who likes to paint her nails and one who likes to play sports? Labels in all of their forms {girly, tomboy, the pretty one, etc} will only shove our daughters into a box that will overtime become impossible to break out of as when she should be transitioning and growing. Being a girl who likes to wear pink, do her hair and dance does NOT require a label. Being a girl who likes to play basketball, get her hands dirty and wear make-up does NOT require a label. Let's embrace and encourage our daughters to simply be who they are and do what they love as they evolve on their own path without the need pigeonhole them.

"Stop eating so much -- You're getting fat."

For the love of all that is good, do NOT call your daughter fat and do not teach her to tie her self worth to her size. This form of body shaming will only guarantee her a life lacking in self esteem and self love. As her mother, the value that she places on your words could be the trigger to a lifetime of eating disorders. Simply put - erase the word "fat" from your vocabulary. It serves no purpose and solves nothing. If you are truly concerned about her mental and physical health, provide her with healthy food options in the home, and engage her in healthy activities such as taking walks together, doing yoga together or cooking a nutritious meal together. How can you implement a more healthy lifestyle strategy in your home?

"You should be more like..."

By comparing your daughter to others, you are inviting her to always compare herself to everyone who crosses her path. That constant state of self scrutiny will keep her striving for a reality that is not her own and will instill an unrealistic marker for her to live up to. The last thing you want to do is to rob your daughter of her very essence. Instead encourage her to always be better than she was the day before. That is the only form of comparison that will promote her growth. When and if she compares herself to others, teach her to use those feelings as a source of inspiration; show her that that beauty that she notices in another person is only a reflection of her own light and all of the things that are also possible for her. How can you become more mindful of making comparisons?

Let's lead our daughters by example. Living their best life starts at home and starts with us. Never underestimate the value of your words and their capacity to empower your daughter to live a life that is aligned with all that is authentic and meaningful for her.

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Melody Pourmoradi is a Women's Life & Wellness Coach. She thrives on supporting women to nourish themselves mind, body & soul to become the best version of themselves. She currently lives in NY with her husband and her beloved twin daughters. In her newest passion project, she is creating a GiRLiFE Empowerment training for mothers, coaches and others who are on a mission of empowering young girls to live a life of happiness, peace & success. For more information: