My daughter had been looking forward to becoming a teenager for the longest time, and I sincerely cannot fault her cos most of us felt the same way at that age. However, we must prepare our daughters before they reach this beautiful milestone. Hence the reason for penning the eight things you need to prepare your daughter before teenagehood.
Since she was 9, my daughter excitedly talked about how she couldn’t wait to be a teenager. Seeing her chatter away about the things she would love to do was always fun.
One day, I asked her why she was excited about it. She said being a teenager meant she wasn’t a baby anymore and would soon become an adult. lol
I couldn’t imagine what she thought adulthood was about.
I wouldn’t hold it past her peers. They must have had conversations and made up tales about how cool it would be to become an adult and make your own decisions.
Well, it’s true; being an adult involves a lot of decision-making, which is why we have to teach and guide them.
Please note that this list is unexhaustive.
You can add to it.
1. Teach her to develop a habit of reading books
There is a famous saying that readers are leaders. Books expand our perspective on life. I taught my daughter how to read and enjoy a good story, take lessons from what she reads and apply them to the real world, and visualise and comprehend the main idea.
I taught her that her love for reading would take her far in life and it’s not just about reading academic books.
Also, invest in books specifically written for their age and development to prepare them for life and puberty. Here are some of the ones I got my girls since they were eight years old. We love these books as much as they reinforce everything we teach the girls.
2. Teach her to express her emotions
There was a time my daughter felt embarrassed because she used to get emotional and cry whenever she felt hurt. A few times, she got teased, making her feel terrible.
I had to sit her down a few times to tell her it’s a blessing to have these emotions. Sometimes it’s embarrassing to shed tears, but she must never feel less for herself for having these feelings, or worse, try to bottle up her feelings because it could worsen any feelings of anxiety or stress.
You will be amazed at how much teenagers struggle with anxiety issues, and at such a young age, they are already placed on anxiety pills. Parents are their safe place, allowing them to express their emotions naturally.
3. That every individual’s body is beautiful
It’s important to teach our kids that people come in different shapes, sizes and colours. Her body is beautiful, and when God made her, he looked at her and said, ‘Perfect!’
It’s okay to want to look your best, but she must never try to feel like she is imperfect or missing anything. True beauty lies in the heart, not in the face. God’s looks are the inner beauty and not the outward.
Teach her to dress moderately, eat moderately -primarily healthy foods and snacks, drink lots of water daily, and exercise daily. Then her body will look just the way it is intended for it to be.
Let her know the media may not always present as it is, so this should never be her standard.
Here’s our most-read post on choosing the best bra for her body type.
4. Never be afraid to fail.
There are lessons to learn from every failure. So when we fail, we must look for those lessons rather than stay defeated. It’s okay to fail. Most successful people fail often, but they succeed because they learnt from their mistakes and move forward instead of dwelling in the past.
Since this is not always easy, we as parents must keep encouraging and reinforcing these to them.
Please help them to create a study pattern early on so they can stay on task and meet deadlines when they grow older.
5. It’s okay to Say NO.
It’s okay to say no to anything she’s not comfortable with or when she has a bad feeling or feels unsafe about something.
Teach her how to stand up for herself and others, knowing what situations to avoid.
Tell her she can call you anytime, and you can even have a code/secret word she can use to avoid any embarrassment.
Above all, teach her to be assertive and not to fear anyone except God.
6. Learn to Manage her Money
It’s necessary to teach her about money. How to make money, how to make a budget and stick to it. Teach her to be content with what she has and not feel less of herself just because everyone has something she doesn’t have. And just because everyone has something, it doesn’t mean she has to have it.
Teach her to have savings and always keep money aside for unforeseen expenses. You can invest in a piggy bank for her, then begin to teach her little ways to invest for the future. She can start investing as little as $5 today. By the time she grows older, she will be smart enough to take control of her finances. Here’s a great piggy bank you can use.
7. Internet Safety and Privacy
The internet is a beautiful place to connect with friends and family, learn about the world, and find many opportunities. But it’s also full of predators, identity thieves, scammers and unsafe and uncensored content that could harm you.
Getting them aware of these dangers and teaching them how to be safe online is essential to keep your kids safe.
Teach them to think about their actions’ consequences and be alert to note when something feels off, and never send messages to unknown people they meet on the internet.
8. To Know And Love God
One of the best things you can do for your daughter early on is to introduce them to God as early as possible. It will save them from many headaches, heartache and life ache. I was introduced to God at a very young and when I look back now, I can only thank God and my parents. Now my favourite anchor scripture for this is:
This scripture tells you how important it is to expose our children to the word of God.
I hope this helps you and your daughter as you navigate life together. Thank you for reading. Please leave a message in the comment for us.