Teach your daughter to know, love, respect and revere her body.
- When she is young, name all her parts with respect including words like vulva, labia, anus.
- If you are mom who menstruates, connect with your cycle, and model to her how you attune to and care for yourself
- Teach her about how her body will change with puberty.
- Celebrate her first moon (her first menstruation).
- Teach and model that our bodies are sovereign – for instance, that we choose who gets close to us, and how and when and where.
- Call her Beauty-Full – meaning her Whole Self, not just her appearance
- Love your own body. For some of us, this is the work of a lifetime, but do your best. Definitely do not be overheard worrying about your weight.
- Teach her to view critically the messages about bodies and appearance that she sees and hears in the media and elsewhere. Tell her it is not true.
All these things are boundlessly valuable to your daughter.
You do not have to be perfect, but be clear in your intentions, and do your best to align your speech, actions, and thoughts with them.
I personally have plenty of “issues” about my body, but I did my best to teach and model all things positive, and now my 19 year old daughter thanks me for this. Yours will too.
~ Katharine Krueger