10 Ways to Show Your Daughter you Value Her Emotional Health

10 Ways to Show Your Daughter you Value Her Emotional Health

“Your child’s mental health is more important than their grades.”

A while back, I shared a meme from the blog Wilder Child with the above quote and was touched and inspired by how much it spoke to people’s hearts.

I was inspired by the thoughtful comments people shared.

I reflected on how I want to show my daughter I value her mental health and personal measures of success over academic and mainstream ones.

I recalled the voices of the girls I’ve worked with over the past 15 years and how they all desired to be heard and to feel that their emotions are valued.

Here are the top ten:

10 ways to show your daughter you value her emotional health

1. Listen to her with compassion when she shares her feelings

Have you ever had a situation where your daughter shared something that upset her or frustrated her and to you, it was just no big deal? You couldn’t really get why she could feel sad about it, so the response comes out something along the lines of, ‘Don’t worry about it‘.

If you don’t personally value what she’s emotional about, it can be easier to be distracted about it and shrug it off.

If your daughter is genuinely emotional, it doesn’t matter if it’s because she lost an important friendship or her favorite hairbrush.

What matters is that you tune in and listen.

Parents of girls: here are 10 ways to show your daughter you value her emotional health as much as you value her academic success

Related Post: How to Keep the Lines of Communication Open with your Tween Girl

2. Let her experience the full intensity of her emotions

In a similar way to the above, when we as parents experience our children having intense, difficult emotions, we may instinctively want to help them by making it stop.

Honestly, when I hear my daughter crying, I also want it to stop so I won’t have to experience the pain of watching her go through pain.

I practice checking in with myself to remind myself it’s not about me and my discomfort. It’s about letting my daughter experience her true emotions without me interfering.

When we say things like, ‘You’re ok’, ‘It’s not that bad’, ‘Why are you so upset about that?’ ‘That’s not a big deal‘, it sends the message that the emotions themselves aren’t important and that they’re wrong to experience.

Here are some things you can say instead: 

‘I’m sorry that made you feel so sad, mad, jealous, etc.’

‘I can see that felt like a really big deal for you’ 

‘It’s okay to be (fill in the blank of any difficult emotion)’

3. Give her tools to manage her emotions

It’s important to help girls develop emotional management tools as early in their lives as possible.

It can be especially important that by the time girls are tweens, they’ve developed a core toolkit of strategies to manage their emotions. As they grow into teens and develop abstract thought on top of shifting hormones, they need to have the skills ready to deal with the new thoughts and intensity of emotions they will soon experience.

Related post: Creative Ways to help your Tween Girl Manage her Emotions

Here’s a video I made about ways to help your daughter manage big emotions.

PS- It’s 13-minutes long and has captions. 🙂

4. Value your Self-Care

This can be one of the hardest ones for moms to wrap their brains around. It’s like there’s an inherent mom guilt built in that tells us that unless we’re giving all our free moments to our children, we’re not doing our best.

I get it.

I struggle with offering time to myself for self-care every day. Even though I can be fully confident in writing this to other moms and even though I’ve seen time after time in my own life and those of my clients, students, friends and family, I still struggle to believe that my self-care will lead me to being a better parent.

So, I aim to be mindful about it every day.

To hold myself accountable to believing in its importance and to creating space for self-care even when I have to keep asking my guilt to beat it the whole time.

I also openly talk with my daughter about the value of giving ourselves time to do whatever brings us joy and helps us relax.

I suggest for you to try the same and see how it goes.

Related Post: How to Teach your Tween Daughter how to Value Self-Care

5. Encourage and empower her to do her best

I believe that our children should all have the comfort of knowing that we’re their biggest fans.

Even if she doesn’t share them openly, or know quite what they are yet, she has big dreams and goals.

When you encourage your daughter to do her best and empower her with the tools she needs to do so, it helps her create the foundation of self-confidence that helps her stay connected to her best self even when she’s going through a difficult time.

Related Post: 108 Positive Affirmations to Empower Girls

6. Let her know her best is good enough; she is good enough no matter what

When we help our girls strive to be their best, there can often be a connection made that doing your best equals being perfect.

This is NOT the message we want to send in order to shift away from the good girls culture, where there is often a relentless feeling of pressure girls experience to be perfect and successful across all areas as the only way to be ‘good enough’.

That’s why it’s crucial to balance out your supporting her striving to do her best with an honoring of who she is no matter what happens.


7. Show her you accept her just the way she is

Something I hear often from girls I work with is that they don’t feel like their parents accept them for who they really are, from things like their interests, to their ability level, to appearance.

This is one of the biggest things I’d like to help change. And, it’s one of the biggest things I focus on with my own parenting.

Here are some reflection prompts to help support you in taking steps to fully accept your daughter for who she is:

Do I ever tell my daughter not to like something or wear something just because I personally don’t like it?

How can I take one step to shift the focus to why she cares about those things? 

Do I ever get frustrated because my daughter isn’t learning something quickly enough or doing it the way I would do it? —

How can I take one step to value her pace and approach?

8. Laugh

It’s just as important to create space for positive emotions as it is for difficult ones.

Don’t forget to have fun and LAUGH with your girls!

Laughter has amazing health benefits. Did you know there’s such a thing as laughter yoga and meditation? Check out this laughter meditations for kids for some ideas.

9. Play

Creating space for play is so important for supporting emotional health.

One crucial reason we need to teach the value of play is to help balance out the growing epidemic of stress and anxiety girls face today.

You can also learn essential life skills through play that support emotional health, such as building confidence, social skills and growth mindset.

10. Love

“All you need is love.” – The Beatles

I’m going to let one of my favorite bands speak for me on this one. If you lead with this, it will guide all the rest.


Ever wonder where to start when it comes to the best ways to support your daughter’s emotional health?

I’ve put together a 20+ page guidebook for moms who want to take a conscious, intentional approach to parenting their tween girls. It includes:

  • Valuable information and tips
  • Worksheets to gain clarity and set goals
  • Affirmations and quotes to keep you inspired
  • Creative games and activities to do with your daughter

6 Responses to 10 Ways to Show Your Daughter you Value Her Emotional Health

  1. Great article. I think all of this applies to boys too and doesn’t need to be so gender specific to girls. Tweens need support learning how to deal with their emotions in order to be empowered as adults in today’s world.

    • Thank you! I agree with you that these suggestions could apply to boys too. I’m currently focusing my work on supporting girls’ emotional development as a way to support the unique aspects of their journey. I have some plans for ideas to expand in the future 🙂

  2. I loved these Ideas, but was sad to think boys were excluded. Our society has pushed them so far behind in emotional development. They need to be included and children who do not identify with gender, as well.

    • thank you for your comment. I agree with you that it’s hugely important for boys to be supported in emotional development. My work at this time focuses on supporting girls’ development, specifically to help change the narrative that girls lose their self-esteem between the ages of 9-12. In this current moment in time, I also think that there are nuances to how to best help boys and girls because of how differently they are treated, perceived and brought up with respect to emotional development. I’m planning a project in boys’ emotions for 2020. And currently, there is some excellent work being done out there to support boys in building healthy emotional development. My mentor Niobe Way is one of them. Judy Chu does amazing work in this area. I also like the FB page Raising Feminist Boys. I hear you too about the importance of including those who don’t identify with gender and will continue to explore ways I can be more inclusive with my work at the same time as honoring the need to support individual differences.

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