By Erica Rood, M.A. Ed.
What parent does not want his or her daughter to feel capable, worthwhile, content with herself, and confident in her future? Research has shown that parents play a significant role in the development of their daughter’s self esteem. The values and attitudes they model and teach are internalized by their daughters, and shape their daughters’ self-image and views of the world.
While parenting a daughter can be one of the most rewarding relationships, it can also be full of intense emotional extremes, especially during adolescence. At this time, a healthy and respectful relationship is the key to effective communication. You can lay a strong foundation of trust and respect by establishing open and honest lines of communication early in your daughter’s life. One way in which to do this is to share creative, inspiring experiences together, like yoga! But once you’re off the mat, how do you reinforce the positive, empowering messages you hear in a yoga class? Here are some tips for taking yoga off the mat.
Tip 1: Breathe together. Have some fun with different breathing techniques and notice how something as simple as the breath can diffuse an intense situation. Try big belly breaths, horse breath, buzzing bee breath, or alternate nostril breathing.
Tip 2: Empower her! In yoga poses, girls learn to strengthen both their mind and body. Foster her inner and outer strength by involving her in important decisions, reflecting healthy emotional reactions, and offering an open and receptive ear when she has something to say.
Tip 3: Model and practice balance. Your daughter cannot be more calm and relaxed than you. Be mindful of the stressors in your life and your reaction to them. Show your feelings while also showing how not to be overwhelmed by them.
Tip 4: Share an attitude of gratitude! Even when things seem bleak, find and focus on what’s right. It can be as simple as eating your favorite food or watching your favorite TV show. Become a Gratitude Buddy with your daughter. Each day, text, write, or share a gratitude with each other. Remember, it’s not so much about what you’re grateful for, but simply being grateful!
Looking for more inspiration? Join me at Inhale Yoga and Fitness for my Healthy Choices workshop on October 4. You and your daughter will enjoy kid friendly yoga, followed by open conversation, journaling, and a meaningful craft or cooking project. Each class ties into a specific topic and seamlessly weaves in important information on self-confidence, handling challenges, thinking positive, and setting goals. Empowered with information and support, girls will feel confident to make healthy decisions as teen years approach and independence beckons.
Learn more at www.inspirebalance.com