The more you can engage your teen daughter in open and honest conversation about what’s going on in her life—the good, the bad, and the ugly, the smoother her journey towards adulthood will be.
The key to accomplishing this?
Asking the right questions.
And since October is “Let’s Talk Month” I thought I’d share: The 3 Questions You Need to Ask Your Daughter…
1. How does she feel about herself?
- Does she consider her self-worth low or high?
“Growing up, I always had self-esteem issues. As soon as I became a teenager, I began looking for love in all the wrong places. Each time it ended up the same way. With me hurt and my self-esteem even lower.”
It’s important to periodically gauge how your daughter feels about herself because there’s a direct correlation between her level of self-worth and the decisions she’ll make when it comes to love, sex, and relationships.
If her self-worth is high, she’s more likely to make decisions that are in her BEST interests.
If her self-worth is low, the opposite is true.
So, here’s what I tell my students:
Having sex oftentimes has more to do with how you feel about yourself than how you feel about the person you’re having sex with. When I’m told, ‘I had sex to show him how much I loved him,’ my response is, ‘But, what are you going to do to show yourself how much you love you? Because when you love YOU, you protect YOU. When you love YOU, you don’t make decisions that could ruin your health and jeopardize your chances of reaching your dreams and goals. So, forget about showing anyone how much you love them until you show yourself how much you love yourself.
No matter how your daughter responds, be sure to encourage her to show herself how much she loves herself FIRST.
“You taught me a lot about self-worth. If I do not know my worth, I’ll accept whatever someone is willing to spend. I wish you could come to high schools just to talk to girls because plenty of us need a talk like that. Self-worth is what most girls are struggling with even though we do not realize it. A lack of worth is why we engage in things we know we don’t want to do.”
2. How does she feel about relationships?
- Does she feel pressured to be in a relationship by her peers, the media, or the culture?
There’s always been pressure on girls to be in a relationship.
But imagine what it’s like for your daughter growing up in the Age of Smartphones, Social Media & Selfies surrounded by other girls posting their #relationshipstatus like it’s a badge of honor…
Or flipping through tv channels only to watch show after show promoting this idea that her happiness is dependent on said #relationshipstatus.
Please don’t assume your daughter is immune to this pressure.
Then spend time reaffirming her value in and outside of a relationship.
The goal here is to make sure she knows it has nothing to do with her relationship status.
And everything to do with how awesome she is!
“I will stop thinking I am a loser because I have made it to the 8th grade without a boyfriend. I’m now proud of myself.”
3. How does she define love?
- Should sex be a requirement if you’re in love?
This 2-part question is one of my go-to’s in class.
You’d be surprised how many girls respond that sex is a requirement when you’re in love.
It’s as if they view sex as their “girlfriend duty.”
And their understanding of true love is off too.
The definitions girls often give amounts to infatuation at best.
Many believe true love is about them sacrificing their own happiness to please their boyfriends.
It’s both infuriating and heartbreaking to witness.
“I thought if I had a relationship that I thought was true love I would have
to take it to the next level even if I felt I didn’t want to.”
So please, spend time talking to your daughter about what true love is.
Or perhaps more importantly, what it isn’t…
Your daughter’s answers to these three questions will help you gauge areas of concern and/or confidence regarding her emotional, physical and social well-being.
Either way, this gives you and your daughter another opportunity to spend time sharing what’s on your mind and in your heart with one another.
And that’s always a win-win!
After you two sit down and discuss these questions, let me know how it goes.
Which one of the three questions proved the most insightful in terms of your daughter’s response? And why?
I can’t wait to hear how your conversation went! Just leave a comment below.