Growing up in a culture that celebrates being in love and in a relationship as the end all be all, makes this time of year problematic for a lot of teen girls.
And although Valentines’ Day isn’t a bad way to celebrate love in and of itself, it often feeds into this notion so many teen girls have, that being in a relationship is what gives them value or makes them feel pretty.
Sadly, I’ve talked to countless girls who’ve either believed:
- I’m not getting asked out so I must not be pretty.
“This class has really helped me in more ways than one. I used to think that because no guys liked me or dated me that I was ugly. But that’s not true. I am beautiful and I respect myself. My mindset has also changed about sex. Now, I’ve decided that I will set my boundaries and respect myself and wait till marriage to have sex.” ~8th-grade-girl
2. If they don’t ask me for sex or for nude pics, I don’t feel desirable.
Which was the case with a 9th-grade girl I spoke to recently:
Girl: I don’t want to have sex, but I at least want my boyfriend to ask.
Me: So, let me get this straight…you want him to WANT it, but you don’t want him to GET it?
Me: So, why do you want him to ask if you don’t want to have sex?
Girl: Because I at least want to know that he desires me in that way.
Do you see how guys may be confused by this young lady’s mentality?
If he doesn’t ask her for sex, she believes it’s because he doesn’t desire her.
When the real reason could be because he respects her too much to ask her to do something that could negatively impact her future.
But she takes his protection as rejection.
Knowing Her Value = Best Valentine’s Day Gift Ever!
I’m not sure when we got to this point where girls’ self-esteem is so closely tied to how they’re perceived by guys.
I think the problem exists all year long, but Valentine’s Day tends to heighten the angst that girls feel about being “alone.”
I also think that while girls have always wanted to be in a relationship, many girls today are searching for love at any cost.
“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. Thank you for your information and giving me a new outcome in life.” ~High School Girl
So, now is a great time to have a conversation with your daughter about knowing her value in and outside of a relationship.
“I will no longer feel the need and desire to have a boyfriend anymore to make me feel worth something. Thank you!” ~8th-grade-girl
“I haven’t had the best relationship with my father. I never have. I’ve always looked for that sense of acceptance, but now I know I can only find that in myself…Now I understand I don’t need a guy in my life to feel whole.” ~8th-grade-girl
What You Can Do:
1. Have a conversation with your daughter about whether girls her age feel pressure to be in a relationship in order to feel valuable. (Pro Tip: If you don’t make the conversation about your daughter personally, but about girls in general, you’ll have a better chance of getting your daughter to engage in the conversation. You can even use this blog post as a conversation starter).
2. Make sure your daughter feels loved on Valentine’s Day even if she’s not in a relationship (i.e. Surprise her with candy, flowers, a handwritten card, a text message, stuffed animal, day of pampering, dinner at her favorite restaurant).
3. Download The Letter Every Mom Should Write Her Teen Daughter template and pour out your heart, hopes, dreams and love for your daughter in a letter she’ll cherish forever. And all you have to do is fill-in-the blanks!
Do the above, and you will have given your daughter the best Valentine’s Day gift ever…
Knowing her value in and outside of a relationship!
P.S. Valentine’s Day can be a lonely time for teen girls who’ve bought into the notion that their value is tied to their relationship status. And that’s why I strongly encourage you to spend time on Valentine’s Day reminding your daughter of her worth in and outside of a relationship as well as how much she’s already loved. A great way to do that? Go here to download The Letter Every Mom Should Write her Teen Daughter FREE template today.
P.P.S. And please don’t forget to spread the love by sharing this post with your friends on social media. Thank you and Happy Valentine’s Day!