For many adults, this is the time of year when we conduct an annual review of our own lives over the past year.
We anticipate what we’d like to accomplish and who we want to be in the new year by first reflecting over the one we’ve just had—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I believe it’s a good idea for teens to do the same.
And I encourage you to help your daughter take personal inventory of what worked well and what didn’t last year.
That way, she’ll know what to carry over from 2021. And more importantly what NOT to carry over into 2022.
Forgetting those things which lay behind…
To get the ball rolling, here are the top five things I believe every teen girl should leave behind in 2021:
The need to please. So many girls tell me they have sex because they want to make their boyfriends happy. It’s as if making their boyfriends happy is their sole purpose in life. It’s heartbreaking to witness, and that’s why it’s so important to remind your daughter often that she’s NOT responsible for any guy’s happiness. Only her own, which is more than enough.
Seeking validation from relationships. My whole purpose for writing 7 Secrets Guys Will Never Tell You, was to show girls that they have tremendous value! And it has absolutely nothing to do with their relationship status. Want your daughter to win in 2022? Encourage her to spend time developing her #lifegoals instead of #relationshipgoals and she’ll be just fine. 🙂
Playing the social media comparison game. If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you already know how I feel about social media. It can be a blessing and a curse! Particularly for teen girls. If your daughter is active on social media, please do not underestimate the pressure she’s under to “measure up” to people who probably aren’t even her friends. The thing about the comparison game is this: the minute your daughter chooses to “play” she’s already lost. My suggestion? Caution your daughter not to spend time comparing her “real” life to another girl’s highlight “reel.” It’s likely been embellished anyway.
Messy Friends. Speaking of “friends,” this is the one thing your daughter may find most difficult to leave behind. But it’s necessary if she has friends who aren’t headed in the same direction, she is in 2022. These are the friends who brag about their sexual exploits and make your daughter feel like she’s missing out. Or the friends who always seem caught up in drama because their lives revolve around boys/relationships. Or the ones who tease your daughter about her decision to wait. As Dr. Tartt pointed out here, it’s important your daughter has healthy friendships with other girls. So, encourage her to make room for them by leaving the messy ones behind.
Feeling like she doesn’t have a voice. If there’s anything the #MeToo movement has taught us, it’s that we have a lot of work to do with both our young men and young ladies. I wrote here about how girls confide in me about their painful stories of rape and molestation. Yet, when I ask them if they told their mothers what happened and/or reported it to the police, they say no. Their reason? They don’t believe anyone will do anything about it. How sad is that?!!
The truth is, girls who don’t know they have a voice and deserve to be heard, often grow up to become women who don’t know they have a voice and deserve to be heard. Do we need men to step up and model for our sons how guys should treat girls? Of course! And we as adult women need to model for our daughters how to discover their voice and use it. Role-playing is a great way to help your daughter practice. And don’t forget to remind her that her “No” is a complete sentence. No questions asked. No explanations needed!
Pressing Towards the Mark…
This post is NOT about getting your daughter to make New Year’s resolutions.
How many of us stick to those anyway?
This is about helping your daughter shed messed-up mindsets and behaviors that lead to poor decision-making so she can focus on becoming her best self instead.
Give your daughter permission to make 2022 all about her. Not some guy or a relationship.
A good place to start is 10 Things Every Teen Girl Needs to be F.A.B.
And if you already have, now is the perfect time to have her revisit it.
The bottom line: Help your daughter leave these five things behind in 2021.
And empower her to have a Focused, Authentic and Brave 2022.
Happy New Year!
P.S. The beginning of a new year is a terrific opportunity for your daughter to do some healthy self-reflecting. Encourage your daughter to leave these five things behind in 2021 so she can press toward the mark of the high calling God has for her in 2022.
P.P.S. Be sure to share this post and especially my F.A.B. Checklist with your daughter’s friends and any other young lady in your life. Thank you!