3 Lies You Don’t Want Your Teen Daughter to Believe About Herself
Unless your daughter has been living under a rock her entire life, there is a good chance the culture has sold her a bunch of lies.
Lies about who she is, what it takes to be attractive, what her purpose in life is, and what her choices say about her, just to name a few.
Do you know the problem with teen girls believing these lies?
They then start to live them…and the lies start to impact their behavior.
So, what are the lies you don’t want your daughter to believe?
1. If I don’t have a boyfriend, I must not be attractive!
“Although I’ve never done any type of sexual thing, I’ve always felt as though I needed male validation by having a boyfriend because I felt I wasn’t good enough until someone wanted me. Right now, at 13 years old and listening to you speak made me realize that I am enough, and I need to raise my standards to be the best for myself. I believe I am beautiful, I am enough, and I can get where I need to get without a boy’s validation.” ~8th grade girl
I think this lie is even more prevalent in the age of social media than it was for our generation.
Today, girls look at digitally enhanced pictures of others on social media then look at their non-filtered selves in the mirror every day.
And that comparison can be overwhelming.
Not only do the digitally enhanced pictures on social media scream to girls that they aren’t attractive, but they’re also confronted with another barometer to gauge their “attractiveness…”
…Whether a guy wants to date them.
Social media also feeds this lie because of the popularity of the hashtag, #relationshipgoals.
And the message it sends to girls?
That they should pursue #relationshipgoals over #lifegoals.
Which is why I share the following quote in my book, 7 Secrets Guys Will Never Tell You: A Teen Girl’s Guide on Love, Sex and Relationships:
“Somewhere along the line we messed up.
We told girls that it’s okay to chase guys instead of their dreams.
We told her that no matter how smart, beautiful, or talented she was,
her intelligence, beauty and talent could only be validated by a relationship.
Somewhere we went wrong. And the world has suffered ever since.”
—Melissa Lewis, Blogger
When I share this quote in class, I can tell it resonates with many of the girls.
So please, remind your daughter often that she is more than her looks, even if you believe she’s drop dead gorgeous.
Share with her that if she allows someone else to give her value, that person also has the power to take that value away.
And that’s too much power to put in the hands of another person.
2. My job is to make others happy!
“My boyfriend pressured me for sex, and I kept refusing. He wouldn’t stop insisting until one day I finally caved in. It wasn’t because I wanted to, but it was for him to be happy, which finally cost me my happiness. I haven’t been able to be happy like I was before.” ~High school girl
When I ask girls why they sent the nude picture or why they had sex, one of the most common answers I hear is, “Because I wanted to make my boyfriend happy.”
Not only do teen girls sacrifice their own happiness some are even willing to endure pain if it makes the guy happy.
For example, I received a letter from a 16-year-old girl who had anal sex with a guy even though she admitted it was very painful.
She said she did it because she wanted to make the guy happy.
So, I tell teen girls in class, “I wish I had a banner I could hang from the sky that says, ‘You are not responsible for anyone’s happiness!’”
The sooner your daughter learns this, the better.
Because if she doesn’t learn it while she’s young, she’ll spend her entire life as a people pleaser. And that’s not the life any mom wants her daughter to live.
If you’ve noticed your daughter has “people pleaser” tendencies, get to the root cause of why she always feels the need to put others’ happiness before her own.
Because, as a quote by Ashleigh Warner I previously shared states…
“Behind every behavior there is a feeling. And beneath every feeling there is a need. And when we meet that need rather than focus on the behavior, we begin to deal with the cause, not the symptom.”
3. I am my choices!
“After these classes, I know that I am enough no matter what I have done in my past. I’ve also learned that I can’t change my past and I have to accept it. Even though some of my choices weren’t the best.
They don’t define me.” ~High school girl
I’ve read far too many letters from teen girls who continued to make poor choices once they “messed up” the first time because they didn’t think it mattered anymore. They began to identify their worth with their poor choice.
There is a difference between making a bad choice and being a bad person, and your daughter needs to understand that.
When disciplining your daughter for her bad choices, make sure she understands she is being disciplined for the choice and that you don’t think she’s a bad person just because she made a bad choice.
At a time when the self-esteem of teen girls is at an all-time low, the last thing you want to do is contribute to your daughter’s being even worse.
And I’ve found that many girls who’ve made poor choices are already beating themselves up and feeling badly about disappointing their parents, so try to balance your discipline with a little compassion.
Here’s the thing…
Today’s culture is selling your daughter lies that if not countered, will have her questioning who she is, doubting whether she’s “attractive” enough to snag a boyfriend, and falsely believing she’s only as good as the choices she makes.
It’s up to you to make sure she doesn’t buy them wholesale. And I know in the age of social media, that’s easier said than done.
But if you follow the tips shared in this post, you will go a long way towards equipping and empowering your daughter to be a wise shopper who only buys into positive messages that will affirm her based on things that truly matter (i.e., her character, gifts/talents, and #lifegoals).
Now that’s something worth believing in!
And stay tuned for next week’s post on the three lies teen girls believe about sex.
P.S. I don’t envy you as a parent trying to guide your daughter to greatness in the age of social media. The lies she’s sold by the Culture are never ending. Making it even more important that you intentionally counter them with truth. The tips shared in this post will help you, help your daughter confront the three lies teen girls believe about themselves. And don’t miss next week’s post when I break down the three lies teen girls believe about sex!
P.P.S. Every parent of a teen girl needs this info! Please share this post with friends and family on your social media channels. Thank you!