Of course, challenges come with raising all kids, but there are some particular things to keep in mind when raising young women.
As a parent of two young ladies, I understand the challenges we face as parents to keep our children safe while giving them the freedom they want.
Regardless of whether you are raising boys or girls, the worry remains and while in this piece I talk about young ladies, I do not mean there is nothing to worry about when raising young men. Having daughters is hugely rewarding but there are many things to worry about when raising them.
Unfortunately, there is an added pressure on young women to be beautiful, smart and funny in today’s world. With every young lady looking to someone to aspire to be, most young women are not nearly as comfortable in their own skin as they should be.
In fact, more and more young ladies are suffering from self-esteem and confidence issues. When I was young, the most beautiful women were on the front covers of magazines so unless you bought them, you missed out on the feelings of inadequacy.
Now though, with the internet, everything young women aspire to be is at the touch of a button with absolutely no escape. Plus, even if there were an escape, most young women want to follow models, influencers and YouTubers because they want to live their lives.
Then there is the peer pressure to fit into the crowd. Your daughters may be urged to drink alcohol, smoke or do drugs and let’s not forget that our daughters may be the ones urging others to do it – such is life.
We can’t escape the fact that most young ladies are going to make mistakes while they try and figure out their position in life, so this means falling into bad habits or simply losing their way. It won’t happen to all young ladies but enough that we, as parents, need to always pay attention to changing behaviour in our daughters.
One day your daughter is going to find a partner and start dating. It may or may not be with a boy and it could possibly be with a girl, but any relationship opens a whole new world to your daughters. They’ll be left broken-hearted at some stage; they may argue with other young people about their relationship and they may make the mistake of trusting someone they shouldn’t.
All of this will be going on while your daughter tries to gauge their way through their school life and the added pressures of exams and college. That’s a lot of thinking, a lot of reasons to be stressed and a lot of anxiety.
Young ladies face many challenges, not least because every week we hear another bad news story about a young lady being bullied, hurt or worse. It takes a huge amount of skill to parent young people. When they were young kids many considered it hard but in terms of teenagers, it is so difficult to keep them safe while giving them freedom.
As a parent, you are constantly scared, when they walk out the door. You fear for their safety when they don’t answer their phone and you’ll cry when they come home upset. Parenting young ladies is one of the most worrying things any parent will ever have to do but hopefully, with patience, love and trust you’ll get through it ok.