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How to Send Your Daughter Back to School with Confidence, Passion & Goals
by David F. Salter

With back to school right around the corner, parents need to make sure they provide the essential tools for their daughters to survive and thrive. There are many high-risk obstacles that await them. Such obstacles include drugs, alcohol, sex, or other high-risk behaviors. Statistics prove that these obstacles are becoming prevalent at even younger ages and much of the behavior occurs as a result of peer pressure at and after school. It is imperative for parents to equip their daughters with self-confidence, passion and several attainable goals.

Parents need to know and understand what their daughters are exposed to in society today and that exposure starts to occur at an earlier age than ever before. By understanding this, parents can be proactive in their daughters' lives and help build self-confidence and self-esteem.

The number of teenage girls who experiment with sex, alcohol, and drugs or who have eating disorders is alarming. In fact, a 2002 study shows 38.5 percent of 9th grade girls reported drinking alcohol in the past month.

Recent statistics from a government study shows 50 percent of teenage girls have had intercourse before age 18, while an MSNBC poll in late May put the number at a startling 62 percent. Another statistic parents can't shy away from is that 10 million girls and young women in America suffer from an eating disorder.  Studies like those lead parents to ask the unavoidable question; why are these statistics so high?

Lack of self-confidence and self-esteem are the leading causes of these issues and the reason the statistics continue to rise. Parents must help their daughters gain a sense of self-assurance. Having self-confidence gives young women the courage to defend their claim, argument, or viewpoint when confronted with the opportunity to participate in high-risk behavior. By getting involved with their daughters' daily activities, parents build the groundwork for a positive relationship, which is vital to effective communication. Encouraging independent thought and expression will also help communication between the parents and their child and will help build their daughters' self-esteem.

Although it may be difficult to initiate conversations about high-risk behaviors, parents must find a way to do it. You need to discuss with your daughter how she can deal with peer pressure and other risks that she may encounter. At the same time, you need to be able to share relevant examples and anecdotes that reinforce proper values and morals.

If your daughter is prepared to deal with difficult circumstances, she will have the confidence to handle them appropriately whenever they arise.

Another factor that influences girls and their decisions is lack of enthusiasm. Enthusiasm and passion allow young women to experience life to the fullest. Daughters will be even more excited and determined to make sure nothing stands in the way of their goals when they find something they are enthusiastic and passionate about doing. Possessing passion will give daughters the strength they need to oppose peer pressure and have even more respect for themselves and their aspirations. Parents who help their children develop passion early whether through sports, hobbies or school participation give their children a valuable leg up in dealing with peer pressure.

Norman Vincent Peale once said that enthusiasm releases the drive to carry you over obstacles and adds significance to all you do, and those who are fired with an enthusiastic idea and who allow it to take hold and dominate their thoughts find that new worlds open for them. So, with that in mind, it is crucial for parents to help their daughters find passion.

Ambitions also significantly influence the young women's resistance to peer pressure. When parents help set their daughters' goals, they also need to demonstrate and explain how their education and objectives will reward them later in life. In my recently published audio book, Dear Daughter, I Forgot Some Things; I use heartwarming stories and examples from my own family and experiences with my daughters to demonstrate this key point. Parents' guidance will help daughters understand the different types of opportunities and options that they will have in the future. By setting attainable goals that their daughters can reach now, and by staying involved in their education, parents will help enhance their daughters' vision of what she wants to do and who she wants to become. Helping your daughter understand that the choices she makes now can affect her whole life is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. Girls with long-term goals for education or work will be less likely to compromise their futures by engaging in risky behavior.

I wrote Dear Daughter, I Forgot Some Things to remind parents of the need to instill the three vital values of confidence, love, and ambition within their daughters. The audio book also gives daughters some poignant examples of these three vital values at work, giving them the foundation necessary to overcome many obstacles that will confront them.

Most importantly, I wrote it to provoke parents to communicate with their daughters in order to help their daughters not lose sight of who they are and what they can do with their life. My question to you is simply this: What important thing will you tell your daughter today?#

David F. Salter is a father of three and an award-winning writer, who recently released his audio book, Dear Daughter, I Forgot Some Things (Wizard Academy Press, 2004). For additional information about David F. Salter or to order his audio book, please visit www.davidfsalter.com or call (800) 425-4769.



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