How to Send Your Daughter
Back to School with Confidence, Passion & Goals
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
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.