Raising Girls in an Over-sexualized Culture: Tips from a Christian Counselor, Part 2
Way #4: Unbrand Her When the World Tries to Buy and Sell Her
The clothing market pressures girls to wear clothes designed to highlight female allure. The market sends messages of excessive materialism and early sexualization. It is essential to reclaim the biblical values of contentment, inner beauty, and modesty. This does not mean our daughters have to wear frumpy or outdated clothing. Instead, the goal, according to Gresh, is to teach your daughter about modesty, humility, and positive body image. Your daughter is watching you and you can impact her in a positive way by offering a healthy example of how to handle the pressures of the culture’s message. Gresh challenges us to daily ask ourselves, “Did I spend more time in front of the mirror making myself externally beautiful, or did I spend more time developing my inner beauty through quiet communion with God?”
Way #5: Become the Carpool Queen and Sleepover Diva
When you understand the risk of bad friendships and the hope good friendships can offer, you will realize why you need to be motivated to get involved in your daughter’s life and friendships. The goal is not to gain complete control over your daughter’s friendships or to become paranoid about them. Rather, it is to be informed about them so that you are able to give guidance. Gresh suggests starting this in the tween years while your daughter is still responsive. By making your home kid-friendly, it can become a place where your daughter feels comfortable to invite her friends. This will allow you to take a more active role in her friendships. Not only can you influence your daughter, but you will also be more likely to influence your daughter’s friends.
Way #6: Dream With Her About Her Prince
The results of one study found that an overwhelming percentage of girls are boy-crazy and many girls state that they would be happier if they only had a boyfriend. Moreover, girls who are in relationships that last over six months are more likely to become sexually active. If you’d like to keep your daughter off the boy-crazy train while at the same time developing within her a love for marriage, Gresh offers several suggestions. Send positive messages about relationships rather than negative ones. Try asking questions rather than simply making statements. Make it your goal to talk about sex before she turns ten and introduce to her your family standards about dating when she’s a tween. Be prepared to answer her questions about sex. Be accurate, explicit and keep it positive.
Pray for Your Daughter
If you don’t get anything else out of this article, please understand this one important thing: your daughter has a real enemy in our culture and it is Satan himself. Satan is constantly trying to kill her self-discipline, steal her sense of worth, and destroy her true beauty. This is a battle – a spiritual battle that requires prayer. Gresh offers helpful hints about how to pray for your daughter.
- Pray for her self-control based on 3 John 11.
- Pray for her discernment and obedience based on 2 Corinthians 10:5.
- Pray for her inner beauty, modesty, and contentment based on 1 Peter 3:3-4.
- Pray for her wisdom, and for positive peer pressure based on Proverbs 13:20.
- Pray for her purity and her marriage based on Proverbs 31:10-12.
You may want to read the book The Power of a Praying Parent to help you. You may find joy and strength from joining a prayer group such as Moms in Prayer. These groups are for moms, grandmas, aunts, or any woman who has the desire to pray for children and schools. You can find a group in your area at a local school, homeschool group, or college.
A Christian Counselor Can Help You Navigate the Tween Years
It is your responsibility as a parent to assist your daughter as she grows and matures into a woman. If you need help or support in raising a flourishing Godly tween girl, then you may want to consider Christian counseling. A trained Christian counselor knows what you are going through and can help you and your tween to navigate the issues that you face together. I’d be happy to assist you in your journey.
Gresh, D. (2010). Six Ways to Keep the Little in Your Girl: Guiding Your Daughter from Her Tweens to Her Teens. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers.
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