How do you want your daughter to feel about herself?
If I know you, you would gnaw off your right arm if that would give your daughter the self-esteem you wished you had gotten from your Narcissistic mother.
You want more than anything for your daughter to feel confident and sure of herself. You wish so badly that you could GIVE her that.
Not to follow the crowd, or settle for being treated badly by “that boy.”
You want her to shrug it off when she isn’t invited to the party or confidently find a new friend when her supposed BFF disses her for someone more popular.
You know stormy times lay ahead and that she will not be spared.
Crushing social defeat and humiliation wait in the wings if you are not careful. Even if you are careful, you know your love alone can’t save her from this.
It is a jungle out there. And she is such an innocent pup.
So …how do you prepare her and not scar her for life?
How was your own mother in this regard? Not much help? Did her limitations hinder you? Did she have NPD or Narcissistic traits?
Was she always worried herself about how others would see her? Did this only add to your self-doubt? You don’t want your daughter to suffer the way you did.
You just want her to feel good about herself.
You want more than anything for your daughter to know her own mind, stand up for herself, and bounce back from the inevitable setbacks.
What will make this difference?
What is the secret to helping your beautiful precious daughter get the self-esteem you didn’t get from your own mother?
It isn’t the bumper sticker on the back of your car that matters.
It isn’t the fist bump you give her or the multitude of things you do for her.
It isn’t even the sacrifices you make for her.
No, your biggest impact on your daughter is how you make her feel. And how you feel about yourself makes all the difference.
Besides supporting her, cheering her on and caring as much as humanly possible, how do you that?
The answer may surprise you.
The truth is, if you aren’t happy, your daughter will struggle with her own happiness.
You just can’t separate the two. What’s more, you can’t live your daughter’s life for her.
Well, darn, you say. Now the curse of your childhood is affecting your daughter. You wanted her to escape the awful low self-esteem and self-doubt you’ve experienced. So many of us do.
You desperately want to break the cycle of guilt and self-doubt for your own daughter, but you don’t know where to begin.
First, let’s take a look at how this happens?
But first I have to warn you; I’m not pulling any punches here.
As a therapist to women, I’ve seen 30 years of mommas making the same mistakes over and over.
Having raised two daughters of my own, I too, have made these same mistakes at least once. I understand how easy to make these mistakes despite the best of intentions.
The biggest mistake I see mothers make is to think they can bypass the work on themselves and fix their daughters.
But here is the unvarnished truth as I know it.
In trying to fix your daughter, you unconsciously transfer your insecurities to them.
Here is a peek behind the psychological curtain-
1) When you are anxious and overly demanding, your daughter she feels scared. She wants to please you. If you can’t be pleased, she feels that she is not good enough. You know that feeling all too well.
2) When you are nervous, your worry makes her feel uneasy instead of cared for.
3) When you are a bundle of nerves, you convey that life is full of danger. And sensing this, your daughter feels hesitant and filled with self-doubt!
4) If you swing the other way and act subservient and sacrificial to the point of martyrdom, your daughter will feel guilty. And guilty is an uncomfortable way for a child to feel.
5) If you don’t set the example of setting healthy boundaries, she learns that your feelings don’t count. She simply won’t believe (as you had hoped) that you are a “nice” person.
Then horror of horrors, when you witness your precious daughter taking crap from her peers, not standing her ground, it makes your very blood boil.
I know. I know. This is tough. Labor was hard, but this is harder.
Stay with me-& breathe 2,3,4… by becoming conscious, you are giving birth to a newer version of yourself.
What’s more, your daughter is watching you. It is that important. She is watching how you handle conflict, pressure, and your own relationships.
She watches how you handle your relationship with your own mother.
You can’t get away from the fact that your example is more powerful than your words.
You can tell your daughter all day long that she is valuable and worthy of respect, however, if you do not model it for her, she won’t believe you.
That is the bottom line truth.
Here is what will help.
The confidence you find from setting boundaries, finding your own voice and standing up for yourself has a direct positive effect on your daughter.
Empower yourself and you empower your daughter.
Do the work and experience the alchemy of this win-win. Healing yourself from the damage of a Narcissistic mother is inextricably tied to giving your daughter self-esteem.
She is watching you. She is learning how to be a woman from you.
We can do this work. The time is now. Our daughters need us to be whole and healed.
Are you ready to heal?
This article originally appeared on http://daughtersrising.info Katherine’s sister site.