Helping our girls grow into confident and kind women who know their own value and strength is both a gift and a big responsibility for mothers. One of the ways we can strengthen that mother daughter relationship is with the words we speak. Words are powerful and speaking words of truth, comfort and empowerment to our daughters can help give them the knowledge they need to go out in the world someday, armed with our love, support and encouragement.
We compiled a list of 10 empowering phrases to say with sincerity to your daughter to help build your relationship, show your love for them and affirm the beautiful truth that they matter.
1. I Love You, No Matter What
Don’t ever underestimate the power of these three simple words. Consistently expressing your love creates a confidence in your love and it cannot be said too often. Your daughter will never doubt that you love her when she hears it frequently and not just when she does something amazing or out-of-the-ordinary. Make sure your daughter knows the second part as well — that you love her, no matter what. Ensuring that our daughters know that our love has no conditions and does not depend on their grades or even their good behavior is so important.
Do you want a strong, confidant daughter? That’s what happens when she grows knowing that mom loves her no matter what — she takes confidence from the security of your love. Make sure you aren’t just showing your love but saying it and saying it regularly.
2. Tell Me More
Your daughter is more likely to open up to you if she knows you will listen, truly listen, and reserve any advice or judgement or lecture. When mothers listen intently to their daughters they are building a powerful bond of trust that empowers girls to express themselves freely. Your daughter will open up to you more and communicate more effectively if you regularly try this little phrase of “tell me more.” These three words apply whether the conversation is about something simple like choosing an outfit for the first day of school, or when your daughter opens up about a fear or big feeling.
Practice listening, asking for more details and let your daughter know that she matters and that she is heard.
3. You Are Beautiful, Inside and Out
Raising daughters in a world of social media, photoshopped celebrities and unrealistic views of beauty is challenging. The world is barraging our daughters with messages of what beauty is all about and that it’s only skin deep so make sure your daughters know they are beautiful, inside and out. Point out to them that their inner beauty truly does reflect on their outer beauty! The sparkle in their eye when they are being kind or making others laugh. The beauty of their smile when they show compassion and the beauty of their body and its strength, health and uniqueness that makes your daughter who she is.
Set an example of loving yourself inside and out in how you speak about yourself and your own body and highlight that beauty in your daughter. She will radiate the beauty that comes from knowing this truth that her mother taught her.
4. I’m Sorry
Apologizing to your kids lets them know you’re human and that you make mistakes too. When we can be vulnerable for our daughters and show them that even mom needs to apologize we are building an authentic and trustworthy relationship. Apologizing is a way to model for our girls the difference between right and wrong and how to take responsibility for their actions.
When we apologize and ask our daughters for our forgiveness we also give them a chance to practice forgiveness and unconditional love. Strengthen your relationship with your daughter by apologizing when you make a mistake.
5. I Believe In You, Here’s Why
Let your daughter know you are her biggest fan and that you believe in her! Show her that you believe in her by trusting her to make that big decision and allow her to experience the consequences with your love and support.
Give your daughter lots of opportunities to be empowered to solve their own problems, let them know you believe in them by resisting the urge to do it for them or rescue them. As mothers when we support them and stay by their side but let them go after their dreams, solve their conflicts or try new things on their own we are showing that we truly believe in them.
Make sure to add on the “here’s why.” Remind her of all that she has already accomplished, solved and done and she’ll have the confidence to continue trying new things to build up her own self confidence to solve her own problems in the future.
6. I Am So Proud Of You
We speak the powerful words “I love you” to these daughters of ours, but do they also know how proud we are to be their mother? Point out to your daughter the beautiful things you see her doing, saying and being and let her know that makes you proud. If she tries and fails make sure she knows you are proud of her effort and that it matters even more than achievement.
Let her know you’re proud that she tried, you’re proud of her unique self and you’re proud of the good choices she’s making. Affirm what you see that’s going right and don’t leave it unsaid.
7. You Are An Overcomer
Has your daughter ever faced a fear? Tried something, failed and still tried again? Tackled a big change or learned a new skill? She is an overcomer! Keep track of these stories of how she has proven that she can do the big, the scary and the hard things in life so you can remind her of her success when she needs that courage and reminder the most.
Reminding your daughter of how she has already overcome will not only help her see your great love and pride for her but help her see the beautiful truth she needs to keep moving forward: She is an overcomer. She has a history with getting back up, of trying again and of doing the impossible. She is amazing.
8. Can I Tell You A Story?
Let your daughter know that YOU were a tween once too. You had struggles, friendship problems, big decisions to make just like her. Daughters feel more connected to their mother when they feel like they can relate to them — a person who cries, has fears and acts silly sometimes.
Tell her stories about your childhood and your parents and she will draw strength from your experiences and probably even know and appreciate you better at the same time. Tell her stories of her own childhood — the joy you experienced when she was born, the funny things she did as a baby and toddler and she will feel loved and cherished and known.
9. I’m Grateful For You
Gratitude is a gift, it shifts our perspective and helps us see the abundance and beauty around us more clearly. If you’re having a rough time connecting with your daughter, share your gratitude for her and watch as both your hearts soften and come closer. Write it down and give her a note or make a list and leave it on her pillow. Let her know that she is your joy and you are grateful for her and why.
10. Yes, You Can!
Think of how easy it is to tell our kids “No.” Before we know it, the word “no” can happen more than the word “yes.” The next time your daughter comes to you with a big idea find a way to support her and say “Yes!” Let your daughter make a mess in the kitchen (and teach her that cleaning up is part of the fun), encourage her to try out for the team even if she’s never done anything like that before. Find ways to say yes and watch your daughter believe in big dreams, have the courage to try new things and feel confident and supported by her mom.
Want some help saying these powerful phrases to your daughter? We’ve created eight cute printables to let her know just you how you feel. Just print the cards and keep them handy for pillow notes, lunchbox notes or to hide in her coat pocket. Surprise her by letting her know how much you love her in a fun unexpected note and watch your relationship blossom and grow like never before.