My daughter has inherited my love for music, both listening to it and wanting to play it herself. It’s not odd to find her with headphones on in her room, singing along to one song or another. Most of the time, I’m glad she takes such joy in music. But there are certain times we call her and she doesn’t come because she is so distracted by her music.
While listening to music is mostly harmless, our daughters can sometimes be distracted by more dangerous things that threaten their physical, emotional, or mental well-being. Here are 3 of them—and what you can do to protect your daughter.
1. Beauty Standards
Since the advent of art and media, girls have measured their own beauty against that of the models they see around them. Being constantly connected to the world on our phones has added a new layer to this challenge, from influencers whose images are heavily edited to our daughters’ peers whose photos are filtered on Instagram and Snapchat. Daughters easily can become distracted by a need to live up to these images. This becomes dangerous when our daughters begin to use them as the standard of what womanhood is supposed to look like.Make an effort to compliment your daughter regularly and affirm her about traits unrelated to her appearance.
You can protect your daughters by setting a standard for them from the time they are young about what modesty and beauty look like. Make an effort to compliment your daughter regularly—and often affirm her about traits unrelated to her appearance. You also can model this in the way you look at, respond to, and talk about the women in your own life.
2. The Social Media Vortex
When you look at social media, the content our daughters can share instantly with others is daunting and terrifying. And while the thrill of virtually connecting with another hasn’t changed, it has now been coupled with the excitement of likes, clicks, and a growing follower count. Daughters easily can become distracted by the need to respond or react to every notification immediately. This becomes a problem when they are more concerned with their online following than with the family and friends directly in front of them.
You can protect your daughters by teaching them to see social media platforms as tools that serve a particular purpose. You also should make every effort to know what they’re posting. Finally, you can model a healthy relationship with social media by choosing to put your own phone down and, whenever possible, give your attention to your daughters rather than to the digital world.
3. The Thrill of Infatuation
In the movie Frozen, Elsa tells her younger sister Anna that “you can’t marry a man you just met.” This flies in the face of princess movie wisdom—Cinderella marries a prince she danced with for one night and Princess Aurora marries a man who watched her from afar in Sleeping Beauty. As adults, we see these fairy tales for what they are, but these stories are often a formative part of our daughters’ childhoods. Expectations of a sudden “happily ever after” alongside raging hormones can all become distractions for our daughters, who don’t want to be alone. This becomes dangerous when a girl hangs onto a relationship that has run its course or is doing her harm.
You can protect your daughters by setting a high standard for them of what relationships are supposed to look like. If you’re married, you can do this first of all by treating your own wife with respect and with affection. But you can also take your daughter on dates so she understands how she ought to be treated.
Earn some points: Are you married? If so, share this iMOM article with your wife: 5 Things You Didn’t Know Your Daughter Needs.
Sound off: What are some of the dangers you need to protect your daughter from?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What are your three biggest distractions?”