I am a mom of two girls. I remember like it was yesterday when I brought my firstborn to home seven years ago, not having much clue about the journey ahead.

Nothing I read or learned from people could prepare me for the real experience. To experience motherhood in its glory, you have to live it. It is an adventure that stretches you beyond your comprehension. 

When I see moms of boys and their challenges, I can’t help but wonder if raising one gender is easier or tougher than the other.

I consulted moms who have kids of both genders, and what I could conclude was there are equal challenges when it comes to raising both girls and boys and it changes according to different parenting seasons, ages, and personalities. (If you have a different opinion, do share in the comments below. I am curious!)

Boys are usually more adventurous and fearless to satisfy their curiosities, while girls are emotionally more expressive and like to play safe. 

Two things inspired me to write this post:

  • The world has changed a lot since we grew up as little girls. So as mothers, we need to equip our girls with the right tools and knowledge to thrive and survive in this technology-oriented world.
  • To share what I would have liked my own mom to give me while I was growing up and the things that she taught me that I want to pass onto my daughters. 

So let’s begin?



The number one thing I would like to instill in my daughters is self-confidence and unconditional love for herself.

I grew up with lots of limiting beliefs and I know the struggle of the constant fight with self-doubts. I don’t want my daughters to be unable to follow their dreams because they think they don’t have the potential in them to fulfill their ambitions.

And what usually stops us is the fear of judgment. The society is usually obsessed with finding faults. No one reminds us of our good qualities and so we regret about the qualities that we don’t possess.

But let’s break the cycle today. Help your daughter to find her strengths and the qualities that make her the special person she is.

Help her to strongly believe in them. She will easily believe in what others say about her, but as a mother, you can change the story of her life by brushing off the negative comments.

Girls usually start getting conscious and obsess over their body image in their teenage years, or even earlier. That’s when they start to notice their skin colour, size and shape of their nose or other body features.

But mothers can teach her that she is more than her bodily features and what she is, is good enough. We can teach her to rise above society’s skewed standards.

 I always tell my daughters that, in life what matters is what you do and how much kindness you can give to others.

What matters is, whether you follow your dreams and how much light you can fill in your loved ones’ lives. And no one should define how you should look. 

External beauty fades, but the inner beauty remains till we die.

What every daughter needs from her mom


The special bond between a father and a daughter is often talked about, but for a girl the support a mom can provide is immense. There are many things in life that she can confide in her mom. 

A girl goes through a lot of tough stages in life including teenage (the surge of hormones), pregnancy, delivery, etc. She can go through a lot of emotional turmoil when she has to face life-changing events like breakups, divorce, etc.

Moms can play a role in supporting them through all these tough phases in life. It is hard enough for a girl (or a woman) when all these hormones are raging inside her creating mood changes and other symptoms.

Instead of scolding her for the “misbehavior”, offer support, patience, and understanding. 

Don’t judge or criticize her for making wrong decisions, but let her know that you are always there for her no matter what and she can call you anytime to talk. 

Women deal with stress differently from men. Women like to talk about their problems and that’s how they find stress relief.

More than men, women can fulfill this need “to be heard” as they are natural empaths. I think no one else can do this role better than mothers. 

Because moms have lived life a lot ahead of their daughters and they have seen it all. “Mom knows better” is not a cliche phrase, but a truth. 

Mothers should be able to make her daughter believe that she can always count on her mom to be there when she needs emotional support. 


We know how hard it is to keep up with the housework and still spend quality time with kids. 

But as we know, girls are talkers. They like to talk about what happened in school and the little troubles they have to face. No matter how busy you are, always try to find time to look in their eyes when they talk and truly listen. 

Because let’s face it, we are never gonna finish our chores and truly get free time to spend with them. So always make use of the time you get here and there, even if it’s 10 minutes.

And don’t always rush them off saying you‘re busy when they want to share something. If you have to, promise you will listen to their problem when you’re done with your work and make sure to follow through.

They are becoming bigger each day and each time when you turn them off, it creates an emotional distance between you two. 

And also always make sure you free yourself up for the events that mean a lot to them. And take each of them(if you have more than one daughter) on mommy-daughter dates where you get to do special things. They will remember it forever. 

Related: How to balance work and life perfectly as a work-at-home mom

What every daughter needs from her mom


The self-beliefs that form in the first twenty years of life are crucial for a human being.

These beliefs decide the path that we take in life and determine whether we have the courage to follow our passions. 

Whenever she declares she wants to do something, never discourage her with your own doubts.

If you express even a shadow of a doubt, she might hesitate to believe in herself. And when she has a limiting belief, you can point out why she might be thinking wrong. 

Limiting beliefs can be changed at any age, but a mom can play a huge role in nipping them in the bud.

We are often quick to criticize but never tell them openly about the qualities we like in our children.

For a change, try telling them “I like how you looked after your sister while I wasn’t home. You can handle responsibilities well.” She will feel so proud and will believe it. And that will truly reflect in the way she sees herself. 

Always, always talk to her about the qualities you like in her. 




A parent’s anger issues affect children badly. Research shows that yelling makes kids aggressive, insecure, develops anxiety and has low self-esteem. 

When you are quick to get angry, it becomes difficult for your daughter to confide in you when she makes mistakes. So it is important to work on your anger issues. 

I am constantly working on my short temperament because I don’t want to be a mom who is hard to approach when my daughters make mistakes. And reducing anger is beneficial for your well-being too. 

Related: 15 self-care activities for busy moms to stay sane

What every daughter needs from her mom


To raise her as an independent girl, you need to stop hovering around her so that she doesn’t make mistakes. Let her make her own choices and experience success and failure.

When she makes mistakes, do not condemn her. Instead, console her by pointing out how everyone makes mistakes. 

And most importantly teach her to forgive herself. You don’t have to take all your mistakes seriously and be embarrassed about them for a long time.

Instead, teach her to take things lightly and laugh at herself for the silly mistakes she made. 


This lesson is so important for a young girl. Childhood sexual abuse is more common than we think.

It is important for young girls to know to differentiate between “good touch” and “bad touch” because many kids don’t have an idea when it happens, either because they’re young or ignorant.

Not only that, they should be taught self-defense strategies if such an unfortunate event takes place. This is a must-have conversation between a mom and a daughter.

And we must talk to them about their private parts in an age-appropriate language, starting from when they are toddlers. 

You can begin by telling her that her body is her own and no one has the ownership to it except her. And it’s her choice and decision about who should touch her body and who shouldn’t. 

And the most important thing, tell her that she should talk to you if she experiences any misbehavior of this sort. 

What every daughter needs from her mom


Some good values and lessons that you can teach your daughter:

  • Integrity
  • Kindness and empathy
  • Love for self and others
  • Hard work
  • Gratitude
  • Respect to self and others
  • Standing for self
  • Self-discipline
  • The importance of financial independence
  • Gender equality
  • Facing criticism

Life skills that you can teach her:

  • Running a home
  • Cooking
  • Sewing
  • Money management
  • Doing laundry
  • Communication skills
  • Etiquette
  • Simple home repair skills (this article has resources to get started)
  • Basic first-aid
  • Basic car repair
  • Problem-solving skills

These are some basic life skills. If you want more, you can read the article, 17 basic life skills your child must learn before leaving home. 

Related: How to get kids started on doing chores


Girls go through a lot of emotional ups and downs, thanks to their hormones. They might not be able to understand why they feel the way they do. It is hard to deal with lots of anger, irritability, and mood swings when they don’t know why it’s happening to them. 

From a young age, it’s important to acknowledge her emotions and empathize with her. When she approaches you to talk about something that’s bothering her, name those emotions like, “You are sad”, “You are angry”, “You are irritated”, etc. 

What she needs is “not disciplining”, but “understanding” of her emotions. The connection between you two will help her to talk about it than suffering alone.

Finally, teach her effective coping mechanisms to deal with the emotions on her own and not take it on others.

Coping mechanisms include doing mediation, taking deep breaths, getting engaged in activities she loves, walking in nature to get fresh air, etc. 

Related: How to get started with positive parenting

What every daughter needs from her mom


The world is going more technology-oriented and it’s essential to teach kids about staying safe from the possible dangers of internet usage.

We hear horror stories about deadly online games, cyberbullying etc. all the time. While it’s safe to think it happens only to “others”, know that our child can become a victim too. 

So here are some actionable steps to help her (or him) use the internet safely:

    • Talk to them openly about the possible dangers of the internet and social media usage
    • Update them about the deadly online games and ensure they know how to not fall into the trap
    • Make sure you have set limits on screen time
    • Help them stay disciplined about the balance between the online and real-world
    • Ask them not to share their private details to strangers on the internet. Teach them they have the option to block people they don’t know. 
    • Ask them not to follow anyone’s instructions online without consulting you first
    • Teach them how to use social media responsibly. Tell them the life portrayed on social media can be deceiving and fake.



As evident from the tips above, open communication and building a strong connection is key to raise your daughter as your best friend. I don’t necessarily believe in raising kids to be my friends, but I want them to be able to rush to me if they have even the silliest or the most troubling news in life. 

I want my daughters to know that my heart and my house are always open if they need a break and a shoulder to cry on. 

I am far from a perfect mother, but every day I try to make myself a better mom than I was yesterday. How about you? What is it that you find it necessary to teach your daughter? Let me know in the comments below. 

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How can you make sure you are raising your daughter the right way? What advice should you give her so as to make her a confident and independent woman? Here are 10 things that your daughter needs you to teach her.




  1. Jennifer Hinse Reply

    I am giving my almost 12 year old a little more freedom. Letting her go to the park after school with a group of classmates. So.of course it’s the stranger danger tall. Which now includes the added dont approach a car at all, dont help a stranger (grown ups dont need a kids help). And never walk or stay in the park alone. Never! With her phone call me b4 you go to park and when you are leaving park and then again when you get where you are going. Be aware of surroundings all the time. See same car drive by park 3 times beware. And then of course there is our secret word. Or emergency word in case plans change unexpectedly or lord forbid they are in trouble
    Only me and kids know it . And if we have to use it. We pick a new one.

    • Waheeda Reply

      That’s great Jennifer! We live in a world of fear and it has become harder than ever to let kids enjoy their childhood as we all did. But you are taking steps to let her enjoy by taking all the precautions too. I know it’s hard but it will be worth it.
      Thanks for your comment!

  2. Loved this! I have a 5 year old daughter and a 2 year old son. This is a reminder of how important it is to be present and kind with our daughters (and of course our children in general). Our young ladies will face criticism and unkind energy far more than we ever did and it’s important to communicate and be sure to put them first. Thank you for this lovely reminder.

      • Diskit Angmo Reply

        Being a mom itself is so challenging. I have three kids two boys and a daughter, being the middle child my daughter is quite loud and easy to cry. I can understand that she needy attention more than anything else. As I have been a very attentive mother to all my kids. I like giving more freedom and support to my daughter, try to understand her feelings and support her in everything she needs me. Its endless but it’s a good topic to talk about.endless…

        • Waheeda Reply

          Looks like you are doing a good job! Thanks for stopping by!

      • This is a great list of things moms need to teach their daughters. I resonate with everything you mentioned here. I have a daughter (almost 3) and there are so many things I want to instill in her – some of which I so appreciate my mom doing with/teaching me, and some I wish my mom had done better.

        One thing I would add that I feel a lot of people miss or fail to think is important is the need to teach our daughters modesty in dress and behavior. I believe this is so important for a number of reasons (check out my post on the topic to see my reasons in detail: https://mamarissa.com/why-you-should-dress-your-toddler-girl-modestly/). I think our world today tries to cheapen female bodies by convincing us we have to dress or behave a certain way to get attention – which is often the wrong kind of attention.. And the beliefs our daughters have about modesty start very young.

        Thank you for writing this. It was truly a good reminder for me about the things I need and want to teach my daughter.

        • Waheeda Reply

          Hi Marissa!

          Thanks for reading and taking the time out to write your thoughts on the topic. And I agree so much with your viewpoint on the need to teach girls modest dressing. I read your article and I can resonate with all the points you mentioned there.

          In our culture, a modest way of dressing is taught and trained from childhood. Though I do not like to judge other people’s way of dressing, it is quite disturbing to see how girls grow up with the idea of having to expose too much to get attention from people. They might also be learning to attach their self-worth with how much they expose and how much attention they gain from it.

  3. This was a really good blog post. I wish the internet was around when my mom had me, so many things you said and I was like yes, yes. I never had a relationship with my mom. But I want to change that when I do if I do have kids one day

    • Waheeda Reply

      I am sorry to hear about the relationship with your mom! We can’t change our past but we can learn from the lessons and definitely change the future!

  4. Thank you for this blog post, I really enjoyed it. Just one thing bothers me though; life skills that we teach our daughters shouldn’t include only traditional “women skills” as your list describes, but also; how to change a tyre, change a plug, hang a picture. I note that you refer to “or him” for the lessons on cyber safety, but not life skills – is it not as important for our boy children to learn how to do their own laundry? The most important lesson I want to teach my daughter is that she is made equal to a man, but I was left with a bit of a 1920’s taste in my mouth on this aspect.

    • Waheeda Reply

      Hi Sally!
      Thanks for your feedback!

      I definitely believe in equality! And based on the suggestions I am thinking of updating the post to add more life skills. All the life skills in the post could be taught to boys and girls without gender discrimination. I truly believe in it. So yes, boys should be taught to do cooking, laundry and everything else they say are “women’s jobs”. And about what you pointed out, I didn’t want to say him/her everywhere in the article, but this is true for both the genders.

  5. I was going to make the same comment as Sally. It’s 2020! Life skills shouldn’t be so gender specific. All kids need to learn the skills you mentioned plus basic plumbing and electrical skills. A girl is just as capable as a man to stick her hand in the toilet tank to fix when the toilet keeps running. Thanks for all the tips.

    • Waheeda Reply

      Hello Nancy!

      I appreciate your feedback. I agree with you and have updated the post. Thanks for your comment!

  6. I enjoyed reading this blog, some worthwhile pointers for mums of any children.
    Just to whole heartedly reiterate what Sally mentioned: the list of life skills you outline Is outdated and painfully gender stereotyped!!! Please update! I would be horrified if they were the only skills that my daughter left home with. And equally horrified if my sons didn’t I should add! Not confirming to gender stereotypes and not expecting men to do the same Is a life lesson that would be worth adding to your list xx

    • Waheeda Reply

      Hello Jessica!

      Thanks for taking the time to give your feedback. I agree with you and with what two other readers commented. I have added a few more skills based on your suggestions:)

      Thanks for reading!

  7. Hi,
    I’m a foster mom and I’ve raised both girls and boys. I find that because our society is so patriarchal still, this makes raising a healthy and confident girl so much harder. I find myself in major protective mode more often than not, against those members of the community who are not yet woke. Its hard and so frustrating to build confidence and empower a young girl who will constantly come across people who will try to bring her down a few pegs, demean or undermine her. What I find is that when a young girl sees in her mother a good role model, the sky is the limit. As mothers of girls we have to be very careful how we talk about ourselves and how we take care of ourselves infront of our daughters. What our girls hear and see is a reflection of themselves. So, if you don’t take care of yourself, if you feel ugly, if you doubt yourself… your daughter will do the same to herself. Great article! Thanks!

    • Waheeda Reply

      You make a good point Ani! That’s why I believe we need to constantly work on ourselves; for our own growth and for our kids to learn from.

  8. Khushboo Pandey Reply

    I am a working lady and a daughters’ mom
    After reading your blog
    I come to know so many perspective of being a mom
    It’s not easy to be as points you mentioned but
    As a daughter I also need a mom like… Above. It doesn’t mean my mom is not good but she should also read this when i was young

  9. I have 3 kids, my oldest a daughter. One of the most important things in a open communication with her is that I’m always honest and I live by this: When a child comes with a question, they are ready to hear the answer. Even if we think ‘She is too young’, or ‘She is too sensitive’. I give age appropriate answers, But I always answer their questions. Even When They make me a little uncomfortable ;). After all Those years of investing in That, She Still asks me What She wants to know. And so often I realize how much I wanted my mom to have done the same thing, so I wouldn’t have heard the crazy answers the world (or internet) gives us.

    • Waheeda Reply

      “When a child comes with a question, they are ready to hear the answer.” I love that. I know how some questions by kids can make us cringe and uncomfortable. But as you said, it’s better for them to get the right guidance from a trustworthy adult than misguiding answers from somewhere else.

      Thanks for sharing your experience:)

  10. I think your article is excellent. 10/10
    My daughters are older now, 15 & 13, but as I read I realized I have actually been parenting closely to all of these and we have very good relationships. We’re a testament to your ideas! We have not had anything like the stereotypical mother/daughter headbutting that we’re warned we’re in for in the teenage years. Believe me, I’m shocked but SO glad it doesn’t have to be that way. I think it is because I had the same ideas and they’ve felt safe and confident as they’ve grown.
    And as for your life skills list, (not sure if the one read was updated or the original) I think they’re great too. IMO it is not sexist to want to learn how to run a home, my daughters AND sons both are looking forward to buying, decorating and entertaining at their own houses one day!

    • Waheeda Reply

      Hey Jeana!

      Your comment truly made my day!

      I am so happy to know that you are a testament to prove that these ideas work! Yeah and as you said, if you consciously build a good relationship with your kids, teenage years need not be troubling at all.

      I know because I had a great relationship with my mother during my teenage years.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment:)

  11. Nice and important for every mom with a girl child. But how to stop to be aggressive towards my princess

  12. Emilienne kabala Reply

    This is very helpful. I have a Daughter of 6years an I’m going to practice everything that I read in this book. Be blessed the person who writes this for us. Love it

    • Waheeda Reply

      Thanks for reading:) I hope you will be able to put it into practice and have a good relationship with her.

  13. Sanessa Jackson Reply

    I am so glad i came across this post. It really touched my heart. I have a 3 yr old daughter. I am hoping to one day raise her to be able to come to me as her friend when she is an adult. As i am with my mother. I also have 2 boys so i have a bit of both worlds

    • Waheeda Reply

      Thanks for your comment Sanessa! I think that’s what every parent wants. For our kids to be able to come to us without apprehensions when they face difficulties in life. Let’s hope we can do it!

  14. I stopped at this article because I am a fairly young mother (30) with a 19 month old and I really like to learn from experienced moms with older children . However, something startled me I’m this article and it could be because I’m black but I just wanted an open discussion because I’m genuinely perplexed. You stated that around teenage years is when girls start to notice their “dark complexion, crooked nose, and misaligned teeth.” That comment did not sit well with me at all. Having darker skin is not an imperfection. Crooked nose and misaligned teeth…definitely would be considered an imperfection. So I’m genuinely curious as to why the darker complexion comment was put in the midst of all the other imperfections. Additionally, if it is seen as an imperfection to white girls, then no wonder our black children don’t stand a chance at being seen as the standard for beauty, because there is no reason why that comment should’ve been added to a list of imperfections for little girls. I think we as women define what beauty is for ourselves because we are all so different. However, if we are not careful we will project our insecurities, prejudices, and to be frank complete ignorance onto our kids.

    • Waheeda Reply

      Hi Candace!

      I am so sorry if you found it offensive. I didn’t mean it that way. I wrote it based on my own observations that I have had growing up and even now it happens in the society where I live. I am from South Asia. Here, in my country, people look different in different regions. And people have different skin colours ranging from dark to fair. So I have seen people pointing out others’ skin colour (even if it’s dark or fair) and darker skin colours are sometimes looked down by people (though not everyone is judgemental like that). It does put kids in a difficult position and as a result, they develop an inferiority complex because they think certain skin colour is the standard for feeling beautiful.
      I wrote it based on my observations and experiences I have had from living in this part of the world. I never thought about it from a black person’s perspective and now that I think about it, I do feel bad that it can have a different meaning to a black person. So I have edited the sentence a bit.
      In my own family, all of our skin colours are really different from each other. So I have had to help my daughters with concerns over their skin colour. And I have not mentioned dark complexion as an imperfection in the post. But you might have got the idea because I mentioned it with the other things. What I meant in the post is that even though you could be having any of the features that society or we ourselves consider to be imperfect, you can try to love them, or at least grow a neutral stance towards them which can come only from self-acceptance. And that’s what I want to teach my daughters too.
      Hope it clears the air. And thanks for pointing it out:)

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