How Parents Can Empower Their Daughters: 3 Keys To Self Empowerment


How Parents Can Empower Their Daughters: 3 Keys To Self Empowerment

Want to know how to help your daughter become a confident adult with great self-worth? What can we do to help empower our daughters in today’s world? How can we help them to develop self-worth?

I sat down with Yoon I’m Kane, a Yale-trained psychotherapist and the founder & executive director at Mindful Psychotherapy Services, a private outpatient therapy center with offices based in Manhattan. Yoon is passionate about therapy and women empowerment. Here’s what she had to say:

We’ve trained girls to be nice and sweet. We rewarded girls who show empathy and cooperation. Now, we have an issue on our hands. Young women are confused and conflicted about how to be there for others while also taking care of themselves. This is evident in the thoughts that arise from young women in my practice:

Sometimes I don’t speak up when I don’t want to do something because I want people to like me.

I don’t want to be difficult and cause problems, so I act responsible and cooperative even when I don’t feel like it.

I get resentful when I sell myself out by taking care of other people’s needs instead of listening to mine.

From a young age, women receive messages about how to be nice, compliant, accommodate others, and gain approval, both from the families and the communities they grow up in. Messages are often subtle and not conscious. They can sound like: Be nice to your brother. Don’t interrupt. Stop being so dramatic. Why are you being so difficult? Don’t you care how I feel?

These messages can hinder women’s natural development of a sense of self-worth and entitlement. Healthy self-worth involves cultivating a level of self-acceptance that validates a full range of desires and feelings. Healthy entitlement requires self-compassion, accepting negative feelings without self-criticism, and making mistakes without shame.

Not developing self-worth and entitlement early on can lead to bigger problems as girls grow into women.

How Parents Can Empower Their Daughters: 3 Keys To Self Empowerment
How Parents Can Empower Their Daughters: 3 Keys To Self Empowerment

Life is full of ups and downs, and while we can’t prevent the downs, how can we provide the right nutrients to bolster girls’ sense of self early on in a way that will insulate them later in life?

Related: 18 Life Lessons I Want My Daughters To Know

Empowerment is best modeled in the environment. Most learning comes from what’s demonstrated moment-to-moment. Opportunities abound in daily interactions with your daughter. 

For example, sometimes your daughter doesn’t feel like being nice to her brother, seems angry for no reason, or refuses to join a family gathering. You may tell her to behave and stop being difficult.

Whether she refuses or complies, consider that she also hears a disempowering message that harmony and keeping the peace are more important than what she feels and wants.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have expectations and set boundaries. Setting healthy limits will foster her sense of self-worth. When you try to understand the source of her feelings and help her put them into words, she will feel empowered to express herself.

For example, when you are annoyed at your teen’s interactions with her brother, saying something like, “You seem really angry at your brother, I totally get that.” This statement helps her feel understood and accepted. It’s important to support her in expressing her feelings constructively and negotiating conflict. Validating her feelings and helping her communicate them effectively is empowering.

Young women today are growing up in a culture in which people may be uncomfortable with women expressing feelings like anger. This sets up a dichotomy where the cost of feeling powerful and expressive is a loss of connection and belonging.

Encouraging messages about “girl power” and women’s rights are juxtaposed with our public debate over issues of gender and power in which women’s voices are not always equally valued.

What can parents do to help empower their daughters? Here are three suggestions:

1. Foster Healthy Entitlement.

Encourage your daughter to express needs and provide opportunities for her to make real choices. Girls need to feel that their needs are worth just as much as others, even if they don’t get what they want.

Help them tolerate disappointments. Healthy entitlement grows from balancing self-care with caring for others.

2. Teach Boundary Setting.

Too often girls are taught to take on the burden of other people’s feelings. Help your daughter to set healthy boundaries by saying no when she feels uncomfortable.

She can stay connected in her relationships without complying with demands or becoming a caretaker. Relationships are more about give and take and negotiation rather than requirements.

Related: Profound Words From The True Face Of Women Empowerment: Oprah Winfrey

3. Nurture Self-Worth.

When adults share their feelings and own up to their mistakes, they are great role models for their children. They are demonstrating the courage to be vulnerable.

Validating your daughter’s feelings has big rewards. Teenagers are going through a confusing phase of life – it makes a big difference to them that you recognize their struggle.

Teaching and modeling compassion and acceptance of vulnerable feelings are crucial. Supporting healthy communication and inviting girls to make healthy choices that foster new beliefs offers opportunities to test out new ways of being. These experiences will embolden your daughter and give her the confidence to counter dysfunctional cultural norms.

For more such informative articles, visit

Written By Sean Grover
Originally Appeared In Sean Grover

If you truly want to empower your daughter, then emotional support, bonding, and healthy communication are the ways to go. If you want your daughter to love herself, and be the absolute best version of herself, then she needs to have the confidence to be unapologetically herself, no matter what society says, does, and expects.

parents empower daughters pin
How Parents Can Empower Their Daughters: 3 Keys To Self Empowerment
How Parents Can Empower Their Daughters Pin
How Parents Can Empower Their Daughters: 3 Keys To Self Empowerment
  • Lack Of Individuation: From Codependent Chameleon To True Self
  • The Rise in Armchair Psychologists on Social Media
  • 30+ Inspiring Quotes About Forgiveness To Let Go Of The Painful Past
  • When You Are Your Own Abuser: 7 Ugly Signs Of Self Abuse That You Ignore
Up Next

Emotionally Immature Parents: 7 Signs You Were Raised By One

Signs Raised By Emotionally Immature Parents

Parents are the guiding force in their children's lives and children grow up emulating and idolizing their parents. For every child, their parents are the people to look to when it comes to understanding how life is and what it means to be a healthy and good person. However, this doesn't hold true for emotionally immature parents.

Emotionally immature parents are controlling, narrow-minded, unreliable, and demanding. They tend to shame and guilt their kids into doing what they want them to do and have zero consideration about what their kids might want. Your emotional needs were never met by your parents, and even as a child, you felt lonely and depressed. You could never have a healthy, normal, and happy relationship with them, and all you craved was love and some parental affection.

Adult children of emotionally immature people never knew what

Up Next

10 Frustrating Things Childfree People Hear All the Time

Frustrating Things Childfree People Hear

Childfree people are often shamed for their choice of not wanting children, be it by their close ones or even strangers. There are so many offensive, insensitive, and frustrating things people say to childfree couples, just because they can't fathom living a life without having children. Just like for some people, having children is the way to living a happy life, similarly, for some people, a childfree life is the way to go.

Key Points:

  • Adults who are childfree by choice often face societal pressures for this decision from those in their social circle.
  • Recent generations struggle to overcome gendered expectations surrounding child-bearing.
  • While many statements are said with good intentions, they continue to perpetuate a message in our society about expectations.

Up Next

Children Of Narcissistic Parents: The Challenge of ‘Reparenting’ Yourself

Children Of Narcissistic Parents

Children of narcissistic parents always get the rough end of the deal; instead of having a safe and protected childhood, all they know are abuse, heartbreak, and manipulation. Parents are supposed to love their children, but children of NPD parents only get pain and trauma.

"If you were born into a narcissistic family, you may have grown up with a roof over your head, but sadly you weren’t raised. You must complete the job yourself. It’s called reparenting" ~ Glynis Sherwood

Related: 10 Things Toxic Parents Say And What They Actually Mean


Up Next

5 Reasons Parents Are Like Shamans

parent as shaman

Shamans are wounded healers who guide people that become lost while navigating through life and fulfill multiple functions, just like a parent. If you are a parent, then you must know about the shamanic approach for parents.

Parenting is one of the most rewarding roles we can have as human beings. As parents, our job is to raise, guide and protect our children, to heal them, and to prepare them to face the challenges of the world and experience the grandeur of the universe. And perhaps this is why, being a parent is often similar to being a shaman.

Parenting is a serious responsibility. If you are a parent, you already know the challenges and joys that come with this journey. As parents, we always give our best to ensure that our children are raised in the best way possible in the most fitting envi

Up Next

What Is Codependent Parental Neglect?

Codependent Parental Neglect

The aim of this article is to neither shame nor blame codependent parents who participate in their family's dysfunction but rather to provide codependency recovery-specific information as well as to open up a discourse on an otherwise taboo subject.

The codependent abnegation of responsibility to protect their children should never be reduced to a simple "good or bad" proposition. It is simply too complicated to cast a one-dimensional blame net. However, because we live in a society that holds adults responsible for their actions, it is vitally important to understand the consequences and losses that result from Codependent Parental Neglect, even if the person causing the harm is also the victim.

Even though the partner to the narcissist suffers grievous harm in their relationship, their codependency "problem" shou

What A Man Looks For In A Woman Based On His Zodiac Sign How Each Zodiac Sign Acts When They Hate Someone Type A Personality Quiz: Do You See Tree, Roots Or Lips? Your Biggest Fear In A Relationship, Based On Your Zodiac Sign What You Need In A Forever Person, Based On Your Zodiac Sign