The 10 'Golden Rules' Every Mom With A Daughter Should Follow

Photo: Alena Ozerova / Shutterstock
mother and daughter

As more and more women are seizing their power in a male-dominated society, mothers are using new techniques in teaching their daughters the ways to navigate the world.

One mom, Emain Barnard Fourie, shares these 25 rules for mothers with daughters. She encourages mothers everywhere to allow their daughters to be as loud, as messy, and as enthusiastic as young boys. At the same time, she teaches them to not be ashamed of their femininity and to be proud of being a woman. 

Here's an excerpt:

The 10 'Golden Rules' Every Mom With A Daughter Should Follow

1. Allow your daughter to make a mess.

Paint her nails and let her scratch them up later. Allow her to use you as a guinea pig and put makeup on you. Put flowers in her hair. Jump in puddles and make mud pies with her.

There's nothing wrong with a woman caring about her appearance. But she also shouldn't forget to live life and have fun, and sometimes that means getting a little dirty. And according to Fourie, messy memories are the best memories.

2. Allow her to be human and make mistakes.

Maybe she spends her Saturday nights reading books or riding on the back of motorcycles. Maybe she decided to go backpacking in Europe before going to college. Maybe her first boyfriend is the resident bad boy or her childhood best friend. The point is, she's only young once.

"Try to remember that you were her age once," said Fourie. "Everyone makes mistakes — let her make her own."

RELATED: 20 Things We're Not Telling Little Girls, But We Should

3. Fuel her imagination. 

In playing dress up, Fourie believes letting your daughter dress up in whatever way she wants allows her to decide and be confident in the person she wants to become. Build forts with her, and allow her to play princess and fall in love with Prince Charming.

"Help her to find magic in the ordinary, to imagine, to create, and to believe in fairy tales," says Fourie.

RELATED: 6 Truths I Tell My Daughter (That I Barely Believe Myself)

4. Be her friend.

Introduce her to music you like and allow her to introduce you to hers. Encourage singing and dancing, whether it's wiggling to nursery rhymes when she's two years old or rocking out to punk rock bands at fifteen years old. And join along!

There will also be times throughout her life when your daughter just needs a close confidant, and wouldn't you rather be that confidant? So when she's talking to you, sharing secrets, or moping about boys, listen and ask her questions. And allow her to do the same with you.

"She is not only your daughter, you are not only her mother," says Fourie. "Be her friend, too."

5. Give her role models and be a role model.

Everybody had a role model growing up, and Fourie recommends introducing her to successful women in various fields, whether it be art, literature, medicine, engineering, and so on. Introduce her to works of influential women like Eleanor Roosevelt or Rosa Parks, or show her famous classic works made by women such as Jane Austen or Emily Dickinson.

But there's no other great role model than a parent. Fourie believes that knowing who you are as a person helps your daughter find out who she is. The ways you can do this are:

  • Find and follow your own passions.
  • Search for outlets of expression and enjoyment for yourself — not just your husband or children.
  • Define yourself by your own attributes, not by what others expect you to be.

6. Read to her.

Instill in her a love and passion for the written word. When she's younger, read to her the works of Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle. And as she grows older, introduce her to Robert Frost and Sylvia Plath.

Fourie says, "Words can be simply written and simply spoken, yet can harvest so much meaning. Help her to find their meaning."

7. Teach her manners.

Even if you're her friend, don't forget that you're also her mother. Teach her politeness, to smile, and to treat the people around her with kindness. The world will then be a better place because of her.

8. Be there for her.

Fourie doesn't mean to just be around her. Be present at her school performances, her parent-teacher conferences, and her sports games. 

"When she looks through the crowds of people, she will be looking for your smile and pride," she said. "Show it to her as often as possible."

And don't forget the "I love you's," the kisses, and to tell her how beautiful she is. Fourie believes that your affection shows your daughter how to be compassionate. There will come a time when she won't want you to do this anymore. But while you still can, also hold her hand.

"This will teach her to be confident in herself and proud of her family," says Fourie.

RELATED: 9 Things To Tell Your Daughter That Will Build Her Confidence

Your daughter will have doubts, and it's up to you to reassure and remind her of how amazing she is, that you will be there with her every step of the way.

9. Show her how to truly love.

Lead by example and love her father. This shows your daughter the kind of man whom she deserves to love, and who will love her. Thus, allow her to choose who to love. With or without your disapproval, she will continue to love him, and if he breaks her heart, you will be there to pick up the pieces. 

"When she is sick, rub her back, make her soup and cover her in blankets — no matter how old she is," says Fourie.

10. Show her how to be a mother.

Whether she decides to have her own children later on or not, share with her the beauty and joy you feel as her mother. Shower her with loving words and kisses to reassure her that no one will love her more than you do. 

"Someday, if she is giving birth to her own child, push her hair out of her face, encourage her, and tell her how beautiful she is. These are the moments she will remember you for," says Fourie.

In the end, whether she's been broken up with or worried about her first pregnancy, your daughter will always want her mommy. And she knows that you'll come running right when she needs you. 

Caithlin Pena has been an editor with YourTango since 2015.