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Handling and Channeling Your Daughter’s Big Emotions

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Dr. Meg Meeker

Happy International Women’s Day to all of the wonderful, strong and intelligent women out there! This world would not be the same without you, and I’m glad to have an excuse to celebrate you today, even though you deserve celebration each and every day.International Women’s Day is also a great opportunity to start teaching your daughters about the potential they have to be strong women one day. It’s in each and every one of them, but they need you, their parents, to call it out in them. They need you to speak the truth to them about who they are, who they are not, and what their potential really is. Because, as we all know, this is not always a friendly world for our young daughters to be raised in.

A common complaint we often hear about women is that we are “too emotional.” I do believe women can be more focused on feelings than men are. As a medical professional and pediatrician, I have often seen this played out in families I treat. But women being emotional is not a problem. Our emotions become a problem when we don’t know how to channel them in a healthy way.

Women being emotional is not a problem. Our emotions become a problem when we don’t know how to channel them in a healthy way.

If you worry about your daughter when she shows strong emotions, don’t. Her emotions aren’t wrong and in fact, it is exactly her strong feelings, intuition and empathy that will grow her into a strong woman one day. As her parent, your job is not to stifle or stop your daughter’s emotions. Instead, when you see her getting upset, use that moment as an opportunity to teach your daughter the difference between feelings, reason, and will.

Feelings

Feelings are your daughter’s gut reaction. She’s had them since she was baby. She felt hungry, so she cried. But feelings aren’t why we make the decisions we do. Teach her from a young age that a feeling is a response. After her feelings lessen, then she can move onto reason.

Reason


Reason, experience and our moral compass help us decide what to do. As a parent, your job is to provide your daughter with a moral compass, to be the voice of reason when she talks about her feelings, and to show her the power of will that allows you to live with the outcome of moral reasoning.

As a parent, your job is to provide your daughter with a moral compass, to be the voice of reason when she talks about her feelings, and to show her the power of will that allows you to live with the outcome of moral reasoning.

Will

Willpower is one of the most important qualities a child can develop to assure she will grow into a strong and healthy adult. Will is what allows us to choose reason over feelings. Willpower will take your daughter far in life because the power of will is what allows her to be self-disciplined, and self-discipline is necessary for any woman to be successful in her life, whether that’s in relationships, friendships or a career.

Willpower will take your daughter far in life because the power of will is what allows her to be self-disciplined.

There are so many reasons to celebrate women today, and our ability to feel deeply and have strong emotions is one of them. As you celebrate the women in your life today, celebrate the young women and girls too, the ones who are growing up to be strong women who have strong feelings, the power to reason and the power to do what is right, rather than what simply feels good.

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Dr. Meeker is here to help! “How to Talk to Your Kids about Puberty & Sex (ages 8-18)” is her most comprehensive course ever and she’ll equip you to have that conversation with knowledge, confidence and sensitivity. Check it out!

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