Claire de Saint Lager, author of the book 'Become a Woman,; gives some excellent suggestions.
What can parents say to their daughter to help her become a fulfilled woman, aware of her own beauty?
Claire de Saint Lager, author of the book Become a Woman (Devenir Femme, published in French), gives some excellent suggestions. She’s the founder of a program that helps young women get to know themselves better and discover their own unique personality.
1“BEING A WOMAN IS A GIFT”
“Becoming a woman is an experience that must be rooted in joy,” says Claire de Saint Lager. It’s a unique and wonderful experience, during which a young woman learns to know herself and to blossom. She becomes aware of her beauty, her value, and her feminine qualities, and learns to see them as a gift.
2“YOU PARTICIPATE IN GOD’S CREATIVE WORK”
It’s good to invite your daughter to honor her female body and to be proud of it. She may one day become a biological mother and thus participate in the creative work of God. Invite her to see her period, for example, not as a problem but as a sign of “good health that signifies the body’s capacity to bear a child.” In some countries, at the time of menarche, “girls are celebrated in a way similar to a wedding or a bat mitzvah. It’s a grand celebration,” says Claire de Saint Lager. Why not establish a small ritual to mark this important passage in your daughter’s life by giving her a small gift, a piece of jewelry, or flowers?
3“YOU ARE A UNIQUE AND SINGULAR WOMAN”
A mother is the first person a child attaches to and identifies with. “At the very beginning of life, there’s even a lack of distinction between their bodies, since the baby thinks she is one with her mother.” This link is fundamental.
Over time, it’s essential to “encourage your daughter to access her own desires, and to develop her own particular gifts and talents,” underlines Claire de Saint Lager. “It’s essential to encourage her uniqueness and singularity, and to value it.” To this end, it’s good that she also be inspired by other women around her so she can build her own personal path.
4“YOU ARE THE HEROINE OF YOUR LIFE”
Encouraging the desires and dreams that a young woman carries in her heart is beautiful and good. For Claire de Saint Lager, “adolescence is the age when you dream, when you can dare, when everything is yours to design.” We must trust them, listen to them, and at the same time accompany them step by step. “You don’t decide your life at 15. It’s something that will be built over time. You’ll lay the first stones. You may take side roads, and maybe then other roads again. Orienting yourself takes time. The important thing is to give meaning to each step and to dare to take risks.”
5“YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL”
Encouraging your daughter through words and the way you look at her is fundamental: compliment her outfit, her accomplishments, and her beauty. “You can have the most beautiful girl in the world, but if her father has never told her that she’s beautiful (in the general sense), she will not believe it. She will look for that answer elsewhere,” explains Claire de Saint Lager. Help your daughters find their singular beauty: is it manifested in her generosity, gentleness, intelligence, humor?
6“LOVE YOURSELF AND LET YOURSELF BE LOVED”
“Loving yourself is a long process, but it begins, in particular, with the ability to surround yourself with people with whom you feel good and who want what’s good for you,” says Claire de Saint Lager. It’s important for a young woman to look for friends who will respect her and help her be a better person. If she’s insecure, she may fall into toxic relationships that will not be beneficial. “Our choice of friends also shows how much we value ourselves.”
7“YOU ARE GOD’S BELOVED DAUGHTER”
Adolescence is also a time to reconnect with yourself and with your spiritual life. Claire de Saint-Lager underlines the importance of this interior listening which opens to the divine, “to this heart-to-heart conversation with the One who lives in me and who is in the most intimate center of my being.” “It’s important for a girl to know that she is loved, and to enter into a loving relationship with the Lord. It’s as if the Father in Heaven were saying to her: ‘You are beautiful; you are my beloved daughter.’”