As a mother of three, working with her husband and living in New Orleans, Andrea Miles has quite a few interesting stories that she shares at According to Andrea.
My daughter Celina is my first born child. She is 11 years old. She is absolutely beautiful and very smart. I love her to death but she makes me insane.
You may laugh now but all of you readers who have or has had an 11 yr old girl know what I am talking about. I am not here to discuss on how many different ways (over 1 million) my daughter drives me cookoo, I am here to share my “plan” on how I intend to raise Celina to be a confident, assertive young woman. (The word plan is in quotation cause everyone knows things don’t always go as planned.)
Encouragement and Praise
I believe for Celina, she loves it when I show her praise for all the hard work she has done. May it be a test grade, a hard book she has read, or maybe even something simple as making her brothers a snack to eat. I ALWAYS ALWAYS tell her that she did a great job. It is important because it will build her self-esteem to know that I recognize the hard work she has put forth.
Celina is not the one to go out and try something new. So when she does do something out of character, I encourage her to be brave and explore whatever it is. For example, a new girl about her age had moved in a couple homes down while she was at her father’s for summer vacation. I knew immediately that they would be great friends. She was shy at first but with a bit of encouragement from my husband and I, she befriended the little girl and now are the bestest of friends.
I also encourage Celina to try out different hairstyles or clothes styles. She has always worn her hair down and it gets all messy and knotted up. When she shows me a hairstyle that she made up, I make sure I remark about how pretty she looks and how wonderful it is that she tried out something new! I always encourage her to try out something new, at least once.
Positive Reinforcement As Discipline
Now, I am not saying I don’t use punishment such as grounding, taking away phone, etc. I am saying I try and reward her when she is being good and displaying a good role model example. Examples are helping cleaning up after dinner, setting up the dinner table, emptying out the dishwasher, or washing her clothes without me having to hound her about it.
For the time being, these don’t happen quite often. LOL So when it does show, I make a big deal out of it. I reward her with something like an extra 30 minutes of computer time, letting her best friend eat over for dinner, or maybe something like going out to a movie.
There are times when I will use punishment. These are simple things like taking the phone away, no computer time, or no dessert after dinner. She throws a big fit about it when I do punish her. But I know in my mind that if I don’t set an example, she will never learn from her mistakes. The biggest rule in disciplining in my book, is ALWAYS FOLLOW THROUGH no matter what. Once I set the punishment, I do not back down from it. I want my daughter to see me, as a woman, to be strong and solid not wishy washy and someone that can be pushed over.