A mother-daughter relationship is a unique and special bond often seen as one of the most important relationships in a woman’s life.
Mothers and daughters often share significant life experiences as part of the family and provide emotional support to each other throughout their lives, offering a safe space to express feelings and seek comfort.
Mothers also serve as role models for their daughters, shaping their values, beliefs, and behaviors. They may share common traits, interests, hobbies, or passions, providing opportunities for closeness.
One of the most beautiful aspects of the mother-daughter relationship is that it can provide a sense of continuity and connection across family history and traditions. And among the many gifts passed from generation to generation can be lessons on healthcare.
Healthcare is a crucial aspect of overall wellness and can impact a woman’s life in many ways.
According to Maghboeba Mosavel et al., in their medical paper in PubMed Central, daughters can read about health issues from articles and books online and learn intellectually. But the practical wisdom their mothers can give them through health-related one-to-one conversations can be invaluable.
Mothers and daughters may also share genetic and lifestyle factors that increase their risk for certain health conditions. By discussing family health history, both can take steps to improve their chances of a healthy lifestyle with appropriate medical interventions.
Here are ten health lessons that mothers should talk to their daughters about. Frank and sensitive chats on these topics can be incredibly beneficial.
Before everything else, mothers must teach their daughters about the importance of taking care of themselves … including taking time for personal interests, being engaged in fulfilling work, paying attention to personal healthcare, and learning to live an independent life. This can help daughters develop a sense of empowerment and personal responsibility.
An essential part of self-care is self-compassion, living free from stress and burnout, and getting good periods of relaxation and sleep. These are priorities mothers must highlight to their daughters.
According to Dana Hunsinger Benbow, writing in USA Today, and quoting Dr. Leslie Sim, clinical director of Mayo Clinic, “Moms are probably the most important influence on a daughter’s body image.” Rather than obsessing about appearance or conforming to societal beauty standards, mothers must teach their daughters to focus on their plus points, personalities, and inner selves.
Individuals with a positive body image are likelier to engage in healthy habits and lifestyles. On the other hand, a negative or poor body image can lead to disordered eating ailments (like anorexia and bulimia) and a range of mental health concerns, especially during the teenage to young adult years.
In a well-meaning way, mothers must explain the importance of maintaining good personal hygiene habits to their daughters. The recent Covid-19 pandemic has also warned us of the need for personal hygiene of a high order to protect ourselves from viruses, infections, and other pollutants.
Mothers will succeed better if they make personal hygiene rituals sound less like regulations and more like health-protection principles.
Despite the world around them being loaded with tempting junk food, mothers do need to encourage their daughters to eat balanced diets that include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Daughters must be told to avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and foods high in saturated and trans fats.
According to Jacqueline Ballou Erdos, CCSD, CDN, writing in Performance Optimal Health, it would help if mothers made their daughters appreciate that eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated (drinking plenty of water) can help women maintain a healthy weight and look blooming with natural radiance.
Mothers can set examples for their daughters by maintaining their disciplined exercise regimens. Teaching young daughters to enjoy the outdoors for at least a few hours each day and making them see the joy in an active and energetic way of life will help their health.
An excellent way for mothers to make exercising appealing to their daughters is to emphasize the social benefits – such as connecting with others who share similar interests or participating in group fitness classes.
Daughters need to be told about the stresses of peer pressure. Trying to conform with the crowd can feel like a very anxiety-ridden issue they find hard to cope with. Mothers must empower daughters to feel good about themselves.
According to Sarah Poirier, writing in Moms Magazine, mothers must tell daughters that it is okay not to feel okay sometimes. Mental health need not be difficult to discuss if mothers can explain the value of learning to manage stress and make daughters feel comfortable to seek help if they experience mental health problems.
According to Zahra Sooki et al., in their medical paper in the National Library of Medicine, mothers must discuss menstrual health early on with their daughters. Daughters need to know what to expect during their periods, how to manage menstrual cramps, how to use menstrual products, and how to maintain hygiene during their monthly cycles.
A young girl around the age of puberty will see a lot of significant differences in herself physically, emotionally, and socially. She needs to be able to handle all this. She must also be aware that regular medical checkups are vital for early screening against cancers and other gynecological issues.
There can be no soft way of saying this, so mothers have to teach daughters where they have to draw the red lines in their lives regarding smoking, drinking alcohol excessively, and using drugs. Social pressures to experiment may be high, so every daughter needs a safety valve at home to openly discuss such issues with her mother.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the US Government, “When parents talk with their children early and often about alcohol and other drugs, they can protect their children from many of the high-risk behaviors associated with using these drugs.”
Mothers need to build in their daughters the habit of seeking medical care when necessary and attending regular check-ups to maintain good health. Daughters need to understand that in healthcare, “prevention is better than cure.”
Life is so hectic for girls – with their education, work pressures, extra-curricular activities, and social networking – that they may not see the need to pencil in visits to the doctor in their calendars. But it’s up to mothers to reiterate the value of regular proactive doctor visits.
Some families could have hereditary or lifestyle conditions that foster chronic illnesses such as obesity, cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension. When these ailments combine, they can all have a multiplicative effect on the heart.
This is such an important area of healthcare that mothers must let their daughters know if they could be in any high-risk category. Daughters must also discuss with their doctors about possible genetic conditions and learn how to get help to reduce high cholesterol, manage obesity symptoms, spot early signs of diabetes, and prevent high blood pressure.
No one understands the life of a young girl as her mother – even if they belong to two different generations. Mothers and daughters must set aside time for heart-to-heart chats about health, living well, and maximizing potential. We wish all mothers and daughters excellent well-being. Stay heart-healthy. Be a Zinda Dil.