Are you a Christian struggling with boundaries? If so, you may be concerned about what you are modeling to your daughter. As a parent of a daughter, you want her to be treated well by the men she will date and the man she will marry. This article will show you how to teach your daughter not to tolerate abuse in her relationships with men.
Don't abuse her. If a girl is abused by her father or mother or anyone else, she is very likely to pick abusive men to date and marry. When you treat her well, you model how it feels to be treated respectfully. If someone treats her disrespectfully, it won't feel right and she will sense a red flag, but if she is used to being treated abusively, then she won't have that red flag because the mistreatment will feel normal.
Don't tolerate abuse toward you. When you allow yourself to be abused, then you will be modeling how a person is treated by others. If it is good enough for you, then why wouldn't it be right for her? If you set a boundary with the people in your life that treat you abusively, then she will see that she has options when she is mistreated. Girls watch their mothers and fathers to see how a relationship should be. They then replicate those dynamics.
Respect her right to say no. Christians focus on teaching children to obey. There is nothing wrong with this, as children do need to obey their parents and authority figures; however, a child should always be able to say no when it feels unsafe and unhealthy and the adults in her life need to respect her right to say no and stop what they are doing. This shouldn't be used as a way for her to manipulate you, but as training for her right to say no to what doesn't feel right to her.
Teach her to validate herself. Abuse victims ignore what they feel and instead believe their abuser. Teach your daughter to identify her beliefs, feelings, thoughts, and perceptions and to hold fast to them as hers. Tell her that other people do not have to agree with her in order for her to validate herself. Reinforce that it is good for her to stand strong as her own person.
Don't use God as a threat. Emphasize how much God values her. When she makes mistakes show her how God forgives her and understands her imperfections. Don't use God to shame her, scare her, or threaten her. If you use God as a threat, you will set her up to have her husband use God and the Bible to spiritually abuse her by controlling her through fear of God's punishment if she doesn't obey him.
It is your goal to raise your daughter to be a woman of dignity that is treated with respect rather than abuse. This article has shown you how to teach your daughter not to tolerate abuse in her relationships.
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Karla Downing is an author, speaker, licensed marriage and family therapist, and Bible study teacher. Karla's passion is to help people find freedom in Christ in the midst of their difficult relationships and circumstances through Biblical truths and practical tools.