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What messages are you sending to your daughter about what kind of a woman she will become?

You may be surprised by some of the insights provided by this week’s Mom Enough guest, author Joyce McFadden!


As mothers, we shape our daughters’ confidence and sense of self in powerful ways. But we may not realize that what we do not say to our daughters, particularly about their bodies and the ordinary experiences of womanhood, may have far-reaching effects on their confidence across all aspects of their lives. Joyce McFadden, psychoanalyst and lead researcher on the ongoing Women’s Realities Study, joins Marti & Erin to discuss some of the thought-provoking findings from her research and clinical practice. This is a conversation that will challenge you to reflect on what you are – and are not – communicating to your daughter, whatever her age.


As a young girl, what messages did you receive from your mother or other adults about your body and your identity as a female? How are you doing things the same or differently with your own children, especially daughters? Please share your thoughts in our REPLY space!

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  1. Me on September 5, 2011

    I learned early on that I don’t belong. Anywhere. My father, according to my mother, wanted to murder me before I was born. She told me this when I was 3. I’ve been trying to disappear ever since. There’s so much more I don’t know where to start in with it. Women, to me, are mean and I try to avoid them. It’s been a very lonely life.

  2. Angela on September 7, 2011

    The above comment is very very sad… I was also brought up in a very dysfunctional family. I knew that as I grew up… but didn’t realize what it really meant until I had kids myself and how easy it is to fall into patterns and not get out of them. Even though you never wanted to be in those patterns. I don’t even realize most of the time until I am in one for a while. Then you have to say to yourself. “what would happen if I didn’t do that.

    To the lady in the above comment. I believe it is very hard to make friends in this state. When my sis moved down south she didn’t know what to do at first because everyone talked to everyone. ;O) Surround yourself with people that care. I go to church… I go to ECFE with my dd. I still can’t talk much but I am there and proud of myself that I go. There are mom’s groups etc. Try to realize there are a lot of people in this world that are “sick”. That’s what I call them… I still love them but they are in my mind sick and have either stopped trying to help themselves or don’t care if they hurt others. I can live with that.