This Mom Offers Up Some Unsolicited Advice About Raising Daughters -- & We Actually Want to Follow It

pcos support girl
pcos_support_girl/Instagram

Body image is a difficult subject for most women, but once we have kids? Forget about it. Raising confident, self-loving children is one of the biggest challenges of being a parent. But some "unsolicited advice" shared by a woman on Instagram just might be the ticket. A mom named Shelby just posted an impromptu guide for how to talk to our daughters about their bodies, and her advice is spot-on.

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"Step one: don't talk to your daughter about her body," Shelby writes in her post. "Don't say anything if she's lost weight. Don't say anything if she's gained weight. If you think your daughter's body looks amazing, don't say that."

mom and daughter
pcos_support_girl/Instagram

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Instead, the mom says, we should focus on telling our daughters they're strong and healthy. Or better yet, she adds, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.

"Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel good," she writes. "Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that's a good thing sometimes. Help your daughter love soccer or hockey because sports make her a good leader and a more confident woman."

The mom, who goes by PCOS Support Girl on Instagram and is vocal about her journey with polycystic ovarian syndrome, also warns that we should never make disparaging remarks about our own bodies (or anyone else's, for that matter) in front of our kids.

"Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It's easy to hate these non-size zero body parts," she writes. "Don't. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants."

pcos support girl
pcos_support_girl/Instagram

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It's not always easy to pass unshakable body confidence on to our kids, especially when so many of us struggle to possess it ourselves. I certainly didn't grow up in a "body positive" household, and so many of my 30 years on this planet have been spent trying to come to terms with my strengths and limitations, my size, my shape, my relationship with food. And I know so many other woman who can relate.

But, that's our struggle. Kids are a clean slate. And healing words and actions like the ones in Shelby's post will do just as much good for moms as they will for the little people watching and listening to us, because let's face it: We all need a reminder to love ourselves and be kinder to ourselves now and then.

"Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul," the mom concludes in her post. That's one piece of unsolicited advice we'll want to keep with us.

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