Every mother wants the best for her daughter. You want her to grow up to be successful, happy, and confident. But taking steps towards doing that is easier said than done. In this case, actions speak louder than words. In order to raise a daughter who is an all-around great human being, you need to be one yourself. So how do you get started in setting an example for your daughter? The following are just some of the ways that you can practice what you preach.

Assess Your Self-Image

We all have personal characteristics that we don’t like. For one woman, it’s having to wear glasses while for another it’s having big thighs. But being too critical of yourself can be dangerous-not only to you but also to your children. If you haven’t truly accepted yourself and the way you look, including those things that make you unique, how can you expect your daughters to do the same? Chances are that if you stand in front of a mirror and pick out all the things wrong with the way you look, your little girls may end up feeling the same about their own bodies.

Lead a Healthy Lifestyle

Your daughters are smarter than you think. They catch on to things that you say but don’t follow through with yourself. If you’re always on your daughter’s case to try to get her to lead a healthy lifestyle, you have to lead by example. Your eating habits are important. What kind of message are you sending her if you tell her to eat her vegetables but barely eat vegetables yourself? The same goes with leading an active lifestyle. If you can’t motivate yourself to get off the couch, it’s unlikely that your kids are getting the message that being active is fun. Research has shown that kids whose parents watch a lot of television are more likely to watch a lot of television as well. The good news is that you don’t have to run marathons to show your kids that being active is a good idea. You don’t even have to have a gym membership. Moving-whether it’s going outside to walk the dog, dancing together, or playing hide-and-go-seek-is enough to send the message.

Talking About Relationships

Whether or not you are still with you daughter’s father, you should never put him down in front of her. This puts your daughter in a difficult position no matter what. Your daughter will feel the need to take sides. She might ask herself whether she can love her father if he treats you the way that you say. Even if you have reason to be angry at your daughter’s father, it’s not appropriate for you to drag her into it. When you trash talk her father you are showing her that it’s okay to treat people that way. If you and your ex, or even your current partner, have differences, find other ways to vent your frustration. As a parent, your need to protect her from your negative feelings about her father.

Being a role model for your daughter means showing her what it’s like to be happy, confident, and satisfied with her achievements by living that way yourself. Even if you tell her otherwise, your daughter will pick up on it when your message doesn’t match your behavior.