We “girl moms” all share one very passionate goal-raising strong, independent and self-confident daughters. We want them to grow up knowing that they can be and do anything they want, even if society tells them otherwise
1. Let them write their own story, even if it’s a tale of pink-loving princesses
we can become so hyperfocused on making sure that our daughters don’t feel like they have to love all things pink and pretty that we forget that it’s okay if they do happen to love those things. The point is, let your daughter decide what she enjoys, then support her in that, even if it’s not what you would have chosen for her.
2. Remove the words “that’s for boys” from your vocabulary
I want my daughter to know that she can be a princess AND an architect. She can dress up her Barbies one minute and build impressive LEGO structures the next. Go to ballet class on Tuesday and soccer practice on Wednesday. Play “tea party” at noon and stomp in mud puddles at 1. If we remove words like “just for boys” now, hopefully, our granddaughters will never know a world where cars and Legos are kept separate from dolls and pink castles.
3. Teach her the value of inner beauty
If we want to change the world for our daughters and granddaughters, we have to put more focus on inner beauty. Tell your daughter that she’s beautiful because she makes you laugh, not just because she has a pretty smile. Remind her that her best feature is her wonderful heart, not her long hair. Even when you talk about celebrities, discuss the good they do, not how good they look.
4. Teach her how to advocate for herself
The hardest part of raising independent and self-confident daughters is knowing when to take a step back and let them fight their own battles.
However, if we want them to stand up for themselves as adults, we have to give them the chance to do it as children. Rather than call up former BFF’s mom, ask your daughter how SHE wants to handle it. Instead of ripping into her math teacher (who definitely deserves it), give her the tools to prove him wrong herself. Let her know that she has every right to stand up for herself and that no one can make her feel inferior without her consent (as Eleanor Roosevelt said).
5. Let her know it’s okay to ask for help
While you’re teaching your daughter to stand up for herself, remind her that you’ll be there to support her if she needs it. While you’re teaching her to change a tire, remind her that there’s nothing wrong with calling AAA, either! It’s okay to be a therapist and need therapy. It’s fine to be a master chef and order takeout. Basically, it’s okay to be fierce and strong yet still need your mom sometimes.
6. Surround her with positive role models of BOTH genders
Show your girls that there are just as many wonderful male role models as there are females and that it’s okay to look up to them
7. Encourage her academically
Make sure that your daughter knows that despite years of misinformation, there is actually no scientific evidence that boys are better at math and science than girls. None. Nada. So, if she’s considering a STEM class but worried that being a girl will hold her back, encourage her to go for it and give it her all.
8. Teach her that her body is her own & that she has a right to say “no”
As they get older, when you have “the talk” with your daughter, reiterate that no one should ever, ever, ever force her to do something that she doesn’t want. It doesn’t matter what she’s wearing, what her date expects, or even what & how much she drinks (obviously, you want to teach her not to drink, too, but that should be part of a different discussion). She’s always allowed to say no.
9. Be the woman you want your daughter to become
To raise my daughter in a world where we are recognized, where we can work, where we have a voice, can lead, and have an impact. I want to teach her that all her dreams and aspirations are within her reach. That she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to. I will teach her how important it is to not only take care of herself but of her community as well. I want to raise a strong, independent, and self-confident daughter, just like the woman that raised me.