You are one of the lucky ones if you have a daughter with some spunk and an undaunted spirit. She is probably more mature, intelligent, independent and assertive than other girls her age. But you are her mum and want to make sure she is also empathetic and kind. So how do you go about achieving this? Here a few parenting tips on raising your high-spirited girl.
Make a difference
Young minds are so impressionable! You have to empower your girl child while she is still young. Today the media bombards young, impressionable minds that undermine self-image. Sometimes it is on TV, showing reality shows filled with mean women and young girls. Other times it is the Disney princess culture, or it is the world-famous Barbie doll image with unrealistic bodies. We do hope some of these parenting tips will help your spunky little girl grow into a compassionate young lady some day.
Teach your daughter to stand up for herself
Give her self-confidence to fight against injustice against herself and other women or any unkindness for that matter. Girls often need a boost of self-worth, so include them in a good cause. It could be endangered animals, like the white rhino or tiger, or equal rights for the education of girls. It will make even small children feel empowered.
Be your daughter’s emotional coach
One of the hardest things to teach girls is how to vent negativity without being mean. Teach your daughter how to express negative emotions by calming techniques that soothe nerves, (like yoga, aerobics, deep breathing, spending time alone or partying with peers). Encourage her to vent her feeling without blaming others, when working out a problem with someone.
Allow your daughter to solve problems both in and outside of school work, before stepping in. Nothing builds self-worth and self-confidence more than getting it right on your own. But never ignore her. Go out with her, identify and encourage what she loves to do, and ask her about school.
Point out role models
You are your daughter’s biggest inspiration and most influential role model. But she also needs good role models with whom she can relate. Use role models for young girls like Malala Yousafzai, Beyonce, Susan Wojcicki, Michelle Obama (and her daughters), or one of your friend’s daughters. Admire strong female role models yourself for making a positive difference in the world, so that she will feel the same.
Provide leadership opportunities
Women have come a long way! But there are many more hurdles to overcome. Women are still underrepresented in most areas, from politics, business, to teaching and entertainment.
It is a teacher’s and a mother’s responsibility to develop a ‘take charge’ attitude in young girls.
The earlier, the better.
Most women fear they will appear too “bossy” and avoid challenges. But if you see leadership qualities in your daughter, help her develop these skills. Hone her public speaking, decision making, team building and problem-solving skills.
She needs to know she is as useful and valuable as the boys in your family.
And even more worthy.
Allow her to do simple tasks like ordering pizza for everyone, or take on bigger projects like planning and making decisions about the family vacation.
Select media that inspires girls
Expose her to a variety of girl-empowering stories, songs, poetry, cinema, websites, and events.
Converse with her
Taking becomes a lot easier with activity. Find a hobby you can both do together. Spend one-on-one time with your daughter cooking, having dessert together, reading, playing games, gardening, shopping, hiking, biking…whatever else floats your boat!
Failure is part of growing up and life. When she fails (and she will because everyone does), your job is to listen and hug her, NOT point out the mistakes. Trying to have a meaningful conversation with a daughter can be challenging. Let her do most of the talking and express how she feels. We hope these parenting tips will lead to more empowerment of women. We want to help your mother-daughter relationship blossom and grow into a beautiful one.
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