A daughter is a miracle that never ceases to be miraculous. And when you took on the job of raising her we imagine you had a strong, confident and happy daughter in mind. Read on for some tips on how to raise your daughter just so.
Remind her how important smart, assertive girls are to the world
Where would we be without Malala Yousafzai who is fighting for girl’s rights to education? What about Rosa Parks and Marie Curie? Even Emma Watson whose personal feminism inspires many and whose role as Hermoine Granger saved her friends more than once. Inspire your daughter with a bookcase from MyDeal kids furniture full of powerful female stories and smart advice. Teach her about the iconic women in history and the women who are standing up for females today. Above all remind her that she is kind, she is smart and she is beautiful; but not one above the other.
Principal psychologist at Hopscotch and Harmony, Jessica Cleary, also advocates raising strong girls.
“In our culture girls are praised for being nice. We want to raise "nice girls". We want our daughters to have "nice friends". Sure, it's important to be friendly and kind to others. Absolutely. But let's also make sure our girls know that there are going to be times when being "nice" just won't do. There will be times they need to be firm, assertive and to boldly make a stance even if it is unpopular. We need to teach our girls to have a voice and to make sure it is heard. From an early age, let's support our girls to question what they see and hear and to have an opinion. Let's help our girls know what they stand for and to encourage them to speak up even if it's not necessarily "nice". Let's be role models to our daughters.”
Encourage her personality
Some girls will spend hours playing house in a pink play kitchen while others would rather play with frogs. Not every young girl aspires to the things that society says little girls want. Your daughter might dream of being an astronaut over a ballerina. Encouraging her in all her pursuits will ensure she grows up with the knowledge she can do anything and you will always support her.
Handling the internet age
Stephanie Lau is a Melbourne-based Educational and Developmental Psychologist who deals with young girls often in her work. Her advice for parents is to help their daughters feel comfortable in their own skin.
“In this social media day and age, it is important to instil a strong sense of self and independence in our daughters. For young girls (and females of all ages), it is important to ensure and encourage girls to be comfortable in their own skin, to have dreams and to feel nurtured and supported to achieve any goals or dreams they may have. We want girls to be confident being who they are and not having to try and be someone else. With the pressures of mass marketing, media and the sexual exploitation of females, we want our future generations of women to be strong, bold and happy in their own skin.”
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Mums set a strong example
Most young girls look up to their mothers throughout their life. One survey found 63% of girls chose their mother as their role model and 48% of them turn to their mother for support and advice. In her speech at the MTV Video Music Awards for 2017 popstar Pink shared her response when her daughter thought she was ugly because she looked like a boy.
“And I said to her, ‘Do you see me growing my hair?’ She said, ‘No, mama.’ I said, ‘Do you see me changing my body?’ ‘No, mama.’ ‘Do you see me changing the way I present myself to the world?’ ‘No, mama.’ ‘Do you see me selling out arenas all over the world?’ ‘Yes, Mama.’ ‘OK! So, baby girl. We don’t change. We take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl. And we help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty.”
As the main woman in her life remember that the things you do set the example for her.
Cherish your daughter’s younger years because they’ll fly by. As a parent the things you do will affect her whole life so make conscious choices for her future.