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What's Your Definition of Strong?

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When I heard I was having a daughter, I was thrilled. So was my husband. The first thing that came to his mind? "We're going to have to pay for a wedding!" The first thing that came to my mind? "We're going to have do deal with middle school!" I remember middle school like it was yesterday, the way that every girls' self-esteem was tenuous at best. Even those that seemed fine and confident had wavering moments.

My kiddo is still young, not yet in middle school, so we have a few years to go before that, but teaching my daughter to be strong started from Day One and is one of my prime jobs every day, 24-7. Combatting any self-doubts, fostering her passions, building confidence, encouraging her to be strong and feel strong is a daily focus. That's why we are all here, on this hub, right? To talk about, to trade tips, to swap hints, and share all of the ways we can raise strong, confident girls.

I find it hard to tackle this without every conversation becoming a lecture...or without her tuning me out. One thing I try to do is point out all different ways she (or somebody else) can be strong, how many different descriptions are under this "strong" umbrella. Here are a few I thought of:

Being strong is being resilient -- When your child has a setback, when maybe she doesn't get cast in the school play or gets fourth in the science fair or strikes out in softball or, heckadoo, even when she's small and her tower of blocks topples over, learning how to bounce back, trying again, exploring what she can do when this happens build confidence and inner strength.

Being strong is being smart -- Teaching her to value the way her mind works and not what is happening in her social circle is vital. Encouraging her that putting that brain to work, supporting her love of reading with trips to the library, exploring a museum together, allowing her to ask questions and be curious about her world can be an amazing way to be strong.

Being strong is being independent -- Believing in her own choices, feeling okay if her idea of what is cool or fun or interesting isn't what the group thinks takes a lot of strength. Having the inner fortitude to stick to what she thinks is right, even when it may mean being by herself, and feeling okay about that is an essential skill to work on with your girls.

What other ways do you see yourself or your girl being strong? What can we add to this list?

 ÂŠiStockphoto.com/stacey_newman 


by on Jun. 1, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (31-40):
NADIA-R
by on Jun. 6, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Not letting people put you down no matter how much they try.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
insaneygolover
by New Member on Jun. 7, 2012 at 11:08 AM

 As a rape survivor I can say this:

Strong is standing up for what you beleive in when everyone is saying that you're wrong

Strong is asking for help if you really need it

Strong is not quitting, even though you want to

Strong is pushing your body to the limits

Strong is loving someone and understanding why they do wrong. And showing compassion (Example: Understanding a murderer, and after they have heard thier story example: Killing their parents because they were abusive and hugging them afterwards)

Strong is forgiveness, and even though someone has done you wrong, you can forgive them anyways

Strong is having the strength to forgive yourself and seeing yourself as a beautiful women

Strong is smilin everyday when you have a thousand reasons to cry.

JamiW0611
by New Member on Jun. 9, 2012 at 1:23 AM

Being strong is admitting when you're wrong, and fixing the situation.

Being strong is knowing that even when "going at it alone" you still should test the waters and see if its what's  best for you.

Being strong is being able to admit you turned into your own Mother once having children! ahahah had to put that one in there

othermom
by Member on Jun. 9, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Being resilaint, being determained, doing your own thing, over coming adversity

Chris3kids1dog
by on Jul. 6, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Being able to admit you are wrong without falling to pieces.  Also being able to say you are not going to do something because you know it is wrong (peer pressure)

L1558
by New Member on Jul. 6, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Knowing you have weaknesses but NOT letting them define who you will be, or become.

Tennismom360
by New Member on Jul. 6, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Being able to cope!  As a parent I make a point not to coddle my girls. I want them to learn to deal with adversity and frustration.  When things come easily they don't learn to cope.  Resilience is so important and we as parents have to teach them, by letting them fail/make mistakes.

Tennismom360
by New Member on Jul. 6, 2012 at 11:42 AM

And working on making those weaknesses strengths.

Quoting L1558:

Knowing you have weaknesses but NOT letting them define who you will be, or become.


TurboMom81
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by on Jul. 6, 2012 at 11:43 AM
1 mom liked this

I completely agree with you. I'm trying to raise my girls to not be afraid to fail!

Quoting dusky_rose:

Being strong is not being afraid to try new things. And not being afraid that you might fail. We all make mistakes and learn from them.



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crazymomof4787
by on Jul. 6, 2012 at 1:06 PM

I had 4 kids.  2 of them girls.  I couldn't wait to they all got out of middles school.  7th and 8th grade especially for girls is TERRIBLE.  

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