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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?


by on Jun. 1, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (41-50):
by on Jul. 6, 2012 at 1:33 PM

When my girls fall down or get hurt, my husband are right there to pick them up and kiss them but we also say you are fine, you're ok, you're are brave. You did great! I think teaching our children happens more in the everyday things than in lectures and talks. They learn from experience and from watching us. It is our job to be strong so they can learn from us.

My definition of strength is being able to push through even when times are hard and sticking to your guns, being who you are, even when that isn't easy to do.

by Member on Jul. 6, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Doing your best to  make a right out of a wrong situation..... 

Standing up for those less fortunate than you....


by Wendy on Jul. 6, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Great list!

by Stacy on Jul. 6, 2012 at 9:34 PM

Being strong is Being confident in who you are and who you are called to be. If you are called to be a SAHM be confident in that and if you are called to a specific carreer be confident in that. Or whatever it may be. 

by Member on Jul. 7, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Being strong first comes from accepting yourself.Looking in the mirror and knowing you are beautiful inside and out.I try to be very aware of being ok in my skin and living healthier.I am mom and a role model:)

Being strong means growing pains.Learning to become independent involves some chances,mistakes,accomplishments and success:)Give kids enough rope to explore but not hang themselves.


by Bronze Member on Jul. 7, 2012 at 11:22 AM

You pretty much covered most of them.

by Bronze Member on Jul. 7, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Not being afraid of doing her own thing and being a little different from the others. 

by Member on Jul. 7, 2012 at 10:13 PM
HeatherNYC - awesome list! I plan to use this with my two girls and my Brownie and Daisy troops! Perfect for our Strong and Courageous petal in Daisys. Thank you for sharing!
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by New Member on Jul. 7, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Those were great points, but also being honest and courageous.  Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to be honest and stand up for what is right, and not just being honest with other people but being honest with herself.  

by Member on Jul. 8, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Being strong is feeling confident, independent, but knowing when to ask for help, knowing yourself, having determination, being happy with who you are, being able to pick yourself back up when you get knocked down, and knowing that you have unlimited potential and capabilities to be and do anything you want. This is what I am teaching my 3 daughters, and something I justgirl giving flower really realized for my own life. 

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