7 More Simple Ways to Raise A Strong Girl
We talk a lot about having conversations about esteem and confidence and building up our gals so they can walk confidently through this world...which sounds really lofty and heavy and the last thing we may be thinking about (or have time to do) these days.
But, at the heart of all, it doesn't have to be this heavy, loaded, clearing of the throat, we have to have a talk kind of thing to raise a strong girl. Some of the best ways to raise that daughter to feel strong and awesome are very simple.
-- Notice her. Whenever she walks into the room, look at her, right in the eyes and smile. Validate her being and her soul and her spirit with that simple acknowledgement. No matter how tired or if you are wrangling her twin brothers, do this one thing and build her self-worth.
-- Grab some post it notes and leave her a surprise on her pillow or computer screen or bathroom mirror. Simple messages like "You are amazing" or "be(YOU)tiful" or "Embrace your body, it is the most amazing thing you will ever own." Or "I see you and your soul is gorgeous."
-- Encourage curiosity. Being curious makes you full of enthusiasm, full of excitement...which means any fear or nerves fall to the wayside. A great lesson for our daughters, to remember when they are feeling anxious or nervous to switch it up, to question, to be curious...
-- Accept compliments and let her hear you and see you do that. It is hard for many of us to accept compliments, but it is important we do. If you dismiss it, you are dismissing your own beauty, your self, your talents. If she sees you doing it, she will dismiss her own worth and abilities. When our daughters see us own them, be proud of what you may have done for the fundraiser or the article you wrote in the newsletter, she sees how to accept her own self worth too. It is a small one, but an important one.
-- Clue her in to the difference between reality and fantasy. Princess dress-up is great as is watching Cinderella 23 times, but open up the conversation to what happens after happily ever after. Again, not with your three-year-old, but you older girls can talk about what real is - not being rescued, but working hard and so on. This translates over to the pop culture princesses too - those teen idols and music stars. Talking about the hard work to practice singing, to having her dainging body in healthy form, still doing school work while working on a career, and so on, not just the fun frolicking and red carpet and jet-setting.
-- Talk about body changes before they happen to her. This may sound hard, but it is simple, really. When she notices or asks questions about your body or other puberty things. Talk about them, give your own examples. Maybe not when she is four, but when she is seven or eight, be open and honest and confident when you talk to her. That the body, her body, your body is amazing. That way, when it starts to happen to her, she isn't scared and she know she can talk to you about it all.
-- Tell her you love her. Often, many times a day. Sometimes that is all she may need.
Which of these do you do -- and what else can we add to the list?