5 Ways I’m Trying To Raise A Confident Girl
I’m a mom of two boys and a little girl. Although I’m somewhat of a seasoned mom, having a daughter is a new experience for me, but it also presents new and interesting challenges.
After having my second son, I more or less breezed through the first stages of raising him. I already had an older son, so I was confident I knew the ropes.
When I became pregnant a third time, it came as a total surprise. But it was even more astonishing to find that I was expecting a baby girl. My husband and I were delighted and excited, but also nervous because we were fully aware we had no experience with girls.
Because raising a girl is somewhat different from raising a boy. I’ve always believed in gender equality, so I was convinced that having a girl didn’t necessarily mean I had to stray far from my tried-and-true ways. But guess what? I was wrong.
I’m aware that my daughter’s personality traits belong to her as an individual, not as a girl. However the challenges of having a little girl don’t refer to her personality. Raising a girl is not the same as raising a boy because girls need different things.
For example, my daughter automatically looks to me as her role model, while my boys model themselves after my husband. My daughter also feels and looks for a special connection with me. She’s only 3-years-old, but she’s starting to realize that we both have many things in common, including gender.
But the main difference with my boys is that I’m aware of how society will present my daughter with a certain set of challenges to overcome. She won’t have the “male advantage”, so to speak. Like I said, I’ve always believed in gender equality, but I also know that society treats men and women very differently.
That’s why it’s vital for me to raise a confident girl. My daughter will need to be confident in order to overcome those challenges . I need to raise a strong, confident woman.
I recently watched a vlog post by Oluseye Ashiru at Moms Achieving Purpose, and it inspired me to assess the way I’m currently raising my little girl. She’s still very young, of course, but I believe it’s never too soon to start leading her on the confident path.
According to Ms. Oluseye, there are four thing you can do to raise a confident girl.
1. Give her decision-making power
Girls should know their opinion matters, that their voice counts. My daughter can’t yet express herself fluently, but I do ask her what she wants to wear, or what she wants to do, or even who she wants to play with. Those little things count. I would like to make sure that when she’s older, she’ll know that she can express her opinion, any opinion, without being discounted.
2. Help her pursue her passions
My little girl doesn’t really have any hobbies yet, but I notice that she likes to do physical activities. She likes to climb things, run, jump, and she even likes to work out alongside me. I think that’s wonderful. A girl should have a strong body and be proud of it. I hope my daughter will pick up a sport, whatever it is. But above all, I hope she finds a passion to pursue.
3. Encourage her to resolve issues on her own
I think this is the hard part. As a mom, it’s difficult not to intervene when I see she’s having trouble doing something. I have to really tie my hands to keep myself from doing everything for her, but she’s growing more independent every day, and I can see she how proud she feels when she can do things on her own. I don’t want to take that sense of accomplishment from her.
4. Make her feel you love her unconditionally
I sort of have experience with this. My youngest son has always been a stubborn and mischievous child, so I know what it’s like to get pushed to the limits. My daughter can be pretty difficult too, and I suppose she’ll get even more difficult as she grows. However, what I do is spend time with my child, just a little bit, every day. Just talking a little bit, or just hugging for a little bit. No matter what happens, or how upset we are, we do this. That’s how kids know I still love them, even after a bad day.
5. Be a confident role-model
I feel the weight of this on my shoulders. I need to act confident, walk the talk. I need to pursue my passions, resolve my issues, make my voice heard. I need to have the courage to do this because my daughter needs to see me thrive. I need to be a confident mom so I can raise a confident daughter. That is my own personal challenge.
It’s funny how having a little girl would be such a turning point in my life. For the first time, I feel brave enough to pursue my dream of becoming a writer. The thought of my daughter gives me the courage to seek out my own path. I want her to see me climb a mountain, so maybe then she’ll believe she can do it too.
Raising a confident girl is not going to be easy, but it’s going to be journey I really think I will enjoy.
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