While the fight for equality and feminism goes on, your daughter will have to grow up in a difficult world. Fortunately, you can begin planting the seeds early to ensure her growth and development. There are rules to teach your daughter to give her confidence and strength when she grows up.
A strong woman is one who pursues her passions and takes risks. She is independent and self-reliant. She makes her voice heard as she stands firm on her beliefs. Lastly, she prioritizes her character and self-development over her appearance.
This article will outline the several rules to teach your daughter to raise a strong woman who will be able to walk the earth with her head held high.
Rules to Teach Your Daughter to Be Strong
Pursue Your Passions
For too long, women have been told what to do with their lives. It was not too long ago when daughters were denied their passions and were told that their only value was when they became wives and mothers. In this day and age, the modern woman can become whatever she wants to be.
To overcome centuries of subservience and compliance, daughters must be taught that they can do whatever they wish to do. Hence, a great place to start is by letting them pursue their passions.
There are numerous occasions when parents have been found to dissuade their daughters from certain paths. For example, a survey of over 2,000 parents living in the UK reported career aspirations the parents had for their children.
The survey revealed a gender bias when parents prefer different career paths for their sons and daughters. For example, 21% of parents wanted their boys to become engineers while only 10% wanted the same future for their daughters.
A similar bias was revealed when 13% of the respondents wanted their sons to enter the tech industry while less than half (6%) wanted their daughters to do the same. While the top two preferred careers for boys were engineer and scientist, the preferred careers for girls were doctor and teacher.
Although this was a simple survey, the study revealed the lingering effects of sexism throughout history. Fortunately, the disparity between men and women is slowly narrowing. However, progress must continue to finally abolish the gap for good.
As a parent, you must be able to allow your daughter to pursue her passion – even if it means letting her enter male-dominated industries. You must teach your daughter that there are no doors unavailable to her. IF she eventually internalizes this rule, she will be able to succeed in anything she sets her mind to.
Prioritize Character Over Appearance
Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool to let children know what they are doing correctly. Thus, it is important to be mindful when you are praising your daughter. While you should not hold back your praises, it is advised to be aware of the impacts of such positive reinforcement.
To set your daughter on the path to becoming a strong woman, it is recommended to prioritize her character over her appearance when it comes to praise.
Understandably, you cannot (and should not) stop telling your daughter how beautiful she is. However, you can put more emphasis when you praise her for doing good and doing well, compared to when she looks good.
Shifting the emphasis of praise to character over appearance will hopefully teach her what is more important. Society has been taught that women have to be beautiful. However, women are more than eye candy for men. Thus, your daughter must understand that her beauty is not her whole identity.
However, it is common for some parents to take this advice and misunderstand it completely. To reiterate, there is nothing wrong with your daughter wanting to put on makeup and wear beautiful dresses. In fact, she can do whatever she wants.
You simply have to make sure to raise your daughter in an environment that does not require her to be beautiful simply because she is a girl. You need to raise her in an environment where she can be whatever she chooses to be.
One of the best rules to teach your daughter to raise a strong woman is to allow her to be self-reliant. Women are often portrayed as damsels in distress, needing knights in shining armor to save them. Teach your daughter to be self-reliant and that she needs no saving.
Self-reliance and independence can be taught at an early age. It can begin with simple things such as having chores around the house. The very fact that your daughter does chores around the house would already give her the necessary skills to be self-dependent in the future.
You can progress her self-reliance development by allowing her to solve her own problems. It is common for parents to quickly swoop in and save the day when their precious little princess has a problem. However, your daughter will never learn to solve problems if you do not let her solve her own.
Aside from having responsibilities around the house, you can also begin teaching your daughter about money. When you give her an allowance, does she spend it all or save some of it? Financial literacy is incredibly important as the whole world revolves around money.
Some parents give their kids allowances based on the chores they do around the house. This makes them feel like they earn their allowance. Aside from their allowance, you can also encourage them to get part-time jobs to help supplement their income.
While some parents spoil their kids with money, children who are taught the value of money early will eventually become more responsible when it comes to money. They will be more careful with money given they know how hard it can be to work for the money they have.
Sometimes, parents cannot help themselves but be protective of their daughters. While protecting your daughter is perfectly fine, there is a chance you could be overprotective.
What is the worst thing that could happen by being overprotective? Although you will be shielding your daughter from certain harm, you will also be preventing her from learning from her mistakes and grabbing opportunities.
Risk can come in a variety of forms. The most direct type would be physical risks. Do you prohibit your daughter from climbing trees to prevent the risk of her falling down? Do you prohibit your daughter from riding her bike downhill for fear of an accident?
While all those fears are valid, you must understand that you need to allow your daughter to have these experiences in her life. If all things go correctly, these are memories that she will cherish forever. If something goes wrong, these are lessons to be learned.
Discouraging your daughter from taking risks will make her grow up with lower self-esteem than girls who did take physical risks. Taking risks is an important part of growing up, telling your daughter that certain achievements require risk.
On the other hand, there are also risks that are not physical in nature. For example, many parents choose to restrict their daughters from going to colleges near their homes. This is often out of fear for their daughters’ safety and wellbeing.
While reasonable, you must also understand that keeping your daughter from going far from home will only delay her progress. You cannot think that she will stay at home with you forever, right?
Though it may be scary on your part, know that it can be scary for her too. Allowing your daughter to take risks does not mean you are simply letting them go. Allowing her to take risks means that you have got her back and that you support her in all her endeavors.
Have a Voice
To raise your daughter into a strong woman, she has to have her voice heard. Thus, having a voice is one of the integral rules to teach your daughter.
Teaching your daughter to have a voice begins at home. You cannot expect her to have a voice if you do not allow her at home. You can begin with simple things such as asking what she wants to wear, what she wants to eat, or where she wants to go.
Simple questions like these allow her to voice her opinion. However, that is only half of the equation. The second half of the equation is to actually listen to her. If you do not listen to her opinions, then she might decide to stop being vocal anymore.
Teaching your daughter to have a voice is incredibly important in being a strong woman. You would want your daughter to be able to tell the people around her what she likes and what she does not like. Otherwise, your daughter will become passive to those around her.
Stand Firm for Your Beliefs
After teaching your daughter to have her own voice, the next thing is to teach her what to do with her voice. Beliefs, morals, and values are all important in forming the personality of an individual. One rule to teach your daughter is for her to stand firm in her beliefs.
Parents give their children plenty of morals and values early on. However, children will eventually begin taking some beliefs, morals, and values from other sources, such as school, friends, and consumer media. Eventually, these values will become an integral part of her being.
People can have different beliefs and values. These range from family, religion, loyalty, respect, and so on. Whatever your daughter believes in, it is important that she stands firm. People can get swayed every now and then, but a strong woman does not.
Standing firm on her beliefs will make your daughter steadfast in her individuality. She will become a woman who cannot be compromised by malicious intent.
However, you will have to make sure her beliefs do not infringe on other people. These beliefs can be dangerous and ultimately lead to racism, zealotry, prejudice, and so on. As a parent, you will need to make sure you set her on the right path.