By Taylor McLamb
Women are incredibly strong. Over the course of our lives, we’ve preserved through a world that is less than accepting by being broad, fearless and unapologetic. It’s important to encourage our young girls to use their voice in a society that criticizes strongminded women so that they’re able to see their full potential. Growing up is a challenging time for a lot of girls and feeling empowered within their minds and bodies, can help them flourish into the leaders they were meant to be.
Here are some helpful tips on how to empower your daughter:
- Be honest and validate your daughter’s feelings. Teach her that feelings are safe and that she doesn’t need to suppress them.
- Use “I feel” statements to get your point across, but never point fingers:
Instead of saying: You make me angry when you don’t tell me where you’re going after school
Say this: I feel hurt when you don’t call because I worry about your safety and wellbeing.
- Set a positive example of body positivity. Don’t speak ill of your body in front of your daughter. Instead of discussing the weight you want to lose, talk with your daughter about the amazing benefits that our bodies bring us. An example of this would be, “I love my legs because they allow me to walk along the beach with you in the summer.”
- Allow your daughter to make her own choices – choosing what she wants to wear, helping her set goals. This will bring your daughter the confidence to choose her own path in a world that often frowns upon women leaders.
- Talk with your daughter about consent and how to set boundaries with those who make her uncomfortable.
- Listen to what she has to say. When your daughter starts to speak negatively about herself, it’s going to be hard to stay silent as you’re going to want to dismiss what she’s saying. By listening to what she has to say, you can help her learn self-compassion and acceptance by emphasizing with her thoughts and then teaching her to challenge those critical thoughts.
- Show your daughter unconditional love.
- Teach your daughter that it’s okay to make mistakes, as they’re experiences that we can grow and learn from.
- When complimenting your daughter, rely less on physical appearance and more on her skills and values.
- Support your daughter, but allow her to resolve her own problems.
- Teach her about the inspiring women from the past and present, who shattered the glass ceiling, such as Malala Yousafzai, Michelle Obama, Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks and more (you have A LOT of women to choose from).
- Teach your daughter that it’s okay if someone doesn’t like her, that it’s more important to live life authentically. Not everyone is going to like us and teaching her this will help her learn self-acceptance.
- Practice self-affirmations with your daughter. Write positive messages together on her mirror in dry-erase marker.