Last updated on Jun 21st, 2021 at 01:19 pm

Our parenting will go a long way to empowering our daughters to step outside the stereotypes and be the best they can be

We want our girls to have every opportunity to become strong, successful women. How we treat them in childhood has a huge role to play. Find out how you can boost your daughter’s confidence and empower her to be amazing!

1. Give her strong female role models

Highlight inspiring women in fiction, on screen and in life. It’s good for girls to see women succeed, including in fields not considered traditionally ‘female’.

2. Encourage her in sports

High school girls who play sport are more likely to get better grades and more likely to graduate. They show higher levels of confidence and self-esteem and lower levels of depression. It’s a win-win!

3. Ask her opinion

Let your daughter know that you value her input and opinion. Ask open-ended questions, ask her what she thinks and why she thinks that, and listen properly to her answers.

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4. Treat her like a boy

Instead of making gender-based assumptions about what might interest her, give your daughter access to the full range of possibilities – from skateboarding and drumming, to soccer and handling the Sunday braai.

Take your daughter’s clever brain seriously and boost it where you can

5. Focus on her intellect

Take your daughter’s clever brain seriously and boost it where you can. Make sure to focus on areas like science and maths, where women tend to be less well-represented.

6. Hold the ‘you’re-so-pretty’ compliments

In personal interactions, too much emphasis tends to be given to their appearance. Instead of saying ‘you’re so pretty’, compliment her on something meaningful, a behaviour or value she has control over – like her kindness, for example.

7. Encourage her to take risks and be bold

Girls need to experience the thrill of trying new things, seeking out adventure, and succeeding at something a bit scary.

8. Let her say ‘no’

It is important that your daughter feels empowered and entitled to say ‘yes’ to what she does and ‘no’ to what she doesn’t want, even if it means disappointing someone else at times.

9. Model body positivity

Try to focus on things you love about yourself and share those with her. Set an example, and encourage her to respect, nurture and appreciate her body.

10. Avoid the ‘B’ word

Assertiveness in girls is often termed ‘bossy’. If we want our daughters to take charge and to show leadership skills, we need to stop labeling assertive behaviour as bossy.

The world needs smart, successful, confident young women. Our parenting will go a long way towards empowering our daughters to step outside the stereotypes and be the best they can be.

Article by 1Life