Encouraging messages about “girl power” and women’s rights are juxtaposed with our public debate over issues of gender and power in which women’s voices are not always equally valued.
What can parents do to help empower their daughters? Here are three suggestions:
1. Foster Healthy Entitlement.
Encourage your daughter to express needs and provide opportunities for her to make real choices. Girls need to feel that their needs are worth just as much as others, even if they don’t get what they want.
Help them tolerate disappointments. Healthy entitlement grows from balancing self-care with caring for others.
2. Teach Boundary Setting.
Too often girls are taught to take on the burden of other people’s feelings. Help your daughter to set healthy boundaries by saying no when she feels uncomfortable.
She can stay connected in her relationships without complying with demands or becoming a caretaker. Relationships are more about give and take and negotiation rather than requirements.
3. Nurture Self-Worth.
When adults share their feelings and own up to their mistakes, they are great role models for their children. They are demonstrating the courage to be vulnerable.
Validating your daughter’s feelings has big rewards. Teenagers are going through a confusing phase of life – it makes a big difference to them that you recognize their struggle.
Teaching and modeling compassion and acceptance of vulnerable feelings are crucial. Supporting healthy communication and inviting girls to make healthy choices that foster new beliefs offers opportunities to test out new ways of being. These experiences will embolden your daughter and give her the confidence to counter dysfunctional cultural norms.
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Written By Sean Grover
Originally Appeared In Sean Grover
If you truly want to empower your daughter, then emotional support, bonding, and healthy communication are the ways to go. If you want your daughter to love herself, and be the absolute best version of herself, then she needs to have the confidence to be unapologetically herself, no matter what society says, does, and expects.