A couple weeks ago, we talked about four ways to raise successful girls. Heather here from FamilyVolley.com and with 5 girls at home this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart and something my husband and I talk about and work on, on a daily basis. If you want to read the first 4 ways to help our girls grow up strong and successful, read part 1 by CLICKING HERE.
The last four points are just as powerful as the first. Here we go!
Five, share yourself with your girl(s). I like to call this “showing them your cartwheels!” I recently read a finding that stated that girls were more successful when they “knew their mothers.” This means they knew stories about them, knew what they liked and didn’t, knew their talents and passions and dreams. For this to happen, we have to let our girls know us. I will never forget being about 4 years old and trying to learn how to do a cartwheel. I had seen them on t.v and really wanted to learn. After a lot of failed attempts, my mom, instead of just talking me through it, did a few cartwheels for me. She then dropped down into the splits! She told me stories about cheer leading in high school and all the dancing she did growing up. I came to know her better that day. Another time that stands out, my brothers and I all got skateboards for Christmas. While we were trying to figure out how to ride them, my mom snuck away with my brother’s board and before we knew it, she was FLYING down a big hill by our house, rode that skateboard right up into the driveway, stopped, and popped the board right up into her hands. It was the COOLEST thing I had EVER seen her do. She (and my dad) were always telling us stories of how they grew up and experiences they had. And instead of giving up the things they loved to do before having kids, they shared those passions with us and now we all do them together.
I recently realized that I wasn’t doing this as well as I should. I grew up playing tennis. Okay, I slept with my tennis racquet I loved it so much, and while we are talking, I even won a State Championship in High School. (felt like a much bigger deal at the time then it does now. :)) But I put it aside when we started having children. A few months ago my husband suggested I needed to share that part of me with our girls. Dust off the gear and teach them. So I have, and it is WONDERFUL. Not only am I doing something I love, but we are doing it together and they are getting to know who I am.
Share yourself with your girls, let them really learn who you are. Tell them your stories. They will be able to relate, they won’t feel so alone, and they will build strong self images because of your example. Remember, the world is telling them stories all.the.time. If we don’t share our own, it’s the world’s stories that teach them. I don’t know about you, but I am not comfortable with that. Plus, it will help you remember who you really are and there is power in that for us as mothers and women.
Six, Point out positive role models. History and modern day are both filled with stories and examples of strong women. Whenever there is a chance, point them out. And explain what makes the women so marvelous! Remember to focus on abilities and not appearance. Not sure where to start looking? Start with your family history. I am sure it is full of strong women. Teach your girls about their grandmothers and great grandmothers. Then hit up your local library and check out books about women who have done amazing things. Women who are strong. Read those books together. Talk about what made them strong and make correlations to your own daughter’s abilities. Your girls will want to be like these role models for the right reasons, instead of feeling bad about themselves because of the more common role models that are thrown in front of them.
Seven, Teach Beautiful Behavior. Beauty doesn’t always have to refer to looks. People who are beautiful are those who are kind and generous, honest, hard working, and think of others. We must teach our girls that our ability to see others as people and treat them with kindness makes them beautiful, not appearance. We need to teach beautiful behavior! Kindness and service to others.
Eight, Spend time with Dad. Research across the board makes it clear that girls need to spend time with their Dads. They need a strong healthy male role model in their lives. Fathers teach their girls how they should be treated by men. And, fathers teach their girls how to command respect. Sometimes dad isn’t around, so look for another male role model who can spend time with your girl (s). When girls have time with their fathers they have higher self esteem and self worth. So get those daddy/daughter dates on the calendar!
There is a great challenge to raise our girls and supporting one another is a great place to start. Let’s come together to show our daughters and their friends what true beauty is all about and that our girls have what it takes to accomplish their dreams. Don’t forget that we have to love ourselves first, so we can teach them to love who they are.
Have a question, or just want to say hello? You can find me at FamilyVolley.com. On Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. Or send me an email. I love making new friends!
And don’t miss my weekly podcast, “THE LIVING ROOM”. We have a seat saved for you! CLICK HERE to LISTEN.
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