The Future Is Female: How to Empower Your Daughter from a Young Age
Show your daughter that she can do anything! 💪
Raising daughters is no walk in the park. As a parent, you want your kids to grow up knowing who they are, what they’re capable of, and be unafraid to pursue their wildest dreams.
But the pervasive nature of sexism makes daughter-rearing a complex process; even when you do everything “right”, external influences and internal bias can still inflict damage on your daughter’s sense of self. In a world so reluctant to let women take the wheel, raising daughters to be strong, independent, and empowered is a veritable act of revolution.
And therein lies your power as a parent—and perhaps in particular—a mother. By making conscious decisions to empower your daughter from a young age, you can teach her how to become the powerful, independent queen all women deserve to be.
These tips for raising strong daughters won’t fix the system. But they will plant the all-important seed of female empowerment that she can employ for herself (and others) throughout the course of her life.
Regularly Ask Her Opinion
If you want your daughter to grow up with a strong voice, she needs regular opportunities to exercise and understand it. Invite her to participate in important conversations and give her constructive feedback when she needs it.
The more opportunities your daughter has to express her opinion, the more comfortable she will be in a position of authority. Also, teaching your daughter to vocalize her needs and perspectives on a regular basis will promote self-governance and encourage her to see value in her voice.
If you do this from a young age, your daughter will grow up with the understanding that she has interesting, insightful, and valuable opinions to offer. Therefore, she’ll be better equipped to challenge those who try to intellectually or psychologically disarm her.
Instill Independence Through Responsibility
Just like with anything in life, first-hand experience is one of the most effective ways to understand something. Independent people don’t become independent by having others do everything for them. They become independent through being given responsibilities to rise to.
While bearing in mind your daughter’s age and capacity for responsibility, don’t be afraid to give her tasks that require critical thinking. This will bolster her self-confidence and allow her to see that she is capable of anything she puts her mind to.
Praise Efforts Over Appearance
One of the most destructive impacts of systemic sexism is the praise of appearance above all else. However, you can shift the narrative by choosing to focus on your daughter’s drive, character, and work ethic when it comes to positive affirmation.
That doesn’t mean you can never compliment your daughter on her physical appearance—that’s an important element of building self-esteem for any child—but it does mean putting the spotlight on a different sector of qualities.
Her academic achievements, empathic nature, or collaborative skills are just some of the many positive characteristics you can express appreciation for that don’t center around physical presence. Over time, this can build up a more rounded sense of self and a deeper appreciation for her natural skills.
Respect Her Decisions
Now, this is a tricky area because a child’s ability to make responsible decisions is largely determined by their current age and phase of brain development. However, that doesn’t mean your daughter’s decisions around herself and her body are not worthy of respect.
On the contrary, being allowed to set boundaries and make personal decisions is one of the best ways to communicate that she is smart, responsible, and capable of making wise choices. Take her wishes and decisions about her life seriously. Especially as she grows older, trust that you have equipped your daughter to know where her boundaries lie and stand up for what she believes in.
Encourage Her To Pursue Big Dreams
Your daughter can be anything she wants to be. But she’ll need reminding. The pressure that society puts women and girls under to choose subservient or male-reliant paths can be suffocating, but with enough support, your daughter can smash every stereotype in the book.
Don’t limit your daughter’s perception of what’s possible in the future. Encourage her at every opportunity to think big and pursue a path that best reflects her own desires. Brand manager? How about the CEO? It’s all possible if she stays focused and puts in the work.
Bearing that in mind, remember to balance the sense of possibility with a strong work ethic. Education is one of the most powerful tools for female empowerment. Do what you can to motivate that aspect of her life. The world is her oyster, but she’s got to be ready for it!
Introduce Her to Other Powerful Women and Girls
Surrounding your daughter with women who live their lives for themselves will encourage her to do the same. The social environment any child grows up in can have a lasting effect on their perspective on the world and on themselves. So, do everything you can to ensure the women she spends time with are open-minded, independent, and stand for female empowerment.
Children, especially young ones, are highly impressionable. If your daughter grows up seeing what’s possible when women leave sexism at the door, the road to empowerment will be much easier to travel. She’ll also learn that everything that makes her a woman, from menstruation to menopause, is natural and normal, and that anyone who makes her feel otherwise is wrong.
Lead By Example
From the day they are born, most children will start to form ideas about the world based on how you and your partner behave. This continues throughout childhood and even into adulthood.
When it comes down to it, the best way to empower your daughter from a young age is to practice that empowerment for yourself. And that doesn’t mean being perfect by any standard. It means striving to set your own boundaries, stand up for your beliefs, and embrace who you are with love and self-respect.
By practicing empowerment for yourself, you can carve the path for your daughter to do the same. So sit tight, practice self-love, and enjoy the wild ride that is raising strong daughters in the 21st century. You’re changing the world.
We Want to Hear From You
Do you have any additional advice on how to raise powerful daughters?