Parenting your girl to be brave!
I am one of those lucky moms who have been blessed with a cute little princess i.e. a baby girl. Like all moms I love my daughter immensely and see a reflection of my own childhood in her. It gives me immense joy to dress her up beautifully with matching footwear and hair accessories. To me with her brown curly hair she really looks like a Disney Princess! I love her that way but I am not obsessed with her looks because I know it’s not all about her.. I don’t want her either to focus merely on looking good when she grows up. Rather I wish may she spend her time dreaming and later in her life spend her time and energy to make her dreams come into reality.. She should grow up to be an independent, confident and daring girl not afraid to take risks nor afraid to express her opinion in life.
In my opinion if we want our girls to grow up into beautiful, strong and bold ladies we should enable their mental and physical activities to flourish in ways that do not limit their abilities.Here are a number of things which we should take care of while parenting a girl child :
First of all, we must ensure that we must introduce her to all kinds of toys and colors not just to dolls and pinks! We should make her appreciate all colors and not feel bad if she loves blue instead of pink. Don’t teach her that ‘pink is for girls and blue is for boys’. Decorate her rooms with all colors. Buy her dresses and shoes in various colors. Let her love all the colors. Similarly, don’t just buy girlish toys like dolls, stuffed toys, make up sets, kitchen sets and doll houses for her but buy all sorts of toys for her. Make her play with cars, guns, robots, jungle animals along with Barbie dolls and soft toys. This will broaden her perspective and make her think and feel like a human being instead of a girl brought up in a gender-gap based society.
Second, encourage her to play with boys of her age. Make sure the kids play safely (they do not abuse themselves by playing mommy-daddy type of games). Playing with boys makes your girl learn many such things which playing with just her gang of girls she won’t be able to learn. Always tell her she can be anything she wants to be when she grows up pilot, army officer, doctor, company CEO, engineer, journalist anything. This will boost her self-confidence and she won’t just dream of being a home maker (off course she can be if she really loves to be that when she grows up but don’t tell her this is the only option for her!)
Also, I would recommend you to make your girl read a lot of books and watch different types of cartoons not just Disney Princess and Dora type cartoons. She should read about the women who were ‘firsts’ in their fields, the women who chased their dreams and the women who never ever gave up even in adverse circumstances in their lives. Make them feel proud to be a girl and also understand how to make a place for themselves in a world filled with gender-inequality.
The child will learn what they see at home. So, if they see you doing all the house works while your husband is busy with the laptop or remote, remember, they are getting the message “house work is for mom”. Do not do that. Please divide laundry, grocery etc house works between you and your partner, respect each other and this will help your child to grow up in a gender-neutral family.
Lastly, I would just express my wish for moms of young girls that love and pamper your daughter but also make her a strong and bold girl who is not afraid to take risks, not afraid to fall and fail, not afraid to pursue her passion! Boys are generally told that they are strong and can achieve whatever they want so they are never afraid to try new things while girls, in order to be perfect and flawless, don’t go for anything which involves fear of failure or rejection. Let your girls fly free even if it means occasional falls! Be the change you want to see in society.
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About the Author
This post has been authored by Deeksha Tripathi. Deeksha is the founder and owner of wonderfulwoman.in a blog dedicated to women empowerment through powerful real-life stories of women making a difference to the world. She loves to read and write about women’s issues. She is a full-time teacher and mom to a toddler girl.