At my daughter’s fifth birthday party she wore a Wonder Woman outfit and crown, proudly showing her friends the WW power X move. We had Wonder Woman herself come to the party (fun fact: she drives a van).
At that party, my daughter was directing her friends around the park telling them what they would do next. I took a breath to yell out, “Riley, let them..” and one mom spoke up to say, “She is such a strong leader.”
That stopped me in my tracks. She was right. It took me years to gain that confidence to lead and delegate. Here she is at 5 directing without a flinch.
Unbeknownst to me, I am raising a strong girl. I want to be like her. And I don’t want her to ever lose that confidence.
I can’t take all of the credit. After all, I wrote last year about how the biggest feminist in our house is my husband Ron – I mean, Ryan.
I’m not the expert. We’re all making this up as we go. But, I’m taking some mental notes of what I should do to raise my girl strong and confident.
Tips for Raising a Strong Girl
Never use the word “bossy”
When girls speak up and give orders they are called bossy. No wonder we struggle with how to delegate! Tell her good job leading with confidence! If your strong girl is taking it too far, remind her that sometimes there is strength in letting others lead.
Tell her she’s smart
My daughter is beautiful. So is yours. It’s ok to tell them they are pretty. My son is very pretty too. Tell them they are smart. Praise them for getting something right. Praise them for being passionate about something. Let her know you love her because of who SHE is.
Let her speak
I know what I want to eat before I even enter a restaurant. So, it pains me to sit through all of the “Uhm, uuh, well..” when my girl tells a story. But, I listen. In silence. She is finding her voice. Sometimes the sentence doesn’t make sense, but we work together to hear what she wants to say. Her voice matters. When people don’t hear her or understand her, I ask her to clarify rather than speak for her.
Let her fail
This is the most important one – and the hardest. Let her climb rocks and fall. Let her cut Barbie’s hair. Let her fall on her bike and dig in the dirt. Our biggest accomplishments often come out of adversity. Let her cry. Tell her it’s good to cry.