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Why I’m Raising My Daughter to be a Strong Woman

When I was first blessed with a baby girl, I was so excited for the future. As much as I didn’t want her to grow up quickly, I was anxious to play dress up, do each other’s hair, and be the best of friends as well as be as an amazing parent as I could be. Little did I realize that raising a daughter would be so incredibly much more than that. Raising daughters is much more complicated.

I have always admired the strong women who made history – Florence Nightingale, Emmeline Pankhurst and Marie Curie who helped make history, and the likes of Malala Yousafzai. All these women had something in common. They had to work harder than others to be taken seriously. It took courage and determination to be heard.

We know that Malala even tried to be silenced for standing up for injustices in education for girls. That was only in 2012. In 2012, the world was (and is) still experiencing massive inequality. This is when I realized that it was my duty as a mother, as well as my husband’s as a father, to raise our daughter to be a strong woman and get everything she can from life.

What Makes a Strong Woman?

Sure, I have mentioned women who made history who are indeed strong in my eyes, but you don’t need to make history to be a “strong” woman. I think strong women are all around us, influencing us even if we don’t realize it. To me, they are women who know their worth and are determined to be successful in whatever they choose to do. They are also the women who are encouraging others to do the same, lifting them up in a positive way to show them that they too deserve to be happy and successful.

I want my daughter to know she is just as good as anyone and deserves the same respect as everyone else. She too has the right to speak out when she feels there is injustice and should do so without fear. She should feel her own self-worth and be strong to help her achieve the goals she has set, big and small.

Be the Positive Influence Your Daughter Needs in Her Life

I’ve learned that you can’t teach your daughter to be strong, but you can surely encourage it. Know that you, the parent, is someone your child will look to first. Even if you don’t think they are looking to you for inspiration (like in those teenage years), they are. Your children will see how you respond to certain situations and often mimic that behavior. If you conduct yourself in a strong, but respectful manner, then they will learn to do so too.

Encourage Individuality

I remember when I started noticing my daughter’s change in self-esteem. She was styling her wardrobe to what was in and “acceptable” at the time, using friends as an influence. She was determined to blend in. It was important for me to help her realize she was unique and didn’t need to always go with whatever her friends were doing, and that she would still be friends with them. So, I am giving her every opportunity to express herself in other ways. I never pushed things like gymnastics or ballet all because that is what was popular but let her explore different things until she found what she likes (and it turns out she loves to draw and is good at it!). This may seem like such a little thing, but it is giving my daughter the opportunity to be herself and to know how important it is. In doing this, she should be praised for doing what she loves. I hope she continues to go on to do what she loves without minding what other people think.

There’s no real secret to it. You just allow your daughter to be herself and realize how amazing she is. Maybe one day she will go on to raise strong daughters and sons of her own who work at making the world a better place through speaking out.

While we hope that society will change, and inequalities will be eradicated, it is still important to raise resilient children who can be the positive change in society. One day we will have wrongs being righted and people being treated fairly and equally, with everyone give the chance to succeed, but the first step towards that is raising your children to be strong and kind.

My daughter doesn’t need to go on and make history to make me proud. I just want her to be able to tackle whatever comes at her in a dignified manner, one that doesn’t see her lower herself to please anybody. I want her to be happy and successful at whatever she chooses to do, setting goals for herself, knowing that she can do whatever she puts her mind to. Nothing else would make me prouder.

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