When we knew we were expecting a little girl as our first child I started reading every book I could get my hands on about what it means and has meant, to be a girl in the United States. I was not a woman reading pregnancy books, I wanted every piece of information I could get my hands on about what it meant to raise a girl in our culture. To me, context is queen, and I wanted every little bit of context I could get.
What this really led me to was that, as often seems to be the case, the best way to raise a little girl who is brave (or rather, retains her braveness through the inevitable trials of life) is to communicate openly and do what you can to help her have new experiences and to feel safe while she’s doing them.
The other thing I have come to is to let your girls be themselves and to let them be heard. When I went to BossedUp Bootcamp we talked about how taking up space (like a man) can make you a more effective communicator due in large part to the fact that people will take you more seriously. I thought about my own daughters during this part of bootcamp. My oldest takes up a lot of space when she talks, my youngest not so much (and it’s not just because she’s smaller). Yet, they are both fearless communicators.
How have you helped your daughters to have new experiences and feel heard? What else do you do to raise girls, and young women, who exhibit bravery?