How do we encourage our daughter’s ambitions? In a society that still favors men often in a work force it can be a daunting task. I grew up in a family of educators, my father as a principal/superintendent and my mother as an elementary school teacher. They always encouraged me to achieve but were able to do it in a way that wasn’t too pushy. I faced opposition as I applied for scholarships, graduated as a valedictorian in a male dominant college, and was eventually asked in a professional situation, “What do you really have to offer because all I see is a pretty face.” Really? Absolutely. I have to admit that I was a little shocked when an interviewer asked me why they should hire me and suggested that I would be off having babies in a short time and wouldn’t be coming back.
Being a Mother and at home with my children is my ultimate dream, but I have a lot of things I want to do along the way. The internet has opened opportunities in a way for women like never before and I would like to think that we as a society are adapting to a lifestyle that promotes parental support and income possibilities. This is why blogging has been my DREAM job because I can have the best of both worlds. My daughter Jayne says that is what she wants to be when she grows up and whether that is what she decides to do or not I want her to KNOW that she is capable of anything she sets her mind to. One of my favorite things about meeting so many women through blogging is that I am literally surrounded by entrepreneurs, creatives, and makers that are brilliant women.
Here are 7 ways you can encourage your daughter in her ambitions:
1.Focus on the positive attributes that your daughter has to offer.
Your daughter is an individual who has come to this earth with special talents and abilities. As the parent you have the pleasure in helping her discover what those abilities are. Pointing out what these positive attributes are is a plus, but when you allow her to discover what these are through different activities/opportunities you will enrich her life. Finding what you’re not great at is part of the journey and often afford your daughter the chance to really discover what she wants.
2.Never Assume that the future you envisioned is the one that will be best for her.
I am certain I will be learning this time and time again. I thought for sure my daughter would love to be part of a dance group from a very young age as I was a very social child. My daughter is very different from me, she is more shy by nature and likes to be more of a home body. Over a few years she has decided that she did like dance but she had to get to this decision on her own. I am sure I will be learning this lesson time and time again as I try to guess what it is that I think is best.
3.Compliment her specifically on her accomplishments rather than how she looked doing while doing them.
So often girls are complimented for the way that they look rather than a specific example of what makes them wonderful for what they are doing or WHO they are. Take time to acknowledge special things about your daughter. “You had so much energy as you ran after that ball I could feel it from here!” or “I really like the way you shared your toy with your little brother. That was a kind thing for you to do.” or “You are so good at multiplying numbers, I love seeing how fast you figure out your problems.” Whatever the thing may be make it specific. This is particularly easy to do when you meet a new little girl. Think about it…when you meet a little boy you would never say, “You are so handsome” and leave it at that, you may ask his name and what he likes to do. With girls as a society it is so easy to say, “You are so pretty” and leave it at that. Let’s change this and ask our girls what is going on inside of their minds!
4.Look for opportunities for her to be a part of a team.
According to Anne Bogue, “There’s a very common correlation, in my experience,” says Bogue, “between girls who play team sports and girls who suffer less with low self-esteem because they are looking to other girls for their value, and within, as opposed to looking to boys for validation.” My husband swears by the fact that sports helps boys develop into men and learn lifelong values, so why not the girls too?
5.Encourage healthy body image.
This is an obvious disadvantage that we have in our society, one that is obsessed with women’s bodies. One of the best things my father ever did for me was on a day that I asked him for a scale and he responded by saying, “The only people who need a scale are the obese or the anorexic and you are neither.” Rather, he had me focus on using my body for skiing, hiking, playing basketball, dance, or using it to build something. Encouraging your daughter to appreciate her body for the miracle that it is and treating it with respect is key. This could be a post all in of itself, so I will direct you to this one that I really like.
6.Teach her the reality of deception
Whether it is in what the media tells her what a perfect body looks like or the clothes she needs to buy to look cool and have friends, teach her that these are all deceptions that pale in comparison to her character and drive to be a successful person. Another deception is that women are to be viewed as “less than” or “weak” and that is certainly NOT what I want my daughter to believe.
7.Teach her the “I can” attitude and surround her with people who affirm this fact.
So often our inner voice is who will rule us until the day we die. I once heard that a child’s inner voice is the way they heard their parents speak to them. There is so much power that you hold as a parent to be encouraging, loving, and there to build her up when she falls.
Although my daughter is still quite young I want to give her these positive affirmations from the beginning and I love that Barbie is on this same page. Play is a great way to engender these feelings about themselves and the new Career line from Barbie does just that. Does she dream of being an Astronaut, Teacher, Scientist or Film Director? Barbie has you covered. My daughter loved this eye doctor set although what she really would love to be is a blogger. Don’t worry fellow bloggers, I put in a good word!;)
With Barbie you can be anything, check out their new video “Imagine the Possibilities” here! Please share this message on your social media, it is such an empowering video!
We had so much fun playing with these Barbies together and I was pleasantly surprised when the box the Barbie came in fit right into Jayne’s pop up Barbie doll house. Jayne was singing and having a ball as she played like she was an eye doctor. Funny thing is when my son came home and saw her playing he wanted to be the doctor Barbie too!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barbie. The opinions and text are all mine.
Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you’re here you’ll find something that makes your #momlife easier!