How to Raise Independent Girls
Discover different ways on how to raise independent girls without gender stereotypes.
Every girl should develop the qualities of being independent to become happy. As a parent, it is important to teach them to believe in themselves and their abilities. It is also important to take note of certain factors that need to be present. Some of them are confidence, emotional intelligence, positivity, and resilience. As a huge factor influencing every girl’s self-worth and self-image, raising independent girls should be done the right way. In the world at large, several forms of media usually misrepresent independence in girls. Some include commercials, magazines, and children’s literature. These misinterpretations often depict girls as invisible or less important. It is a major form of gender stereotypes, and these perceptions are limiting and stereotypical.
This is why we should depict the female character as strong, brave, and independent. By changing from the stereotyped behavior, it changes into a new view. A view that is normal and desirable to live a meaningful life. By raising independent girls, you are teaching them to see other girls as teammates. This removes any form of competition. It also goes a long way in helping them support one another in different ways. Examples include complimenting and helping other girls. It also involves teaching them to speak up with their head held high. This is because they know what they deserve. They will learn not to settle for anything less than the best and will not be misrepresented by society.
Why It's Important to Raise Independent Girls
Female children should grow up feeling powerful and secure to live well. By doing this, they learn how to express their feelings. They also acknowledge the feelings of others. Raising independent girls is one of the major goals of parenting. By doing this, they can learn how to take care of themselves and become brave girls in the long term. As a result, they will also learn how to stand on their own. With time, it influences them to make better decisions in life.
It Improves Confidence and Self-Esteem
One of the importance of raising independent girls is to improve confidence and self-esteem. As a parent, you have the main influence on your female child. By allowing them to engage in independent activities, you build their confidence. Instead of focusing only on appearance, they should be taught several skills that boost self-awareness, girls’ leadership, and creativity. The goal is to enable them to make choices in their lives. This is done by providing them with resources and concepts that contribute to their wellness. Healthy self-esteem and confidence are important in making better decisions. Hence, a good aim to raise independent girls.
It Gives A Sense of Significance and Belonging
Another importance is that it gives a sense of significance and belonging. When a girl feels that she belongs, it increases her ability to build social relationships. These relationships contribute positively to her family and society. Through this, they understand self-identity and have respect for other people. It shows in their interactions and relationships with other people. By growing a sense of belonging, they become more expressive. They can also explore new ideas and interests, which makes them learn more. It creates an opportunity for strong connections. It also gets rid of the unhealthy expectations of gender roles.
It Provides Happiness and a Sense of Success
There is major harm caused by gender roles in our society. This harm impacts the wellbeing of female children because it is based on appearance. They are certain expectations that affect the happiness of the female child. In raising independent girls, you make them happy and healthy. This happiness stems from the feeling of achievement as a result of their actions. These acts, whether big or small, affect how they see themselves. It gives them a sense of success too.
It Develops Competence and Resilience
It develops the belief of competence and the ability to take care of themselves. This feeling is necessary to build resilience. This helps in dealing with all forms of challenges to build strength. Strong is the new pretty. Hence girl’s leadership should be encouraged. By encouraging it, you raise them to build resilience. The aim is to make them learn many lessons in life, which is a wonderful way to experience life.
It Increases Self-Awareness
There is a high level of self-awareness that increases with independence in girls. This affects how they help other people. It is due to the increase in sensitivity experienced. With time, they begin to grow and develop important qualities. Qualities like self-trust, self-discipline, self-reliance, and patience are the major ones. It will increase their motivation to be successful, strong, and pretty. They will start to find the freedom to achieve more as they take control of their lives. They will also consider various options before choosing the best. This adds to the quality of good decision making.
It Improves Self-Discipline
When girls are taught to do things on their own, they learn how to do it well. This is because they have gone through a series of trial and error. Then, they learn how to do things efficiently. This improves their independence through self-discipline. This is because they now understand that there are consequences to every action. So, being independent would guide them to be more careful. It will also help them think before acting.
It Teaches Them How to Handle Failure
Being independent is a great way of teaching girls how to handle failure. They get to understand that failure is very real but is not the end. They also begin to see it as an opportunity to learn. Hence it prepares them to handle it. This also instills a growth mindset in them. Although they may feel bad because of a bad situation, they will always bounce back from it. As time goes on, they learn how to let go of negative feelings and handle all forms of stress that they may face. With practice, they become better at it, and it improves their ability to be independent.
What Are the Problems Associated With Raising Independent Girls?
Adopted Beliefs and Characteristics
Over the years, there have been many adopted beliefs and characteristics. These beliefs have been ascribed to girls and boys. From childhood, children grow to adopt unfair gender roles. Through their exposure to many activities, they learn attitudes that influence their behavior. These behaviors are first learned in the home before being influenced by their peers. This is because the parents’ influence is a big factor that influences gender role development. This is why traditional gender roles are less beneficial to girls. All it does is communicate beliefs to girls through rigid instructions. These gender role attitudes are connected to the quality of relationships and areas of the family. Due to this, gender roles have created many obstacles. These obstacles may hinder a girl from becoming a strong independent woman.
Strong Gender Typing
Some obstacles have caused gender stereotypes that misrepresent girls. They create negative perceptions of girls and women. Gender plays a huge role in a child’s play, and children learn a lot through playing with toys. Gender typing causes gender stereotypes. It is a great influence on choosing toys that affect social roles. According to research, gender-typed toys usually promote the wrong traits in girls. For instance, girls’ toys are usually associated with appearances like makeup, jewelry, and dolls. This creates a focus on beauty and how to look pretty. These strong gender-typed toys have caused more harm for girls. It does this by discouraging physical, cognitive, and artistic skills. It also leads to low optimal development.
Girls are often assumed to perform domestic responsibilities. This stereotype acts as a barrier to quality education. These forms of stereotypes demand different expectations for boys and girls. So, it affects the raising of an independent girl. In recent times, they have also extended to the school curricula. It has restricted girls from pursuing careers in male-dominated fields like science, mathematics, and technology. Such bad assumptions create a tendency for economic dependence. They are harmful and serve as a reason for gender-based violence
Gender Roles Definition
Gender equality has increased over the last decade. At the same time, there has also been a related increase in gender-egalitarian attitudes. This has posed a problem of parents projecting various views. These views influence gender development and behavior in girls. It also includes the egalitarian expectations from parents. There is an influence on girls’ development by parents’ idea of gender roles definition.
How to Solve the Problems Associated With Raising Independent Girls
Gender Role Flexibility
One way to solve problems associated with raising independent girls is through gender role flexibility. Gender role flexibility is the ability to be free from gender stereotypes. It is being able to choose suitable aspects of both masculinity and femininity. Examples are leadership and independence. Children’s idea of gender roles begins from the developmental stages. It begins with simple tasks such as watching their parents. Then, it becomes easy for them to tend to certain tasks. Books and television propose tasks for specific genders. This is why it is essential to involve them in varied activities and not stereotypical ones. Exposure to varied activities will make them flexible in different aspects. The exposure affects their thought process too.
Girls are meant to live self-sufficient lives. Hence, certain organizations help to create several opportunities for girls to achieve this goal. One of them is the Girls for gender equity. To reach their goal, they fight the problems and practices caused by society. They do this through physical, social, and educational programs. Girls for gender equity provides them with the right tools. These tools develop their skills to identify their strengths and develop themselves to live fully.
Moderately Masculine and Feminine Toys
Toys that are not strongly gender-typed encourage girls to develop skills. These skills include educational, academic, and physical skills. This means that toys that are moderately masculine and feminine are vital. As a girl, it helps in developing positive attributes like building and science. Moderately feminine toys would help in developing skills like housework and nurture. However, moderately masculine toys develop other skills. Some of these skills include academic, musical, and cognitive skills.
In the world, there are certain rigid beliefs. The belief that pinks is a color for girls and blue for boys contributed to raising independent girls. This belief continued to extend to other items like accessories, strollers, and more. But with a better awareness in recent times, things have changed. Extra work removed these gender-specific notions and concepts. Now, we embrace terms like ‘gender-neutral’ to get rid of these rigid contradictions.
Authenticity and Self-Expression
Authenticity is associated with self-expression. Hence, parents should assist their children in expressing their identity. They should also work to understand who they are. This is because the family is one of the strongest influences on a child’s development. Parents who help gender non-conforming children usually create a safe environment. It encourages healthy growth and acceptance. This helps the girls flourish in becoming strong and pretty. It also makes them comfortable with themselves instead of others’ approval.
There has been a comparison of two distinct theories; egalitarian vs. feminism. It explains that egalitarianism is a form of philosophy that supports the equality of human beings. Thus, it supports the equal entitlement to resources. Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights based on the equality of the sexes. However, egalitarianism is inactive because of its limitation in applied practice. Feminism is a socio-political movement that creates gender equality for females. It advocates for gender equality. Feminism allows women to reach the same potentials as men. This embraces the equality of everyone. It also creates an opportunity for change.
Conversations Free From Gender Stereotypes
It is crucial to teach girls to have a comfortable relationship with their bodies. It increases their self-confidence and positive self-image. Therefore, parents should avoid all forms of stereotypes. Some include conversations and phrases. Avoid conversations with female children that have more emotional words than with male children. Also, parents should avoid phrases like ‘act like a lady.’ It stimulates the idea of gender stereotypes. The removal of these concepts would make them happy. Their happiness is more important than society’s approval.
Books That Challenge Gender Stereotypes
There should be conversations about gender that are free from stereotypes. It encourages girls to be themselves. It also sets them free from the confinement of society’s expectations. By reading books that challenge gender stereotypes, these conversations change for the best.
As parents, it is important to create a positive environment. It allows female children to grow well. This supportive environment is also crucial to their development. Encourage your daughters to take healthy risks and embrace mistakes. It will help them make their own choices to improve their independence. Independence is an important way to develop emotional maturity. It will continue to make them confident in facing real-life challenges. As parents, it is necessary to express your love to your girls by raising them to be independent.
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