Build Up the Girl to Build Brilliant Women
Because the fear of telling them something positive is that they will become spoiled egomaniacs?
I’ve read 3 articles this morning to not tell girls they are SMART and I’m angry.
The world will tell our girls enough negative messages. They are in a battle to prove their worth in what has ended up being a fairly unkind society. But kindness is still winning! I fear we are going to undo the last hopes we have of making kindness the only option of choice, though.
Home is the only place to encourage them to know they are truly smart, beautiful and special exactly as they are in a million combinations of adjectives to combat against the uniformity of media and unkindnesses of tough friendships and mean people.
If parents put their kids in their place, by downplaying kind things that could have been said, then some kids will NEVER hear a kind thing.
This doesn’t mean telling them they behaved when they didn’t, or encouraging unnatural beauty when not age appropriate, or pushing for excellence wherever they can be more. It does not mean encouraging perfection, or punishing lack of it, because perfection doesn’t exist. It just means, every child is already enough as they are.
This does mean not swinging too far away from saying good things too. They will live up to their best selves in every aspect if they are shown what that best unique version of that “self” is, with healthy mistakes and a strong but kind guiding hand helping them learn from them.
Stop the “don’t call girls…. (insert kindness) because… (some horrible fate will happen to their character if you say something nice to them)” trend. It’s just a trend.
And further, if we constantly “put them in their place” with false notions of keeping them humble, or unspoiled, or whatever the intent is, we’re teaching them to do the same to others… while also expecting them to be nice, giving, forgiving, kind, etc. Mixed message. They will do what we show them we do.
Let’s continue to have high expectations for our daughters… but lets also speak kind words to our daughters as often as we can… smart, beautiful, strong, powerful, creative, kind, funny, clever, influential, inspiring, encouraging, independent, assertive, insightful… so many good words to tell a girl how AWESOME she is.
And don’t let her turn into an adult having NEVER heard she’s beautiful, like many articles will tell you. Just don’t let that be the only thing that defines her. Tell her she’s smart and a million other wonderful character-defining qualities too.
And if you do, you will raise a beautiful, smart and very unique person who will become a brilliant woman at whatever she choose to do. Because she will be confident in a way that is only developed at home. (And yes, same goes for boys.)
I’m still raising my daughters. I fail often in saying and doing the right thing. I verge on being too soft with discipline (mostly because I have had few reasons to be tough so far, but see I need new skills as we enter the tweens), but I will never apologize for saying too many kind, truthful things to my girls. And no article can stop me from telling them they are smart and beautiful and a myriad of other unique things that make them who they are.
What are your thoughts? How do you guide your child with a tough loving hand while also boosting their esteem appropriately?