What steps can parents take to insure that their daughters mature into women with a healthy
sense of their own power?
Even with the strides of Women's Liberation and the broadening of gender roles, many girls are raised with the sense that they should not blatantly use their power. They are inculcated with the premise that being powerful is unfeminine. They are further indoctrinated that if they are to use their power, it is to be covert, instead of overt.
Parents need to speak to their girls with a positive mind, be truthful and praise their daughters no matter what. To enlighten their girls about the facts of life and be there when needed. Raise their daughter self-esteem it is so important to treat girls with love and pay attention to their conversations. Show them how to be powerful in the real world
Wow! What an interesting question.
My mom was a widow with three children at age 19. She had to be mom and dad. She chopped the wood and she could cook. She could work a garden, mend fence and then sew clothes. So I guess I was raised that women could be in charge.
Funny story: My mother was tall. You know, when you are a kid,every one seems taller anyway. But my mom stood a good 5'10" back then and wore high heels.
I noticed one day she was taller than most men at church. I was about 13 and starting to notice I was a little taller than boys. I asked her, "Mom, does it bother you that you are taller than most men in church?"
"No," she replied, "it keeps them in their place!"
My 13 y/o is a strong-willed and a leader. I just accept it and tell her, "Be careful where you lead people because leaders are responsible for the path they choose for others to follow." I just can't imagine saying to her, "You can't be a leader - you are a girl!"
I think the most powerful leaders are ones who have gotten down in the dirt. The best military generals (in my opinion) are the ones who were enlisted first.
Perhaps the best teaching on becoming powerful I've received is knowing that respect is commanded and not demanded.
I can't imagine life without the Amelia Earhardt's and others like her that have opened the doors for women.
That being said, I still am pretty old fashioned. I like having doors opened for me. I like to wear skirts. I like being feminine. And yet, I like to fish and ride four-wheelers. I guess you can say I like to have my cake and eat it too! But I know one thing: I can stand on my own two feet and I don't have to depend on a man for much. And THAT is power.
I don't have the desire to be in a large corporation as a leader so I find it difficult to answer the overt/covert part of your question but I used to work at the Pentagon and have been around a lot of military women that I think did a fine job.
For starters, quit dressing them in PINK and painting their rooms PINK and having toys that are for girls vs. boys from birth or before. (That's my facetious answer.)
Excellent question! My mother was a strong leader in our family, like BuffaloGal1960's: she could chop wood, do the bookkeeping for our business, decorate a fancy cake, sew a wedding dress and snow suit... and she was 5'9", too, compared with my dad who was a few inches shorter.
I was raised to do whatever I wanted to do and was capable of doing, as long as it was safe and legal and under their watchful eyes. I saw first-hand how the gender roles between my parents were blurred. I was expected to contribute to the family and raised to be independent and self-sufficient and brave.
From a very young age, I had toys that were all gender-neutral as far as I knew: a train set, an erector set, a doll, a teddy bear, a crystal radio set that I had to assemble myself. Homework was my responsibility unless I asked for help (and was expected to do so if I needed it). School was my "job", and I was expected to pass (which wasn't a problem, but still). I worked and put myself through college and part of grad school (I'll finish someday). I got an allowance as a kid, as a contributing member of the family, and I paid for my own things with that money. Mom sewed many of my early clothes, and did help out financially (but only to a reasonable extent--no $100 designer jeans!) with school clothes as I grew older. I was taught to respect my possessions and those of others, and to respect quality and hard work and patience.
My first memory of sexism was when I was 4. A boy in the playground tried taking away my giant dump truck because he said it wasn't a girl's toy so it must not be mine. This was news to me! My mom intervened, and his mom got an earful (no expletives or raised voice, however) about raising kids to be independent and that I had chosen that dump truck because I'd wanted it for my birthday, and had never stolen anything in my life (which is still true today, decades later). That's when I learned to put my name on my toys, too. :-)
Hope that random babbling helps to answer your question...
Whether it is a boy or a girl, it should be instilled in them that the greatest power they can possess is the power of example. Do as I say, not as I do, only creates mistrust for all that you are around. And it will catch up sooner or later.
Make sure they go to a highly accredited private school of magic, like Hogwarts.
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