- Don’t encourage stereotypical ideas inside the household about woman’s role in the family
- Always be supportive of your daughter and do not treat her differently from the boy in the house
- Encourage self-expression. Remember, your daughter will be voice of the disenfranchised tomorrow
Every year India celebrates National Girl Child Day on January 24 to offer support and opportunities to the girl child in India. In this day and age, women role models are plenty, in each and every field, but with correct guidance and by setting the right example for them, your daughter may be the next role model this world deserves. Children are highly impressonable and it is imperative to set the right example in front of them from a young age. As parents and primary caregivers, it is your duty to help them their realise their full potential and not fall victims to gender stereotypes.
Here are a few ways to raise an empowered daughter so that the coming generations may also reap the benefits of your good parenting.
Beyond ‘physical beauty’
The world is moulded in such a way that ‘beauty’ is given undue importance. Growing up, the notion of what is ‘pretty’ must be carefully imparted in the kids. Physical ‘beauty’ should not be emphasised on as much as mental development, skill set and capabilities. If not given the right guidance, insecurities about physical appearance may start to creep in at an early age which can negatively affect a person’s growth and future.
Before imparting knowledge upon your progeny, practise what you preach. Children learn from their parents and an effective way to bring up good children is to be good role models at home. Be respectful towards the women in the house so that kids see and learn from you. There should not be stereotypical ideas espoused about the woman’s role in the family.
Boost self esteem in your daughter
As much as you are expected to present the ideal version of yourselves in front of the kids, the world is not how you would expect. Sometimes, your daughter may come face-to-face with the wrong sort of ideas and it is imperative to boost her self esteem so that negative thoughts about oneself can be avoided. Always encourage open dialogue so that they are never afraid to speak their mind, even in front of the others.
Celebrate her self-expression
Self-expression must be encouraged at all costs from a young age. Just because a child is ‘different’ does not mean that they have to conform to the societal norms. If self-expression in women is encouraged since the start, tomorrow, they will be in the correct position to empower the disenfranchised.
Dont be over-protective
While parents are always protective about their kids, it is observed that they tend to be over-protective with the girl child. This can lead them to think that they need extra ‘care’ when that may not be the case. Girls should should be allowed to do the same kind of activities as boys, whether at home or outside. Provide them with equal opportunities and don’t treat them as delicate.