Raising Strong Women

Showing my daughters what it means to be strong, independent woman is particularly important to me. For a long time I wasn’t very strong at all. I always had someone to lean on and turn to for support and decision-making. I am in a relationship right now, but it is healthiest one that I’ve ever been in. CBG is just the right amount of help and support. And because he is so far away, most of the time I have no choice but to be strong and independent. Ultimately, it’s a good thing for me. It hasn’t been until the last two years or so that I’ve realized how important it is to me to be strong, independent and self-sufficient. Not just for myself, either, but to set an example for my two lovely little girls.

Recently my oldest daughter, Kiddo and I sat down and had a conversation about one of her friends at school. Apparently, this friend has been giving her a bit of a tough time at school on occasion. She goes from being fine – playing well, being friendly, etc, to being downright mean to Kiddo, saying unkind things to her. Things like “You don’t care about your family” and “You care more about your toys than you do your family”. It’s been on Kiddo’s mind a fair bit.

During the conversation, my ever-wise seven year old said, “It’s like she’s speaking a secret language. It’s like she’s trying to tell me something but is using different words to say it.”

Whoa.

I explained to her that she’s right. I told her that’s something that people – even grownups – often do. That it’s sometimes difficult for them to say what they’re really thinking and feeling, and so those thoughts and feelings come out in other ways. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we’re doing it. I told her that chances are, her friend’s treatment of her has more to do with what her friend is thinking and feeling (likely about unrelated things) than it is about Kiddo herself.

We went on to discuss strategies for dealing with this friend when she began acting this way.  I explained to Kiddo that it was perfectly appropriate for her to refuse to play with this friend when she was being mean. I said that she could simply tell her that she wasn’t going to play with her until she started being nice. Kiddo seemed a bit nervous about this. We discussed her fears (getting in trouble with the teacher or what her friend might say or do as a result of this).

I explained to her that I understood that it’s not easy to stand up for yourself sometimes…and that this was something that I have difficultly with, too. Kiddo took a deep breath and said, “It’s okay, Mommy. I’m a strong woman. I can do this!” She said it with confidence and conviction.

I can’t tell you how proud I was in that moment. Both of her and myself. I am raising strong women.

3 Responses

  1. Wow. You are raising amazingly strong girls, and SO smart too. Your parenting style reminds me a lot of my mom’s parenting style with us growing up. Also a single mom, also focused on making sure we grew up smart, strong, and independent, and I just respect that so much.

  2. Congrats! That one brought a tear to my eye.

  3. Just read this, and love it. My daughter is only three but I’m so focused (sometimes too focused? Is that possible?) on raising her as a strong independent woman. I am impressed by your communication and relationship with your (obviously intelligent) daughter and hope that I can maintain a relationship with that type of open and honest conversation with my girl as she grows.

    Kudos! 🙂

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