Raising confident girls can be challenging, especially in India. We have so many taboos here and all these start at home. Don’t talk loudly, don’t laugh loudly, sit properly, wear proper clothes, etc. So, with so many bounds, is being a girl a blessing? Yes, it is, but I wish this was true for the larger part of India.
There are 193,423,751 girls below 15 years according to Country Meters data. A large part of the girl population in India is still deprived of basic rights like education and equality.
For example, my daughter could have all the independence in the world inside and outside the house, whereas my daughter’s friend (poor family) could be deprived of the quality of education or for better things over her brother.
“Why is there such a stark difference between two houses only separated by a boundary wall?”, is my daughter’s question to me. So, I answered, “It entirely depends on the culture, mindset, and values of each house.” In my house we do not see any difference between a boy or a girl, even growing up, I remember I was never deprived of anything. My brother and I were always treated as equals by my parents (thank you, Mummy and Daddy!!).
Gender Empowerment starts at home:
I grew up with the same values of gender empowerment and equality in everything. Luckily, my life partner also shares the same values, and hence, both our daughters are treated like boys, not like girls. They go through disciplinary action as well as enjoy a lot of pampering when needed.
I think it is a mother who has a larger role to play in molding a child and a father who provides support to their children. The conversations we have at home with each other and with our daughters determine how the child’s psyche is developed.
Are we talking and showing in action more about women empowerment at home or are our children looking at women in the house being abused (physical and mental)? Are we only talking about how our neighbors’ boy won in a sports championship or are we celebrating our daughter’s academic achievement? Do we always underplay our kid’s abilities? Do we encourage them or just shut their ideas away?
The moment we start encouraging our daughters, you will be surprised to see them excel in whatever they do.
As parents we must aim to give due credit to our girls for whatever they have achieved, this is one of the good parenting tips. Yes of course I do not say that you advertise about it all over social media, but acknowledge it personally to your own daughter that her achievement means the world to you. She needs your trust in her and her abilities. That’s it!!
Instill Key skills:
Raising girls who are confident is not enough. Teaching them to be empathetic, responsible, humble, and disciplined is equally important. I have seen so many confident girls, but what they lack is humility, which means they do not respect another individual for their achievements too. Hence, teach your daughter to be:
- Humility and
How to build confidence in your child?
There are so many ways you could teach your child to build confidence:
- Show it in action. When you are humble, disciplined, responsible and confident, then your daughter will also learn it from you.
- Role model from TV: Strong girl cartoon characters or tv series create a very positive mark on your daughter and which builds their confidence, like: Dora the Explorer, Polly Pocket, Powerpuff Girls, Equestria girls, Just add Magic and more.
- Equal Privileges: Make sure your daughter is given all the privileges you would give to a son, partiality is a confidence killer, so make sure you are fair and square.
- Teach them to love books: Reading is one of the best gifts you could inculcate in your daughter or even your son from a young age. Gift your child books that boost their self esteem. Reading widens their horizon, increase their vocabulory and teach them the value of education. Three of the books I like are: Giraffes can’t dance by Giles Andreae, You are special by Max Lucado, Grandma’s Bag of stories by Sudha Murthy.
- Sharing equal work at home. Sharing household chores with your partner shows them that both men and women can help each other at home. A father doing utensils or helping in cutting vegetables or drying the laundry and a mother driving to office or responsible for buying weekly groceries or paying bills are few of the powerful messages you can send across to your kids.
- Respecting elders: Respecting elders is a very important value to teach. Teaching kids to also respect house cleaners, municipal workers, teachers, doctors, nurses etc. also is extremely important. When they see y ou respecting them, your kids will also learn to respect them and value their hard work.
Girls need a lot of confidence and faith in their abilities to outshine their counterparts from a young age. When they learn to value themselves, they will learn to value other women too and eventually build a strong personality that has the potential to influence society. Hats off to all parents who are working hard to raise confident girls!!!