Parenting is no doubt the toughest job in the world. Countless parenting methods claiming to be the best have been written and talked about. But in truth, there is no single way of raising kids. Moms and dads can employ different strategies and hope for the best.
When raising girls, your goal as a parent should be to raise one who can grow up to be a strong, independent, and fearless woman ready to take on the world. To help parents do this, The Gutsy Girl: Escapades for Your Life of Epic Adventure author Caroline Paul shared a few tips during a TEDTalk.
In her talk, Caroine said she had no talent as a child, and so she instead attempted to break the world record in crawling.
“Today, I see it differently, because when I was attempting the world record, I was doing three things: I was getting outside my comfort zone, I was calling upon my resilience, and I was finding confidence in myself and my own decisions. I didn’t know it then, but those are not the attributes of failure. Those are the attributes of bravery.”
Caroline emphasized the need to teach girls bravery instead of fear. Parents should allow their daughters to explore, make mistakes, and graze their knees now and then.
“The problem is when fear is the primary reaction that we teach and encourage in girls whenever they face something outside their comfort zone.”
To help parents raise fearless girls, Caroline shared these four tips:
1. Encourage adventure and exploration.
Don’t make your daughter think she’s too fragile to engage in risky play. Allow her to go outside, play with other kids, and be a bit vulnerable. Doing so will teach her hazard assessment, delayed gratification, resilience, and confidence.
2. Be careful not to caution your daughter.
We know it can be difficult, but try to stop yourself from saying, “Watch out!” all the time. Constantly cautioning your little girl might make her think she’s not strong enough to accomplish big feats or that she should be afraid of doing new things.
3. Gently guide her toward bravery.
Don’t push her too hard to be brave. Take it step by step, and guide her gently toward being fearless. If a situation is too much for her, help her process it. You can work together in assessing the risks, and eventually, she can make her own decisions from a place of courage and not of fear.
4. Be a good example of bravery.
Of course, she needs to see that her parents, especially her mother, are brave. Be the kind of fearless person you would like your daughter to be when she grows up. Kids, after all, follow the footsteps of their parents.
Parenting isn’t easy, but moms and dads are not alone. With the right attitude and guidance, we’re sure you can raise beautiful and fearless girls.
Check out Caroline Paul’s insightful TEDTalk below:
Do you have any additional tips? Tell us in the comments section.
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