5 Simple Ways to Empower Our Daughters


At first glance, our daughter is the epitome of a 3 year old girl. She loves bright colors. Tutus are her outfits of choice. Her ever-constant companion is a stuffed unicorn named Rainbow. For 80% of the time that she’s awake, she is singing and dancing. Each year during this week, I look at her, hoping that she will become an independent and smart woman. You see, it’s almost International Women’s Day. It is celebrated every year on March 8th. It’s a day to celebrate all the achievements of women: social, economic, cultural, and political. It is a call to action for women’s equality. So, what does that mean for a mother of a strong-willed toddler girl? Here are 5 simple ways to empower our daughters, even as young as three years old. 

Let her fall and get back up.

My husband is better at enforcing this rule, but we agreed early in parenthood to let her fall down. Our motherly instincts tell us to pick her up immediately and dust off any dirt, to check on scraped elbows. But in doing so, we are denying her the chance to assess her own emotions. She needs to determine her own reactions to those events. We know that life is going to knock her down sometimes. We have to teach her, even as a toddler, that she can and should try to pick herself back up. 

Praise her intellect and personality.

We are biased, but we obviously think that our daughter is beautiful. We do tell her she is beautiful, but we put much more emphasis on her actions. We tell her that her jokes are funny; that they made us laugh. We tell her that she is so kind to make a card for her friend. We tell her that she is so creative for telling us a story about pirates looking for treasure. Focusing on her personality and actions will hopefully encourage her to put the spotlight on what she can do, rather than what she looks like.

Give her role models.

Where to start? Books. We have had friends and relatives gift us so many books with inspiring stories of strong girls. Movies. We try to be conscious of the movies that we show her. I know some will argue with me, but some of the classic Disney movies have less than inspiring female role models. Thankfully, a lot has changed and the female characters are more favorable!

Ask for her opinion. 

Something as simple as encouraging her to help decide what will be served at a meal or what present we should give a friend, will give her a voice. Often, we think that parents are the end all, be all of all decisions. In circumstances where safety is concerned, adults are absolutely in charge. However, our girls need to learn that their opinions matter. In practicing using their voices, our daughters will be able to feel more comfortable speaking up and to give an opinion.

Encourage her to form strong friendships.

I have never been shy to strike up a conversation, but I also have managed to keep long-lasting relationships with some of the strongest women I know. There’s a level of respect and awe that I have in each of them. Cultivating strong and healthy relationships with other women can be such a breath of fresh air during tumultuous times, like parenting during a pandemic. 

There are so many ways to ensure that we are raising strong women, but these are just a few simple ways we can empower our daughters!


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