Teaching Girls to Empower Women
One of the most valuable things we can teach young girls is how to empower other women. It’s essential to show kids that they can use their voices to help others and build female camaraderie. Teaching empowerment skills helps girls develop stronger relationships with important women in their lives and encourages them to take significant steps towards gender equality for all.
Here are six ways to help girls lift up women of all ages and backgrounds.
Teaching Girls to Empower Women
1) Identify Leadership Qualities in the Women Around You
Nurturing ambition and celebrating leadership skills are so crucial for young girls. We need to show them empathy, communication, cleverness, positivity, and creativity all have value. Identify these traits in admirable women around them.
Here is a simple yet powerful activity to do with your girl. Use this worksheet to identify great leadership skills in women you know. Help your little ones fill out this sheet, and then discuss who you chose for each quality and why.
2) Practice Active Listening
We need to listen to women’s voices and show them their opinions matter. To help girls practice active listening:
- Explain the why behind it.
- Show them that sincere listening makes people feel valued and appreciated.
- Practice giving your full attention, not interrupting, asking questions, and responding with no judgment. Actively listening will encourage the same respectful behavior from others.
3) Give Genuine Compliments
Another way to encourage girls to empower women is to enable them to complement with sincerity. Kind remarks on appearances are nice, but it’s important to compliment women on their achievements and qualities.
Practice complimenting someone on things you know are essential to that person with your children present. Focus on their accomplishments and reference specific things they’ve worked hard for and are particularly proud of. Tell them what you admire about them, that you love their company, and that their knowledge or imagination inspires you.
4) Learn to Respectfully Disagree
It’s important to let others know their thoughts are heard, even when you disagree with them. Encourage girls to have constructive conversations and approach disagreements with understanding and respect. One way to do this is to practice replacing hurtful or unconstructive phrases like “That’s stupid” with ones like “I hear what you’re saying. However, I disagree with that point because…”
Teaching girls to respectfully disagree helps them learn to be sympathetic towards those with different viewpoints. Here are more phrases to avoid and valuable ones to try.
Download this handout
5) Encourage Positivity Online
If the girls in your life are old enough to participate in the world of social media, you’re probably aware of how damaging online negativity can be. It’s worth having conversations with your kids and family members about how social media makes you and others feel.
For example, are you following people and accounts that make you feel negative or positive about yourself? Are you sharing things that align with your values? Does what you share and comment on other’s posts lift them or tear them down?
Thinking through these considerations can help girls choose to encourage positivity rather than comparisons and competition online.
With these tips, you can start great conversations with the girls in your life to help them appreciate and uplift amazing women. Even seemingly small suggestions can inspire young girls to join forces, applaud each other, and value an array of voices.
Contributed by Hana Rehman with graphics originally appearing on Redbubble
Top image by Roxxie Blackham for Unsplash
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