While my girls might think that every day is National Daughter’s Day or that it means they should receive presents for merely existing as my daughters, I think it’s imperative for them to know what the day actually means. At its root, National Daughter’s Day is a day meant to reflect on the honor of raising daughters and the important role females of all ages play in our society.
As a parent I work hard to provide the basic necessities for my children such as clothes, shelter, food, and more. But I often wonder about the other actions I take or decisions I need to make to show them what they are worth and capable of not only now, but also later in life. There are also vital necessities my daughters and daughters everywhere need to receive. Admittedly, as with most parenting, it’s been a struggle to figure out how to raise strong women, but here are a few things I do to accomplish this mammoth task.
I Talk About the Obstacles
When I am going through difficult times, whether at work or even a negative interaction at the grocery store, I believe it’s important to talk to my daughters about the obstacles. I talk through what the problem might be as well as how I plan to handle it. It’s important to involve them (when appropriate) when issues arise and explain to them how I look to solve them. They need to see that problems happen and that I, and they, are capable of learning how to solve them.
I Show Emotions
Emotions happen every day and all day long, so why not show them: Teach your daughter to be real. I show my girls when I am happy, when I am angry, and even when I am sad. At this point in their lives, they can even sense my emotions. When they ask me what is wrong, I don’t hold back. I let them know when I am frustrated or sad. They need to know what causes emotions. It’s important to show them, so they can learn how to handle them.
I Demonstrate Leadership
I bring my daughters to work and to other areas of my life that I am involved so they can see how women work and change lives in all that we do. When I was president of a women’s service organization, we had a lot of meetings, so it meant being away from my girls. These meetings meant a great deal as they were planned for a greater impact in our community. But as someone one told me: Don’t tell your kids it’s just a meeting because it’s more than that. So, I told my girls I was leaving to “change the world.” They no longer saw it as a meeting, but knew I was leaving to do something meaningful. They learned through my actions at work and through volunteer efforts that women are doing great things — but most important it empowered them to realize they can do the same!
Actions are the greatest way to show our daughters strength and independence. How we handle day-to-day situations and interactions with others and with them speaks volumes. Our daughters, young and old, have a big responsibility in this world and how we encourage them, love them and teach them allows them to be better equipped for the world and all it brings.
So, on this National Daughter’s Day, let’s praise and celebrate the daughters we have the honor to raise!