As a mom of two young girls, I am keenly aware of how important it is that I expose them to women who will inspire them and help them dream big. I know why girls need strong female role models because I have personally been touched by those who have impacted me in my journey. And I want the same for my daughters! Everywhere we look, little girls are bombarded with imagery that they are silly and weak and must be rescued. They are complimented endlessly on their looks, but rarely seen for the fierce, brave, intelligent, and creative humans that they are. We can’t look to the influences of society for the answers needed to raise our daughters to be successful, independent, and strong. We must look inside of ourselves and to those who have paved the path before us for the influences that we want our children to be affected by. Positive role modeling is so powerful and important. Give your daughters access to strong, confident women, whether through books, movies, documentaries, music, or even better, real life! So, just in case you are wondering...here are 10 really good reasons why girls need strong female role models in their lives:
1. So that they can truly get the most out of their childhood! Little girls need to know that it’s okay to be a little girl. There is such a push to grow up too soon. But strong role models remind us that each stage of our lives is to be celebrated and lived out fully. So, let your daughter be a kid to the fullest. Remind her that this is her time to explore and learn and play. Give her the tools and toys she needs to role play the stories of strong women!
2. So that they learn to believe in themselves!
Not for a moment do I want my daughters to ever doubt themselves or think that they can’t do something just because they are female. As their mother, they need to see me speaking positively about myself and my abilities. They also need to see me doing stuff that is hard, so that they know that they can do hard things, too!
3. So that they strive to become powerful leaders in their community!
Make sure your daughters know who the female leaders are both in your local area, as well as worldwide. Strong female role models in leadership are so instrumental in encouraging young women to not be passive followers, but leaders themselves. We want our girls to not be afraid to take charge and be confident in their place in this world.
4. So that they are motivated to pursue STEM careers!
Introduce your daughters to women who have successful careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Get your girls talking about their own capabilities and desires for successful careers in fields that otherwise might not seem attainable. Teach them that they have a lot to contribute and that the world is ready for them.
Techbridge Girls in “How Role Models Can Make the Difference for Girls” reminds us that “Many engineers recount that their interest came from early build- or take-apart projects or from the encouragement of a parent who was an engineer. What about girls who haven’t been encouraged to tinker or take things apart, or girls who don’t know an engineer? This is the reality for many girls. Often girls are simply not exposed to experiences that would encourage their interests in engineering. In fact, messages that they receive from the media or in school or at home tell them that engineering is not for girls.”
5. So that they know they have a voice!
Our girls need to be heard. When vocal role models speak up and speak out, our kids are listening. They get to see firsthand what happens when a confident female uses her words to enact change. Let them know that they don’t have to be silent or “go along to get along.” They must be shown that what they have to say matters!
6. So that they seek a future of independence and strength!
Women are not powerless creatures who need someone to carry them through life. As a mom, I want my girls to see me handling my business and not relying heavily on someone else to get done what I can do and there is very little that I can’t do. This is the future I wish for my daughters so that they never feel helpless or incapable.
8. So that they will be inspired to work towards their dreams!
What does your daughter dream of becoming? Find a mentoring female role model that will help her pursue her passion and get them together! If you don’t know anyone personally, then help her find stories of women who have successfully realized their dreams so that she can feel the power of accomplishment and seek to do the same.
9. So that they in turn will become strong female role models!
One good turn deserves another. Let’s continue the cycle! When we get our girls inspired and they become successful, it is inevitable that some other little girls in the future will want to emulate them. And when we start this ball rolling, may it never stop! When your daughter knows why girls need strong female role models then she will want to be one, too!
10. So that they can be world changers!
May our daughters see what women can do and then BE the change they want to see in the world. Successful role models give our little girls a brighter future and hope for tomorrow. Each generation gets a new chance to make a difference, whether through innovation, courageousness, kindness, inspiration, or navigating conflict.
Together, women and girls can make a difference!
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