International Day of the Girl Child 2021: How to Raise Strong Children
During tough times, how do you keep an eye on the cost – raising healthy, resilient children who can grow into strong, caring adults who, like my mom says, can pay the rent?
I turned to experts and thoughtful people who speak often to CNN Science and Wellness, and found their words to apply to all of our children – and maybe adults, too.
“It’s easy for girls to make it clear that their appearance matters above all else. What matters is on the inside,” said Damour, author of “Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girl” , by email.
“What matters is how smart, funny, kind, creative and decent the girls are,” Damour said. “Focusing too much on its container – as the world would like girls to do – steals time that could (and should!) Be spent cultivating its content.
What role do you want to play?
These norms include gender pay gaps, not speaking first in meetings or being the primary caretakers of the household, we will continue to live in a world without change.
“I encourage girls around the world to think about the role they want to play in generational change and how they want to appear in the world differently from previous generations. Find yourself a strong female role model and don’t have afraid to go against the grain, ask too many questions or follow your dreams. “
Make your home a “courageous space”
“When girls feel empowered to express themselves and share their feelings, thoughts and ideas with others, they build up their self-confidence. The problem is, they need a certain amount of self-confidence. them to take that first step.
“What parents can do is make sure their home is experienced as a courageous space for their daughter. When girls know their parents are there to empathize with them and love them unconditionally, they find strength. to express themselves. This is where assertiveness skills are born and honed, in courageous spaces where they feel empowered to stand up and express themselves. “
Teach girls how strong they are
Tell your daughter how strong she is, Duffy said, specifically using the word “strong.”
“The word itself is powerful and meaningful,” he said.
“Teach them to see their body as a force as well. Encourage them to exercise, lift and run. Do it with her if that motivates her. Let them see the action they can. exercise on their body. ”
Introduce your loved ones
CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen’s mother died 11 years ago.
“There are so many things I wish I could say to my mom, and I wish she could get to know my kids so much.
“On this International Day, I want to remind my children of all those people in their lives who are no longer here with us, but whose influence and legacy are part of them. Now, and in the years to come, I want to tell my kids everything about my mother and the lessons she taught me, and soon them too. “
“I was particularly struck by these lines from an essay (Ursula K. Le Guin) titled ‘Instructions for Use’,” she wrote via email.
“‘What a child needs, what we all need, is to find other people who have imagined life along lines that are meaningful to us and that allow some freedom, and to listen to them. . Not to hear passively, to listen. Listening is an act of community which takes up space, time and silence. Reading is a means of listening. ‘”