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Inspiration

Teach Girls to Be Brave

Wow, what an awesome topic and maybe a completely new thought to some people. Our desire to protect our children is innate, we do it without thinking. However, what we do need to stop and think about is this: are we limiting our girls with traditional thought, over-protection and gender bias?

The defining line from this video has to be: “We’re raising our girls to be perfect, and we’re raising our boys to be brave”. Listen on and be totally inspired.

Are we ready to inspire our girls to be brave, strong, risk-takers and unafraid of failure? Here are a few tips to help us do just this.

Let them know girls can be brave

Dispense with the knight-in-shining-armour-rescuing-the-poor-princess imagery and rather put the sword in her own hand to slay the dragon. Go girl! Let our girls know they can be leaders, good leaders, in any role they have or learned the talent for. Bravery is seldom attributed to girls but it’s never too late to start encouraging them to do something brave every day, no matter how small.

Teach girls to live from the inside out

Oh my, this is a biggie. Society and the media constantly tell our girls that what they look like matters more than who they are or their ability. It’s a crying shame that this lie has been perpetuated from generation to generation. We must strive to combat this by focusing on their unlimited potential and encouraging them to follow their dreams and be the best they can be.

Allow girls to be brave

We need to stop reigning girls in. This starts when they are really young with comments like, “Don’t get your pretty dress dirty” and a steady stream of “Be careful”, “Don’t go too high” or “Soccer is for boys”. Let us allow them to take risks even if they are not sure things are going to turn out a success. Failure is not a bad thing and quite honestly once they have failed and survived, the fear of failure will be vanquished. Many a great idea has been left to die because girls have not been taught to be brave. Let us be their biggest supporters and resist the temptation to mollycoddle our girls. Bravery will be learnt through them having the opportunity to overcome their own problems and challenges, so that they can say “I did it!”

Show girls brave role models

There are many stories throughout history of brave women who have beat the odds and succeeded. However, don’t just focus on the success stories, because there are many equally important stories where women have failed at an endeavour but have never considered themselves as failures.

There is a subtlety to beware of here when highlighting role models. Some women have achieved great things and been the best at something. They should be applauded but the fact that they are women shouldn’t be overly emphasised. The subtlety is highlighted in these two different statements:

“Teach our girls to be brave too.”

“Teach our girls to be brave.”

Let us stop the discrimination and break free from the traditional view of girls. Let’s teach our girls to be brave. Who knows, maybe sitting in your class you have the next amazing inventor, leader, conqueror or innovator – it has nothing to do with gender.

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