Family

How to raise your daughter to be a leader

Author: Canadian Living

Family

How to raise your daughter to be a leader

1. Validate who your daughter is, not who you want her to be.
Read the book Nurture by Nature by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger (Little, Brown, 1997) to learn more about personality styles and how you can instill self-confidence and self-esteem by honoring your child's unique gifts and preferences.

2. Encourage participation in individual and team sports.
Your daughter may never become an Olympic athlete, but learning how to compete, be a team member and deal with wins and losses are valuable lessons that will serve her well throughout her lifetime.

3. Foster independent thinking and decision-making.
Allow your daughter to choose her own clothing, order from a menu and have her own opinions -- all of which may differ from your choices.

4. Consider an all-girl school.
Studies show that girls who attend a single-sex school are more apt to develop skill in leadership and are more likely to excel in math and science, gravitate toward nontraditional careers and have more self-esteem than girls who attend coed schools.

5. Enroll your daughter in a self-defense class.
Not only do these programs teach girls how to physically protect themselves, but they instill a sense of self-confidence that extends to other areas of her life as well.

6. Teach your daughter about money.
From an early age, provide her with a bank account, an allowance and guidelines for how to earn, save and spend money.

7. Identify extracurricular activities suited to your daughter's personality.
Not all girls may want to join Brownies, Girl Scouts or Campfire Girls, but it's important that she participate in programs that allow her to develop her leadership skills or find her unique voice. An acting, writing or art class can also achieve these ends.

Page 1 of 2 -- Discover more important parenting tips on page 2



Excerpted from See Jane Lead by Lois P Frankel. Copyright 2007 by Lois P Frankel. Excerpted by permission of Warner Business Book. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

 

8. Get involved with your daughter's school.
Communicate your expectations for how girls will be treated and taught. Insist that the school develop and enforce zero tolerance for harassment.

9. Raise your sons to respect women.
Boys who learn from an early age that girls are different but equal are more likely to grow to be men who will encourage rather than be threatened by powerful women. Convey overt messages about equality between the sexes and discourage boys from engaging in behaviour that in any way puts down or minimizes girls and women.

10. Teach your daughter skills for recognizing and responding to inappropriate social messages.
Talk to her about the ways in which she may encounter unwanted sexual advances, harassment or other forms of sexism and help her to develop the language needed to address it when she encounters it.

11. Model the way.
Your daughter will learn about leadership and self-confidence from watching you. Make sure you have developed your own communication, assertiveness, social and leadership skills so that she can see what they look like in real time.

12. Focus on your daughter's emotional intelligence.
She may be smart and self-confident, but does your daughter get along with other kids? Can she regulate her emotions? Is she empathetic? Too many parents breathe a sigh of relief when they realize they have an exceptionally talented daughter and fail to ensure she also has the social skills that accompany success.

13. Expose your daughter to nontraditional activities and careers.
If you can't afford to take her to Ottawa to learn how our government works, then sit down with her at the computer and explore international women politicians. If you're at a restaurant that is owned by a woman, ask to introduce her to the owner. Seize every opportunity to let her know there's a big world waiting for her, and she's limited only by her choices.

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Excerpted from See Jane Lead by Lois P Frankel. Copyright 2007 by Lois P Frankel. Excerpted by permission of Warner Business Book. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

 

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