In a world full of unrealistic social media pressures our girls right now need us more than ever. Believe it or not you can play a BIG role in shaping the next generation of girls.
We all have a special young girl in our lives and they don’t necessarily have to be 10 years old either. Regardless of their age, they can be a friend, a family member, sister, niece, or the next door neighbour that looks up to you as being the “cool” one. These are the girls that are watching, listening and learning from your every move. So why not shape the next generation of girls by setting the bar high and leading by example. Here are 7 things you can do right now to shape our next generation of girls. Number 7 is my favourite.
- Be body positive– I get it ladies, we all have insecurities with our bodies but poking and prodding at every bump, odd shape or roll in a negative light indirectly teaches our girls that they should be ashamed of they way they look. So the next time you’re around a young girl just EMBRACE and start to speak about your body in a positive light Talk about how much you love your body, Go swimming in “just” your swimmers; yes; “no cover ups” and speak about loving yourself just the way you are.
- Start to acknowledge their strengths – Start to make a point to recognise the things they are good at. Give them verbal recognition along with encouragement to pursue what they love. By doing this you are subconsciously aligning them with their dharma or “Life purpose” while instilling confidence along the way.
- Talk about other girls / women in a positive light – Start to talk about women in a positive light, no matter who they are. But most importantly STOP the trash talking. Example: How many times have you been out for coffee and a woman walks by the group you are with and one of you starts to negatively talk about her. Maybe it’s, what she was wearing, or how she did her makeup. Regardless of what it was – put an end to this negative talk because if you don’t you are indirectly teaching the little ladies around you that its “OK” to talk bad about other women. So start giving compliments instead of judgements.
- Teach them to speak up when something is not right – This includes saying ‘No’ and asking questions. This is one of the biggest problems our girls face today because throughout the decades us women were taught to be non-confrontational and people pleasers even if that means doing something we didn’t want to do. Therefore, make a point to teach your little lady that when something is wrong to speak up, ask questions and use that powerful word little word “No”
- Recognise how you let men treat you – Whether it’s your partner, or your colleague; how you let men treat you is imperative to our next generation of girls. If you are submissive and let them treat you like trash then that’s the kind of man they will subconsciously attract because you’ve just set the standard of what’s considered acceptable in a male partner. So start to pay attention to how your male counterparts talk to you, especially in front of your little girls. Most importantly be confident and assertive in every interaction with a male. Never let a male speak down to you and don’t be afraid to call them out and set the standard of what is considered acceptable for the little female eyes and ears watching.
- Talk about your failures and learn to laugh at yourself – The most successful people are typically the ones that are willing to fail fast and learn by their mistakes. No matter who you are you have failed at some point in your life and that’s alright. We all make mistakes and simply said, you wouldn’t be where you are today if you didn’t. Teach your little ladies that it is “OK” to stuff up but make sure you take away a lesson and when all things fail laughter is the best method to move forward.
- Teach them the importance of “Feminism” Make a point to educate them on what feminism actually means and begin to talk about the importance of equality and female leadership. For feminism by definition is: The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. This covers doing the same work for the same pay / reward, the importance of having women in positions of leadership, and not being afraid to speak up and have their voice heard for what they believe. I mean, you were born female so you might as well be on your own team right?
Doing these simple things is crucial for shaping our next generation of girls. For it’s our girls who are our future global leaders. So let’s set that bar high and lead by example and create the next generation of females who are strong as hell, know their worth, and are resilient beyond measure.