HOW important is it to start to #PressforProgress from girlhood so our daughters become progressive women?
Natalie Taylor, women empowerment speaker and life coach, shared that building strong women starts from building strong girls, and explained that in her own experience as a mother of four, two of whom are girls, it's important to impart the necessary skills that will build strong characters.
“Prayer and meditation are very important. My girls are key contributors in our household to praying. When we're going through issues as a family I treat them like business partners. I include them in the conversation and their contribution is counted. Sometimes it gives me ideas that seem simplified. They don't think about what's wrong or what could go wrong, they only think about possibilities, which is brilliant for us as adults because we often overcomplicate things,” she said.
Another key element in raising our girls right, according to Taylor, is listening to them, as they often have the solutions on how to raise them.
“They will teach you how to raise them, give you clues on what God put inside them, give you clues on if something they're going through is insecurity about a body part or feature, for example.
“Speak to them regularly, encourage them to write, buy them journals, encourage them to draw. Your girls will tell you and show you what they need. It might not be explicit, but if you spend time with them you will see they are stronger, braver and bolder than we are. Just allow them enough space to be themselves,” she said.
With regards to challenges a girl child is likely to face, Taylor said these include body image issues, financial independence and finding their true identity.
“Sometimes as parents we push our girls into things we didn't do, and try to live vicariously through them. I learnt very quickly, especially with my second child.. She's very vocal and very transparent. I encourage them to find what they are passionate about so they know who they are early.
“The older girl... she likes Minecraft, architecture, building and coding — STEM areas. I encourage it because it is important to get our daughters to be part of things that are [not traditionally female].”
Taylor's two daughters, Alexandria and Ariana Lue-Fung, also weighed in on the conversation and shared how their mother has encouraged them to be confident and forward-thinking.
“She's always telling me to believe in myself and not take anybody's judgement. Also to put important things first and when you have time you can have fun,” Alexandria said.
For Ariana, the sound advice from her mother is: “Whenever we get money we should save, invest, contribute, and then we can spend.”