Teaching Young Girls to Demand Equality

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An Important Lesson in Raising Equality Driven Young Women

I have a vivid memory of being in an elementary class one day. My teacher had a request over the PA system to send a student down to the main office to pick up a box. Well, any excuse to get out of the classroom and do something different was something any of us kids would want. So, all of our ears perked up. However, my teacher was not always fair. She asked any STRONG BOYS to raise their hand and volunteer if they wanted to go to the office and get the box. What??!!! My teacher had only requested a boy because she presumed they were stronger than the girls. However, I was strong also and I wanted to go on an adventure just as much as anyone else so I raised my hand too. My 8-year-old self didn’t understand this attitude, as I wasn’t treated that way at home. While many girls may not go through the exact same scenario as I did, we still can do our best to empower girls to stand up for themselves. How can we help our own girls to fight against the gender inequalities that they still face?

Set a great example! Educating your girls on great examples of strong women, not standing for negative stereotypes in your own life, standing up for yourself, and having positive examples of good friendship in your life are all ways to set the right model for how your daughter should live her life. Also, be aware of how you speak about other women. Be conscious of not criticizing a woman for how she looks, having to work to support her family, or any other idea that wouldn’t occur to you when speaking about a man.

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Be aware of the toys you buy for your kids. Most people tend to buy toys for girls that encourage beauty, cooking and caring for baby dolls, while those for boys focus on rough play and high action activities. Many experts feel that the types of toys children play with set the precedent for stereotypes in their lives, and in turn, end up influencing what they become in life. While this theory can seem a bit “heavy” to think about, allowing your girls to build with blocks and Legos, dig in the sand with dump trucks, and other “male” oriented activities, you are exposing them to all types of toys and ideas of what they are capable of.

Expose your girls to activities that empower them. Encouraging your girls to join a sports team, be on the math club, or learn how to code on the computer are ways to enable them to feel good about themselves. Treating everyone equally and with respect, and demanding the same are all ways we can raise strong, confident young ladies.

Women and girls have come a long way– we can be educated, can vote, and make our own decisions. Working to continue to conquer the stereotypes that are own mothers and grandmothers faced is something we can do to honor our girls.
 
 

Meet The Bella Behind the Blog: Kristen Farley is a mother of three and a domestic goddess. She is a former teacher who enjoys spending lots of time with her kids, healthy eating, volunteering at school, and mommy blogging for the masses.

Be on the lookout for more of Kristen’s expert advice and brilliant tips!

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