To be brave is to have courage.
I have three beautiful daughters. As I watch them spin around in their purple, pink, and blue dresses I cannot help, but smile and enjoy this moment. This moment when my unique, care free daughters are under my protection. In my protection, in the controlled environment of a warm living room, which has been converted into an elegant ballroom, filled with many beautiful princes and princesses on a quest for magical moments. A moment where the only fear is a possible fire breathing green dragon that can come from across the ocean, in search of a missing ring a young naughty prince stole while exploring its cave.
See, there’s something I know. I know that the ballroom will disappear. I know that my daughters will leave the living room and then enter a classroom. She will be in that classroom, until she has to work in an office. She will travel the streets alongside strangers in this vast, beautiful, yet dangerous world. Those prince and princesses she’s currently drinking tea with will become classmates, those classmates will become co-workers, some will remain friends, and she will encounter strangers along the way.
I won’t be there to control her environment. I can’t shield her ears from the mean words of a lonely bully. I can’t stop a classmate from choosing someone else over her for a project. I can’t stick up for her when a bitter co-worker decides to unjustly make her day as miserable as she can. I can’t predict which one of her friends may back stab her. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.
But I can raise her to be brave.
I can raise her to be aware that unfortunately, in between the rainbows and butterflies, she will encounter a few wasps, and that storms will pass. I can raise her with tools that she can use when the enemy strikes. I can raise her to be hopeful, that the storm will pass. To know that the pain of a broken heart will heal, and that when the right time comes to trust and love again, that she can.
I can raise her to be brave. And so can you!
Our daughters need us mom. They need us to teach them how to be brave in order to move forward in life. They need us to teach them, that it is OK to take chances with love. They need us to teach them how to be brave in order to help others, who are not as strong.
Will you join me?
How do we teach our daughters to be brave?
1. Demonstrate it.
History has a way of repeating itself. The same trials you have gone through, and are currently enduring, your daughter may have to face herself, one day.
- Start small. (Show her that you’re brave by trapping a spider on your own.)
- Face your trials head on, and with your head held high.
She may not be aware of current situations now (finances, health, marriage issues), but when she is older and facing her own trials she will look back and realize, you were brave. Even when you were hurting and afraid.
1. Instill it.
From an early age, teach her how to be brave. If you have a son, or were raised with brothers, you see the difference in how boys and girls are raised. Break the gender barrier, let your girls get messy.
Now, I am not saying to trade in her purple dress for a purple camouflage outfit. (Although, you can add it to her wardrobe, if you feel inclined.) What I am saying is to allow your daughter to take risks. Even if she scrapes her knee by climbing a tree or gets dirty by riding a dirt bike, allow her to go on an adventure, risks and all!
She needs to experience the world for what it really is. A beautiful place, that can be scary, but wonderful if you are brave.
Here are some activities you can encourage your daughter to do, that requires a brave attitude.
(Use discretion, certain activities are better for older children with adult supervision.)
- camping outdoors
- riding a bike without training wheels
- auditioning for school plays
- laser tag
- introducing herself to new kids at the park
- climbing a tree
- crossing the monkey bars
- contact sport
- volunteering at a hospice center
- rock climbing
- snow boarding
- hide and seek in the dark with flashlights
As mothers we want what’s best for our daughters. We want them to be happy, to succeed, and to leave an imprint on the world. We want them to always have their eyes opened for rainbows and butterflies, to remember having tea with princesses, and to know that the world is filled with beauty. But we also want them to learn how to protect themselves against the storms and dragons life has to offer. Mom, it begins with us. Will you join me? Let’s raise a generation of brave daughters!