Many girls develop language skills earlier than boys. Encourage this interest in verbal and written expression, but don’t neglect to nurture your girl’s spatial and math skills, too. Encouraging her to take smart risks – physically and emotionally – will help her become self-assured and ready for school.
Girls receive countless messages – from caregivers, peers, teachers, and the media – to be emotionally expressive, collaborative, and friendly, while suppressing their aggression and solving conflicts through indirect means. Encourage positive inter-personal behavior while empowering your girl to be assertive, self-confident, and strong. Intervene when you see girls acting “mean” to each other or engaging in other relational aggression like exclusion or gossip.
& young adults:
The media's portrayal of women and girls still relies on outdated stereotypes and unrealistic expectations about body image and behavior. It also de- emphasizes women in powerful and untraditional careers. Counteract these messages by modeling healthy habits that help your girl stay active. Connect her to opportunities in science and technology fields, and introduce her to strong, inspirational female mentors. Encourage her to create her own media to show the world the way she wants it to be.
Remember that kids take media at face value, so it’s up to you to help your daughter think about, criticize, and combat messages that don’t represent her (or you). By doing so, you emphasize the importance of her perspective and the power to share narratives that are real.