Pre-teen and teen girls are a mystery, aren’t they? One minute they are standing tall telling you how to run the show, the next they are a wailing mess because they don’t like their shirt. When you think about it, they’re a lot like toddlers (please don’t tell my girls I said that!).
Watching my daughters’ self-confidence plummet the older they become has been one of the most heartbreaking aspects of parenting for me. I guess I expected it. I remember being in late primary school, early high school, when I started comparing myself to other girls and felt very, very lacking. I know I wasn’t alone; I think most of us spent our entire teen years feeling like we didn’t stack up. Sadly, many of us still do.
It can feel so hypocritical to teach my daughters how to stand tall and believe in herself when I often struggle to do the same myself. Which is why apart from doing my very best to be a confident role model, I often find myself pointing out women in the media or in our community who I feel are doing remarkably well. Think Caitlin Moran, Pip Lincolne, Magda Szubanzki, Amys Poheler and Schumer and Gretchin Rubin.
For this reason, I couldn’t get my daughters down to see the Ghostbusters relaunch starring mighty women Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wigg fast enough. (I’d never heard of Kate McKinnon or Leslie Jones at the time, but I’m awfully glad I know who they are now!). Melissa McCarthy is the woman who said, “I’ve never felt like I needed to change. I’ve always thought, ‘If you want somebody different, pick somebody else.’” Wow, right? I want that for my girls.
Ghostbusters didn’t disappoint – it’s just one big, loud, crazy, in-your-face girl power fest. It shows strong women doing tough things – while demonstrating that good humour will get a gal through just about anything. It’s the kind of movie my girls want to watch again and again (you know how kids do that?), so I’m happy that it’s newly released on DVD. I’d much rather they re-watch Ghostbusters 100 times than Barbie Life in a Dream House. Spare me!
See, I figure that the more I immerse my girls in strong, funny, wise women who can take care of themselves, the more my girls are going to think, “I can be like her. I can be who I want, when I want, how I want.” That’s what I want for them. That’s what I want for girls everywhere.
Check out the slideshow for 20 more ways that I’m raising my girls’ self-esteem through the roof:
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Click here to get your own copy of Ghostbusters!
More ways to raise confident girls:
- The Most Inspiring Mothers and Daughters of All Time
- How to Raise a Daughter with Leadership Skills
- Why Dads Should Talk to Their Daughters About Periods, Sex and Boys