Challenge the girls in your life to grow, and be sure they have a good model to emulate.
- Step 1: Encourage girls to pursue the sciences and math fields, or to fix things around the house.
- Step 2: Teach girls to develop critical judgment about media and the images of them it projects. Discuss with your daughter how she feels about being marginalized. Do your best, and your daughter will benefit!
- FACT: The Girl Scouts of the United States was formed in 1912 when 18 girls assembled in Georgia. Now over 3.4 million girls and women are part of the association.
- TIP: Temper your criticism with kindness, during a girl's years when self-esteem may be shaky.
- Step 3: Deliver the sex talk and share your own turmoil at this delicate time. Research suggests self-esteem can sink during puberty, and healthy advice on dealing with boys may be right on time.
- TIP: Self-image is initially formed within the family and in the early years.
- Step 4: Get dad or another father figure involved. Some studies have indicated that when girls have a father figure in their lives, they are more likely to be successful in school and in their careers.
- Step 5: Monitor your daughter's activities, friends, interests, tastes, and music, but not as a sneak and a scold -- interact in her life and model determination and independence.
- Step 6: Concentrate on your own behavior, especially your honesty about how you may have inadvertently contributed to the illusion that girls can't do as much.