A few weeks ago, I was talking with my cousin who is raising a smart, beautiful, and confident young woman. This amazing person also happens to be my Goddaughter.
My cousin had just heard a parenting expert explain that our children will not treat themselves the way that we treat them. They will treat themselves the way they see us treat ourselves. This was especially relevant to young girls.
This reminded me of the old adage;
“Children do what we do, not what we say.”
My cousin summarized it more succinctly;
“We must be who we want our girls to become.”
If we want our girls to be healthy, they must see us making healthy food choices.
If we want our girls to be physical, they must see us run, hike, and bike.
If we want our girls to be confident, they must see us poised, assured, and self-possessed.
If we want our girls to be engaged in the arts, they must see us writing, playing music, and dancing.
If we want our girls to have a joy-filled life, then we must fill our lives with joy!
Parenting can be one of the most challenging and rewarding roles we are blessed to serve in. In more recent years, my husband and I have had the pleasure of celebrating two beautiful little people in our lives we affectionately refer to as our “Munchkins”. We are clear about the special role we play in their lives as grandparents. We have a unique opportunity to help influence them as they grow and develop into exceptional young women.
As my cousin and I discussed the implications of this research I was reminded, for us to raise strong girls, we must too be strong women.
Gia Suggs, MPA, MA, EdD is an Organization Development Consultant. She manages a private practice and is a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at Olivet Nazarene University located in Bourbonnais, Illinois.
Dr. Gia is the author of Onboarding; Maximizing the Success of New Employees & co-author with Hayward Suggs of Shattering the Glass Ceiling; How to Break Through Without Breaking Down (both available on Amazon.com).
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