A recent survey from Save the Children shows that children as young as three are impacted by gender stereotypes and those ideas are well established before a child reaches 10. Most women are taught that they should want babies and to be a good mother. Women do not understand sports, but they watch them because they think the athletes are good looking. Women should concentrate on home economics related topics or education leaving science, technology, engineering and mathematics to boys. If you are a woman who is breaking the stereotype, then you need to step up by being a role model for young girls.
Young girls need to be taught how to speak confidently. Many girls use an uptick in their voice making their answer sound like a question instead of a confident statement. Furthermore, many girls hedge their answers with phrases like “you know,” “I’m not sure this is right, but…” or “I don’t know, but I think….” Instead, encourage the young girls that you have contact with to speak confidently. Start by making sure that you do not use phrases such as these in your own vocabulary. Then, when you hear a young girl say them, explain to them that it makes them look less confident. Correct them patiently every time so that they break they break the habit.
Teach to Navigate Conflict
Disagreements are a natural part of life, but too many girls are taught to not state what they honestly believe about a situation. Instead, they are taught to simply go along with the crowd. They need to learn techniques so they are not giving into peer pressure. This can get girls in trouble during their teenage years and early 20s when they are led to take drugs and drink too much alcohol. Fortunately, there are places that can help overcome these issues and move on to the bright future we know, and must make these young ladies understand, awaits them. For teens that have given into peer pressure and have started abusing alcohol or drugs, Luminance Recovery offers top-of-the-line drug addiction treatment in Orange County and their team of professionals will give you the help you need. They teach their patients to navigate conflict and have the will to say no to others.
The confidence gap starts way before a girl reaches middle school with boys feeling much more confident in their abilities than girls. Help young girls complete a project that she can really be proud of accomplishing such as a project for a science fair. Then, teach her to feel proud of her accomplishment. Many parents report that when their children are involved in team sports, they feel more confident about themselves. Teach girls to accept well-earned praise humbly with a simple “thank you,” while avoiding qualifiers like “it was nothing, really.”
Inspire to Set Goals
Teach the process of setting difficult goals. Then, teach girls how to break them down into small steps that they can accomplish. Use plenty of praise each time a girl accomplishes a goal to help her feel proud of her accomplishment. Role model setting difficult goals for yourself, and let her see you accomplish those goals through your own hard work. Introduce her to stories and people who have set difficult goals for themselves and come out victorious.
Breaking female stereotypes only happens when you model appropriate behavior in your own life. The young girl who you are mentoring or even your own daughter may thank you for the new example you are willing to set in front of her.