When it comes to raising children, there are a number of factors that come into play that can contribute to your child’s overall quality of life. There are a number of financial factors, of course, such as diet and the availability of certain opportunities. Meanwhile, however, there are other factors that can be harder to come to terms with. For example, while our society is a far cry from way it used to be, lingering prejudices can create problems for children, and these problems are largely outside of our control.
Sexism is one such problem. Young girls will have it better than their parents, for instance, but the world is still largely patriarchal, and so it can be a hard time for your daughter growing up in such a world. This may well create some issues with how your child will value herself, as that is often directly influenced by the world around her. You may have to take some extra steps to encourage your child and perhaps correct some of society’s wrongs, at least as far as you can within the context of a mother daughter relationship. For example, providing your child with some role models is vital. Part of what this means is showing your child that women are capable of more than what they are often credited with and, in fact, some of what men lay claim to. For example, meet Ashley Chaffin, a professional snowmobile rider. This video will show your daughter that women can be a force to be reckoned with in a traditionally male dominated arena. Likewise, showing your daughter role models who excel in traditionally feminine roles is important, because, at the end of the day, both sexes should be exposed to the entire gamut of what we think of as gendered activities, because there’s no such thing, and it’s important for your child to know that she can be an astronaut, if she wants to and works hard, but she could also be a hairdresser. It’s fine to want the latter, but you’re not stuck with it anymore, despite the pidgeon born out of sexism.
Of course, it’s also important for you to be an excellent role model for your child. Children are like sponges, constantly soaking up information and, more importantly for this article, behaviours. Your child is destined to be deeply influenced by you, just like you were influenced by your parents, and so you need to be your best self in order to allow them to do the same. This means teaching your child the difference between wrong and right, for starters, but it also means demonstrating things like integrity. Like, for example, if you encounter a dilemma with no moral stakes, but it may affect your reputation, you’ll want your child to make the best choice for them in that moment. On the flip side, a correct moral choice may have negative consequences for your child, but you’ll want her to know to do the right thing, regardless.
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