“Growing strong” usually means to eat your broccoli and get some exercise. While those are both important for growing strong, there is so much more. Physical, mental, spiritual, emotional and fiscal strength are all important for our girls to grow into strong, independent women. It can be daunting so here are ten things you can do now to help her grow strong.
- Be engaged. Keep an eye on her, know her moods and take note when they change. Ask questions and really listen to the answers. Make sure she knows you are there for her.
- Help her spiritual growth by teaching her that there is something bigger than you and I out there. Whatever you call it talk to her about what is greater than us.
- Talk to her about living within her means. Discuss smart money practices and the pitfalls of bad credit. Use today’s economy as a teaching point, not just a crisis. Explain that while things are nice, it’s what you can’t buy in life that matters most.
- Encourage her to be socially responsible. From holding the door for others to reading to the elderly, help her identify how she can care for others. Its small acts of kindness that will make her life and the lives of others more fulfilling. (See service project ideas.)
- Allow her to make mistakes and to learn from them. When she’s discouraged because she caused something to go awry, help her see what she can learn from the experience and how she can be a better, stronger, wiser person in the future.
- Teach her to care for our planet. We only have one chance with our Earth and we shouldn’t take it lightly. Turn off the lights. Take shorter showers. Pick up your trash. There are so many ways you and she can care for our planet together. (See our Forever Green project.)
- Encourage her to be passionate about what she does. If only half her heart is in piano lessons, help her find something her whole heart can be in. Let her experience the joy of really loving whatever she does. Help her go all in.
- Show her how to be conscious of her surroundings. By knowing where she is, what’s around her, who is nearby and what’s happening, she will be safer. She’ll make smarter decisions about where to go and when to go there. Help her identify safe practices, like parking in well-lit places, and dangerous risks like, walking alone at night.
- Let her know she’s not alone. No man is an island; we’re all here on this big beautiful Earth together and that’s how it’s going to stay. Each one of us is as important as the next and we should treat each other that way.
- Set the example. Think of the traits you want her to have and teach them by modeling them. Teach healthy eating by cooking and eating vegetables yourself. Encourage safe driving by practicing it. Educate her about service by serving others. Actions speak louder than words and being a good role model is your opportunity to take advantage of it.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful as you help the girls you care about grow strong. And remember, these don’t just apply to girls; growing strong applies to all of us.