Empowering my Daughter

empowering my daughter- Parenting resources by ZenParent

Every child is a winner – they just need to be told and shown that they are. As a parent I understand that I am a crucial and key part of the daughter-parent team and it is my endeavour to do my job well as a coach and mentor. I believe that I have succeeded to a large extent since my daughter has learnt to accept herself better – strengths, shortcomings, everything about herself.  For my daughter I am a role model (just as you are for yours) whether I strive to be one or not and whatever she learns from me will fashion her approach to the challenges and obstacles of life – both negative and positive.

I will use a sports metaphor (since I was captain of the school sports teams) – if I had ‘dropped the ball’ or behaved inconsistently with what I wanted her to learn, she would have most likely stop learning, performed poorly and hated experiencing new facets of life. Over time my relationship with her would have suffered and she would have grown with feelings of inadequacy and low self-confidence and respect. I have clearly understood the importance of being with her in her formative years – she may not be able to win without me and that would be the worst failure for me as a mother. I believe that the following methods have helped my daughter to bloom and become a highly intelligent, intuitive and empowered individual.

child's love through empowerment- Parenting resources by ZenParent

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1. Taught her the importance of competing–  Competition is both healthy and teaches some valuable life skills to the child. Competing is about seeing your opponent or others as a partner not a foe. Without a worthy challenger, one would not strive to do better or improve one’s performance. The greater the challenge, the brighter the chance of pushing yourself beyond what one considers to be the limit. I taught her to understand that competing is not about hating or destroying the person before her but learning whatever she can from them and then leveraging that knowledge for success in her endeavours.

2. What my daughter has learnt is that she must compete with a healthy mind-set– the only person to be defeated is herself. I have encouraged her to be her own competitor – better what she did before, raise the bar, make her own benchmarks. Competing with herself has not only taught her discipline and respect but she also seems to be having a lot more fun and seems more relaxed.

3. Success and failure are not defined by winning and losing– that is the opposite of empowerment. My daughter understands how give her best, play the hardest and have fun, so whatever the outcome she would have acquired a new skill and may be even mastered some. I constantly remind her (and myself J) that disappointments are quintessential to life and what makes a winner is one who learns and does better through these setbacks.

4. Irrespective of the age, a child needs support– however, spoon-feeding and constant bickering will rob them of confidence and the feeling of being empowered. I have tried my hardest to provide her with the encouragement, empathy, resources, time and whatever she needs but steer clear of tutoring. As a guide I have encouraged her to move forward and give her a patient listening – there’s a whole plethora of people out there to tell her what she did or may do wrong. I am not for a minute suggesting that discipline is not required, but constant nagging earlier on, only made her rebellious and it seemed like she would play truant and stray away just for the ‘thrill’ of it.

love your daughter- Parenting resources by ZenParent

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5. This is probably the most obvious but also possibly the hardest at times– loving the child unconditionally. The one mistake I never made was comparison – it has been heart-wrenching to see the gross injustice some parents continually heaped on their children by equating their performance at school and sports with the child’s lovability. Trust me, the sure shot way of setting her on the path of success was by constantly reminding her and myself that even if she did fail in something, it did not lessen the love I have for her. This has helped to make her a well-balanced and conscientious person, who I know will create and sustain an edge in today’s competitive world.

My daughter is a self-respecting and confident child of today. She has a healthy self-image, is emotionally strong and yet knows that when she just wants to be herself, she has a family and a happy home that would just let her be. This for me is empowerment – I am confident that she will not lose sight of what is important and that makes her a winner already!

Click here to understand what all you should never tell your daughter.

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