Posted by: canthold | December 4, 2007

Girl Power Revisited

I discovered yesterday that one of my posts, Girl Power, was listed in All Diva Media’s 20 Posts All Women Should Read. That’s an incredible endorsement, don’t you think? I’m slowly working my way through the list and can recommend that you do the same.

And speaking of speaking up… I had a conference on Friday with my oldest daughter’s teacher. It went very well. I think my daughter is having a good year and starting to stretch her legs a bit in the learning department, which is a big relief. One area, however, that she needs improvement is in participation. She’s shy about raising her hand and offering up answers. I think that it’s the perfectionist in her and since she doesn’t like to be wrong, she avoids taking chances where that might happen.

Her teacher and I talked about some strategies to help her take more risks. She’s going to mark a progress page daily showing whether my daughter has used her Big voice and dealt with problems on her own without getting a friend to speak up for her. After I told my daughter about the progress pages, she seemed on-board with the idea.

This weekend I picked up a book that a friend of mine lent to me called Raising Strong Daughters, by Jeanette Gadeberg*. I borrowed it forever ago and have been meaning to read it since then. In a way that makes me feel the universe is always watching out for me, the beginning of the book (Chapter Two) just happens to be about raising opinionated daughters. How’s that for timing?

The book offers a list of practical things you can teach your daughters to keep them from blending into the woodwork. The first one is to sit right up front in the classroom. I did this all through college – though mostly because of my hearing problem – but found that the level of attention that I gave the lecture and likewise that was returned from the professor made it very worthwhile.  I told my daughter this when I took her to school on Monday and she actually sat in front for story-time. It’s a start.

The second suggestion is to ask her how many times she offered input. This fit nicely into the plan that her teacher and I discussed. I think that maintaining dialogue about participation is going to go a long way with her. Unfortunately, my kiddo is at home sick today, but hopefully we’ll be back on track tomorrow.

There are a lot of other good and interesting ideas in this book and I’ve only just begun. I’m encouraged. I’m hopeful. I’ve got my arm in up past the elbow in a bag of tricks to empower my daughters. They deserve it.

*The Amazon review of this book is pretty cool, too.


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