I find parenting to be one of the toughest jobs I have. How do you raise your daughter to be a powerful, strong, God fearing, and kind person? What does it mean to be a strong black girl?
To me this is such an important job my husband and I have. It’s one thing to just “raise” a child, but when she goes into the world… is she able to hold her head high in spite of obstacles and adversity?
Being a strong black girl is a feeling of being secure in yourself; to not take no for an answer; if the front door is closed– find away around the back: to take action and to make smart and wise decisions. A strong black girl is confident in who she is, doesn’t feel pressure to be someone else or to do what others are doing. A strong black girl isn’t afraid to show her feelings or let others know how she feels. She is aware of her flaws and works towards bettering herself.
Growing up my parents never shut us down from expressing ourselves and how we felt. In my house hold. It was uncommon to hear “BECAUSE WE ARE THE ADULTS… THATS WHY.” Instead they encouraged us to express our thoughts which I think played a huge part in the type of women they raised.
I want to parent very similar to how my parents raised us, as I looked at my sister and me and what has influenced us to become strong black women, I think it has a lot to do with the confidence, mentorship, and love we were surrounded with.
A Couple Ideas to Raise A Strong Black Girl:
- Encourage dolls, barbies, TV shows, etc that show images of other women that look like her. (It amazes me how hard it is to find princesses that look like my daughter)
- Discuss the benefits of being kind to others
- Positive male figure (This doesn’t have to be a father, but someone who she sees a positive image of a man. This helps her gain a better understanding of what positive love from a male looks like)
- Remind her daily of just how beautiful, smart, kind, and loving she is
- Display self-love for yourself! (If your daughter sees you constantly putting yourself down how will she learn to love herself?)
- Place other strong black women in her life. (Family, friends, mentee)
- Encourage her to take risk!
- Allow her to fail, it helps build character and gives you a place to help coach her on how to handle it
- Comment on her character! (This helps build her up outside of external looks)
- Allow your daughter to speak up (in a respectful manner)
- Teach your daughter that her beauty comes from within. It doesn’t matter what’s on the outside, but the inside that counts
- Teach your daughter about loving herself
- At a young age start teaching her how to process mean people (we have to deal with people throughout our lives that are just down right mean… prepare her to handle it)
- Listen to her! (Give her a place to voice herself, I find right before bedtime to be a great time to just lay and have her talk- even if its just about her favorite color or a special picture she drew that day)
- Be Authentic! (Teach her to be herself and apologize to no one!)