Should we encourage our girls to speak their truth?
We all live in such a fast-paced world that we barely even talk to one another except through the conveniences of social media. I know, I’m guilty of it too! But what if we were to start listening to the young and asking their opinions of things, we just might be surprised at what they have to say!
Last week my blog post was about “Are you ready to be who you really are?” instead of biting your tongue, concealing your true thoughts and allowing others to think and make decisions for you. Today I want to talk about really taking the time to find out what our girls have to say about everyday problems and what their solutions might be.
Girls aren’t used to adults asking their opinion, or listening to them when they challenge something we’ve asked them to do. But what if, when we run up against an issue between what we think is best and what a girl thinks, that we STOP…sit down and calmly and without judgment, get her side of the story.
How do you think that would impact her if we really gave her the opportunity to talk with us safely and from her point of view? What other topics of conversation would roll out as a result? And instead of barking out orders we actually talked it over and said as a result, “Well, you know, I think that’s a great idea and one I would never have thought about! Thanks for sharing that with me!” Don’t you think her self-worth and esteem would shoot off the charts?
Of course not all conversations will go that smoothly, but just making it a part of your family dynamics to acknowledge, that even though she is young in years, she can and is encouraged to give her side of the story in a safe space in which to verbalize what is on her mind.
When girls know that parents, teachers and others are willing to:
- Are open to discussing issues within the family unit without fear
- Acknowledge their suggestions and opinions as worthy of respect
- Take into consideration their side of it before making a final decision
- Let them know that their opinion counts
…it will set an example of a healthy family dynamic that is truly hard to come by.
Girls have a tough time speaking their truth, because they have not been in an environment where it was safe to do so. Especially if they grew up in a dysfunctional family where either the father or the mother was domineering or where it was expected that you just did what you were told…”because I said so!”
Girls need training from the time they are small that sends the message that she matters…that what she thinks matters…that she has the right to verse that opinion if she is ever to be able to take this skill out into the world. A girl who has been used to being allowed to stand up for herself, not in an aggressive way, but in an assertive (you win-I win) way…will be well equipped to be able to sense disrespect, emotional or verbal abuse, should it rear it’s ugly head, and know what to do to deploy it as soon as possible. When a girl respects herself and is used to being respected for who she is, she also learns how to respect others for their point of view as well. And should she run into a situation where she is challenged, she will be able to put the appropriate boundaries in place due to the fact that she will know “This feels off” or “This just doesn’t feel right”. A girl with that kind of experience will be light years ahead of one who does not.
So please, if you are in close contact or know of a girl who needs to know that she matters, that she is unique, that she is respected and loved and cared for…please ask her opinion on something…anything and watch her eyes light up with joy that you cared enough, respected her enough and felt her worthy enough to give her opinion. This is the biggest compliment a girl can receive. Try it! See for yourself!
I want to know what YOU think! Yes, I respect your opinion! Please leave a comment below or share on my facebook page Ladybugs A Plenty! I will be hanging out over there! Thanks for sharing!