To Raise Brave Girls, Encourage Adventure

The perfect advice for ourselves and our daughters from Carolines book: "The Gutsy Girl"

The perfect advice for ourselves and our daughters from Carolines book: "The Gutsy Girl"

We couldn't agree more with Caroline Paul when it comes to the value of adventure to our lives as women. Her fantastic TED Talk really captures the essence of what holds us back and what we can do to overcome the fears that keep us 'small'. 

As a mother with an active daughter Caroline's words ring so very very true:

“I'm not saying your girls must be firefighters or that they should be paragliders, but I am saying that we are raising our girls to be timid, even helpless, and it begins when we caution them against physical risk. The fear we learn and the experiences we don't stay with us as we become women and morphs into all those things that we face and try to shed: our hesitation in speaking out, our deference so that we can be liked and our lack of confidence in our own decisions.

So how do we become brave? Well, here's the good news. Bravery is learned, and like anything learned, it just needs to be practiced. So first, we have to take a deep breath and encourage our girls to skateboard, climb trees and clamber around on that playground fire pole…when kids get outside and practice bravery, they learn valuable life lessons.

Second, we have to stop cautioning our girls willy-nilly. So notice next time you say, "Watch out, you're going to get hurt," or, "Don't do that, it's dangerous." And remember that often what you're really telling her is that she shouldn't be pushing herself, that she's really not good enough, that she should be afraid.

Third, we women have to start practicing bravery, too. We cannot teach our girls until we teach ourselves…

Finally, when your girl is, let's say, on her bike on the top of the steep hill that she insists she's too scared to go down, guide her to access her bravery. Ultimately, maybe that hill really is too steep, but she'll come to that conclusion through courage, not fear.”

So on this International Women's Day 2017, here is to "gutsy girls" let us let them "ride skateboards, climb trees, clamber around, fall down, scrape their knees, get right back up — and grow up to be brave women."

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