Teaching Her to Speak Her Mind

Top tips from the Raising Confident and Courageous Girls Workshop


Giving Voice to Values

This exercise is designed to further develop your daughter's ability to express herself and help you discover what her values and beliefs really are. Begin by asking her whether she agrees or disagrees with the following statements. Think about your own responses as well. Then, start a conversation about any issues she feels strongly about. Encourage her to have confidence in her opinions, even if you disagree with these views.

• Female athletes are not feminine
• A woman is not complete until she has a baby
• It's better to say what you really feel, even if it means hurting someone's feelings
• Couples who fight are going to break up or get a divorce
• People who cry when they're upset are healthier than people who don't cry
• You should always think before you speak
• Men should not have to take responsibility for birth control -- that's the woman's job
• If there were more professional women's sports teams, they would probably have as many fans as the men's teams
• Women should make as much money as men make for doing the same job
• The president has to be a man, because women are not as strong in making decisions

Did you learn anything that you did not already know about your daughter? Does she enjoy talking about her values? Does she appear to take pride in her beliefs? Weave this activity into your lives by drawing on relevant examples from current events to keep the conversations going. What does she believe is the solution to gun control or violence in schools? While doing this, be sure that you also share your own values, even when your views are very different. Remember, your goal is not to change each other's mind, but rather to express a viewpoint or feeling honestly, and to feel secure in your relationship, despite differences of opinion.

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