How to Help Girls Find Their Passion in Life
Wouldn't it be nice if we all knew at an early age exactly what we were meant to do in this life? Yeah it would have been nice, but that's not the way it played out for most of us.
We didn't know we were allowed to find and explore our gifts until much later in life (raises hand meekly), and even if we did, society wasn't that interested.
Fast forward 40 years. Things are changing. Slowly but surely!
Now that gender equality is recognized as part of the growing DEI movement, there are dozens of ways to guide girls toward finding their purpose and living their best lives. Let's walk through some ideas that actually work.
Teach DEI by Offering Multiple Activities
Give your girl options galore! She needs to experience a full sampling of everything that's available to her now. Let her know how lucky she is to be alive at a time when new opportunities for girls and women are plentiful (DEI in action).
Most community centers offer classes and activities for kids in multiple subjects. Get a copy of your community center pamphlet and, with your girl, look through the classes/activities that are offered.
There should be options for music, sports, dance, cooking, art, carpentry, writing, computers, etc. Which activities interest her? Ask her to choose one, and then sign her up. Sorry . . . that probably means more driving for you, but trust us, it will be so worth it!
The more activities she experiences, the greater her chance of discovering her true passion. If she gravitates toward a particular activity, ask her what she likes about it and if she wants to find out more.
Teach DEI by Taking Her to Work With You
If you work somewhere that allows you to take your girl for a visit, do it. It's a great way to show her some of the opportunities available to her. Have a conversation with her about the fact that it's no longer just men who can enjoy successful careers.
Tell her why you got into the line of work that you did and what you were good at as a kid. Keep using the word "opportunity" so she equates the visual of your workplace with hope for her future.
Are there parts of your job when the time goes by really quickly because you're doing something you love? Tell her about it. Share with her what parts of your job you like and dislike and why. Hopefully she'll chime in with details about what she loves to do.
As long as you're setting a positive example, that whole "monkey see, monkey do" thing can be a huge help here. Lots of passions are born out of a desire to model the interests and behaviors of the people we love and admire. Be that person for her!
If you have female relatives or friends with professions you think might interest your girl, ask them if they're willing to share. She'll hopefully love hearing more about how women can pursue their passion.
TIP: Let her have private thoughts so she feels like she's 'discovering' her passion on her own. Subtly leave "breadcrumbs" she can follow to make sure she's on the right path.
Teach DEI by Letting Her Be Bored
If you hear your girl say "I'm booooored!" that's actually a good thing.
Boredom is the perfect outlet for her to get creative and find imaginative ways to entertain herself. It's also the perfect time for you to watch and listen so you can guide her toward activities to increase her interest.
Boredom is so important to self-exploration. If fact, try to purposely create scenarios for your girl where she has no pre-planned activities. You could save an hour after school, before the 'homework, dinner, bath, bed' routine starts when she has nothing planned.
During that hour, try to steer her away from watching television (or any screen) and take notice of what she does. Does she head toward the kitchen and put together a snack? Does she go outside and ride her bike? Build a makeshift treehouse? Explore with a neighborhood pal? Brush the dog? Does she stay inside and read? Write?
It could even be as simple as arranging rocks into a border. A budding architect maybe?
Try to remember that if she can successfully entertain herself, it will boost her problem-solving skills and self-esteem.
Teach DEI by Taking a Step Back
The goal of the suggestions in this article is to guide your girl toward suitable resources for finding and exploring her passion.
Once you locate the right resource(s), it’s really important to let her do the rest of the legwork on her own. Let her choose the resource that she thinks fits her best.
As long as her choice is safe and doesn’t conflict with other family obligations, support her decision. She still needs to know that you’re there to continue guiding her in the right direction.
The simple fact that you are willing to take time out of your own busy schedule to find resources shows that you are interested in her well-being. Involve her in the research process so she knows you’re looking for activities to support her passion.
Guide her toward feeling a sense of ownership for her new opportunities.
Light her spark!
- How Parents Can Help Kids Develop A Sense Of Purpose (KQED)
- 100+ Extracurricular Activities for Kids
- 51 Opportunities for Girls in Tech (video)
|If you found this article helpful, please check out How to Teach Girls They're Just as Worthy as Boys. It's a concise guidebook for parents that's full of more ideas for helping your girl grow into a successful life.|