Disclosure – I am participating in the Barbie I Can Be campaign by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Mattel Canada. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.
Raising a girl to be a strong and capable woman is hard work. Despite all of the great strides our fore mothers have made in giving women equality, there are still so many roadblocks in the way.
From the time girls are little, they are bombarded with messages that try to tell them so many conflicting things. Since I choose to send my daughter to public school I now have the added challenge of helping her deal with peer pressure and trying to show her that even though things happen one way in her friend's families they don't necessarily happen that way in our family. (this argument usually comes up when she wants to watch TV shows that I deem are inappropriate.)
When I was growing up I remember some very special women who helped me realize my potential. It started in Girl Guides. My Girl Guide Leaders helped me learn valuable life skills and taught me to think for myself and seek out and learn new things. As I grew up I also found allies in a two Aunts who I spent time with and confided in. They were always there to give me unbiased advice on things I was sometimes afraid to talk about with my mom. As a teenager I think I realized that some grownups were better at helping me through things than my equally inexperienced friends were. My circle of mentors grew as I started my training to be a nurse and found strength and wisdom with a couple of very special teachers whose education went beyond the walls of the classroom or clinical floor.
Now that those days are behind me and I have my own girl to raise my community of mentors has also grown thanks to modern technology. I have found a very special community of women from around the world who have opened their arms to me. They come from all walks of life and experiences and I can always find non-judgemental, caring advice from them on everything from potty training to how to accessorize a special outfit. I am also finding helpful advice from this woman: Terry Carson, The Parenting Coach. She is a mother of four, has a masters degree in Education and is a certified Parenting Coach. She has created a website to help us navigate the often stormy waters of parenting. Every month she will be updating her website with new articles on raising children. One of my favourite dolls is also in on the action. Barbie wants you to visit Be the Voice and meet some incredible women who are giving great gifts to the world.
I am now trying to pay it forward by mentoring my own group of girls. My little group of Sparks are the youngest members of Girl Guides of Canada and in amongst the games I play and the crafts I oversee I try to build their confidence. I try to plant little seeds of curiosity and caring. I try to teach them how to make little decisions today so they can make big decisions tomorrow. I am trying to let them stretch their wings a see new things.
Who has helped you become who you are today?