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“Nowadays, we lavish praise on our children. Praise, self-confidence and academic performance, it is commonly believed, rise and fall together. But current research suggests otherwise — over the past decade, a number of studies on self-esteem have come to the conclusion that praising a child as ‘clever’ may not help her at school. In fact, it might cause her to under-perform. Often a child will react to praise by quitting — why make a new drawing if you have already made ‘the best’? Or a child may simply repeat the same work — why draw something new, or in a new way, if the old way always gets applause?”—The science of why instilling admiration for hard work rather than raw talent is the key to fostering a healthy relationship with achievement and cultivating a well-adjusted mind.
When I have a daughter,
When I have a daughter, I am going to teach her how to scream at the top of her lungs; she will know the power of her voice from the time she can form a sentence, but she will never scream without reason. I will teach my daughter that we do not kick and scream and yell unless we want someone to run - either towards us or away from. Yelling is a sign of danger, and we use it fucking wisely, my princess.
When I have a daughter, I will teach her the power of a smile and some eye contact; I will teach her to use her ‘wiles’ to her advantage if she has to, but to never allow them to come before her true power - her mind, her charm, her wit and her talent. Rather, I will teach her how to use her smile and her sparkling eyes to gain attention and to enhance the skills that will enrich her life.
When I have a daughter, I am going to teach her that she doesn’t owe shit to anyone; she doesn’t have to fuck the guy in the bar just because he got her a drink, she doesn’t have to agree to the date with the guy who’s been asking for weeks just because he has been ‘nice’ to her, and she sure as hell doesn’t owe respect to anyone who hasn’t first handed it to her on a silver platter. I will teach her that she is worth more than a fucking $6 vodka and coke - that she dictates her own worth and that worth is not absolute; if some nights she is indeed Vodka and Coke Girl, that’s okay as long as she’s okay.
When I have a daughter, I will teach her more than a school-master or mistress could even dream of, for I will teach her that her grades do not define her and that no matter what happens throughout her education, she is a complex and amazing human being who will be just goddamn fine.
My daughter will know that she is not her weight; she is not the clothes on her back; she is not her IQ or her GPA or her bank balance or the amount of people she chooses to sleep with. My daughter will know that as long as she follows her bliss, I will be proud of her.
When I have a daughter, I will teach her to treat her body like a palace - her own definition of a palace, that is. I will teach her that if anybody touches her without her permission, she must scream, and if screaming does not work she can cut their fucking hands off. My daughter will never be told that her choices are wrong; she will be guided and she will have support on every step of her journey, but she will never be punished for walking an unconventional path.
My daughter will not be ‘demure’, my daughter will not be quiet.
My daughter will know that what she has to say is important.
My daughter will respect others and never speak over them; however she will not allow herself to be spoken over, either.
If you want to see a change in the world, start with yourself and continue by teaching your children. Consider them the future and they will grow up to shape it.