Sisterhood starts off for most of us pretty easily. We normally develop a best friend in kindergarden or bond with our girl cousins or sisters. So what happens into adulthood? What changes the tide for women from being friends to frenemies? One of my favorite quotes by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie sums it up perfectly:
We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men.
So let’s break this down part by part.
Teach Our Girls To Have Ambition
We were raised in the Disney era where Prince Charming comes to save the helpless princess. They marry and live happily ever after. We believed in this delusion of dependency and no sense of self unless we found our prince. As Adichie says, there is absolutely nothing wrong with marriage. It is beautiful and to be respected but we must teach our daughters to learn who they are and take care of themselves before they readily attach themselves to a mate.
What’s the benefit?
It is important to instill intelligence to ensure confidence and ambition. We focus plenty on making sure our children are good people. We make sure they are well mannered and respectful. Take the same time to make sure they are smart. Expose them to different languages and scientific experiments. When children don’t feel intelligent, they act out to get attention or shrink back out of fear of being wrong. For our daughters, we want them to rely on more than their pretty faces but most importantly on their intelligence. Relying on their “pretty” will cause them to grow into young women that sees every other pretty girl as their competition.
- Instead of telling your daughters how beautiful they are, tell them how smart they are.
- Look for STEM programs in your city to build knowledge
- Take an hour a day and commit to learning a different language online. Youtube is a great source!
Learn How To Introduce Healthy Competition
We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing…
You are the accumulation of the five closest people to you. Healthy competition is a good thing. It helps us to stay focused and pushes us to try harder. If all of your friends are applying for college, chances are, you will be encouraged to push for college as well. Teach our daughters to appreciate the benefit of having intelligent friends. Encourage playdates that include sports activities, learning activities, and foster healthy friendships. Sometimes, sisterhood needs to be taught.
Open Up The Conversation Of Female Work Ethic Early
Can your daughter name five women entrepreneurs? How about five female politicians? In order to foster a positive image of sisterhood, girls need to see women who look like them doing amazing things. Show them that women stick together to get the work done and they do it well.
For our monthly giveaway, we are partnered with one of our favorite businesses, Lily Jade Co., which was co-founded by fellow female entrepreneur, Meggan Wood. Lily Jade Co. creates beautiful leather diaper bags with their patented insert for easy storage of baby diapers, bottles, and products.
For this giveaway, we want to gift a special mom with a wonderful thank you gift for being an amazing parent. This one is just for you. We are giving away the Ann Marie weekender. And nope, this isn’t a diaper bag! It is a bag for our mamas on the go. You can travel in style for a weekend get away with your girlfriends or a fun staycation with your hubby.
How to Win
Entering our giveaway is simple! Here’s how you can win:
- Follow @blackmomsblog and @lilyjadeco on Instagram
- Leave a comment below telling us one way you foster sisterhood in your girls (boy moms, you can enter this too – tell us how you are raising sons to respect girls).
- Giveaway ends at midnight on Sunday September 30th!
To see the Ann Marie Weekender in action, check out our Youtube video: