Raising Your Daughter To Be A Leader

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I decided to launch Parenting Teenage Girls magazine because I know that most parents do not just want to survive their daughter’s teenage years without a major catastrophe, they want to raise confident and successful daughters that become leaders. Raising Tomorrow’s Leaders is the magazine’s tagline and slogan. But what does it mean to be a leader?

We all have different ideas of what a leader is and I don’t mean “leader” in the narrow, traditional sense of the word, such as a government or a religious leader. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of good examples of great leaders these days—at least not in the mainstream press. Rather, what I mean when I say “leader” is someone who inspires others regardless of the field her gift is in, someone who’s a role model for others to aspire to, someone who’s an innovator, a creator. A leader’s talent could lie in the field of health, education, the media, business, arts, technology, and even in general life.

Furthermore, a leader is someone who thinks for herself, is able to rise above peer pressure and doesn’t go along with business as usual just because “it’s always been done that way.” A leader isn’t afraid to act on her vision for the future, even when doing so places her in a position that’s a bit uncomfortable (at least in the short term). A leader is someone who seeks to fulfill her higher purpose, her destiny. Which means that she actually listens to that still, quiet voice within and implement her goals, even in the face of opposition and obstacles. This is what I believe it means to be a leader.

Recently I attended a seminar run by the city of San Jose, California. The instructor remarked that our young people are different these days. She was referring to twenty-five year old emergency medical technicians who are having difficulty showing up to work on time. Apparently, some of the newbie EMTs actually don’t understand why they’re required to be at work on time. They just don’t seem to get it, she said.

Is it because getting their act together requires them to step too much outside their comfort zone (even if it’s for their own good)? Is it because our modern culture demands instant gratification? Is it because our culture seems to value comfort over accomplishment.

When we take the easy road, we avoid some sweat in the short term but we end up with pain in the long term. For example, we don’t want to give up our easy access, processed, genetically-modified fast food habit, so we end up with strange aches and pains in our body (not to mention a bunch of extra weight).

It’s uncomfortable to do most anything worth doing—particularly in the beginning. It’s uncomfortable to begin a healthy lifestyle; it’s uncomfortable to begin a new set of behaviors; it’s uncomfortable to begin a project that offers the world something new. Heck, I’ve noticed some feelings of discomfort while getting all the steps done necessary to launch this magazine, even though I’ve written two books, over 200 articles on personal and spiritual growth (since 2008), and I’ve had my own blog for over a year and a half now.

We must be able to be okay with temporary discomfort to achieve success. (This goes for most anything, including parenting and improving our relationship with our kids, by the way.) Fulfilling our higher purpose / destiny means having the discipline to be in it for the longer haul. How do we teach these important skills and values to our kids?

I have learned that between the ages of 12 and 25, about 50% of our child’s values and behaviors come from her parents’ values and behaviors, and this number increases as she grows older. (The child’s environment and peers account for the remainder.) This means that parents must become good examples first.

Perhaps you can also tell her, “Everyone feels uncomfortable when working towards something new. Everyone has moments when they’re unsure of themselves. Those who become successful acknowledge that discomfort, set it aside, and take the necessary action to succeed. They’re the ones who follow through daily on their vision.”

This article wasn’t an easy one for me to write. Getting the first few paragraphs written and the gist of where I wanted to go with it took some time. And then I mulled it over in my mind for a good day and a half, thinking and rethinking my final thoughts and words. I know it’s because I’m beginning a new project.

However, I feel a lot better having struggled for several hours and gotten something accomplished than if I had avoided it.  And that’s because it’s actually uncomfortable – and getting more and more uncomfortable each day – to stay small, to remain in the same place because that’s what you’re used to. You’re an individual and you have a unique higher purpose—as does your daughter.

Nothing compares to the joy of setting a goal that’s worthwhile and then achieving it. And nothing comes close to the joy of fulfilling one’s destiny, one’s higher purpose.

So set a small goal. And then achieve it. You will learn and you will grow. And then set a bigger goal and achieve that, and then just keep going. Doing this will set you apart from the majority of people out there.

Will you step out of your comfort zone and achieve your goals? What goal will you commit to that will bring you greater rewards and success? Write your goal down and the steps you will take to achieve it. Figure out what you want and then go get it. By doing this, you will help your daughter to be a leader and fulfill her destiny more than you can know.

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Comments

  1. THank you for this! Perhaps the most important topic of the day. You would like, my book, I think “The Genius in Every Child: Encouraging Character, Curiosity and Creativity in Children. Sounds like you and I are working in the same vineyard.

    • Thanks for your comment, Rick. Sounds like your book is a great resource for parents. I agree each child is a genius in something(s), and those somethings can and must be encouraged.

      Warm regards,
      Christine

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