Empowering Tweens, Teenage Girls and Young Women

As parents we want our girls to grow up confident, with an amazing sense of self-worth, a whole lot of resilience and respect for others and the world around them. In a world where gender inequality is still a major issue and sexual harassment of young girls is beginning younger and younger, we need empowered daughters. There is no easy fix for this, but as a mother of three young women here are a few suggestions.

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1. From a very young age educate your daughter to understand her body is her body, and that people must respect her personal body boundaries. This is her right.

2. Ensure you have an open dialogue with your daughter from a young age. Nothing should be off the table, including sex and pornography. That way if your daughter has any concerns she will feel comfortable to talk to you about them.

3. Self-confidence is key. Get your daughter into a sport or activity where she is valued and does relatively well. This will only increase her confidence and sense of self.

4. Feel confident about your own achievements. Never talk about yourself and/or your body in derogatory terms in front of your daughter. Remember our daughter’s are often listening (even we don’t think they are) and we are their role models.

5. As your daughter develops, sadly, she will encounter sexual harassment. How she copes with this will depend on the situation and the risk factors. I personally encourage my daughters to confidently walk away, call the male/s out on it if they feel safe to do so, tell a person in authority (if in the work place), tell me (when they were tweens and teenagers).

My estimate is that 99.9% of women have been sexually harassed in one form or another. We accept it, but it is actually UNACCEPTABLE. Men need to step up and STOP this practice. Men need to step up and CALL OUT other men who think they have a right to harass women. Parents need to educate their sons to respect women and that sexually harassing girls and women is never acceptable. Meanwhile … I hope the above points help your daughters in some small way!

 

written by Jayneen Sanders Copyright UpLoad Publishing

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education and respectful relationships to be taught both in the home and in schools.

For more information on this topic and Jay’s children's books 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept', 'Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain', ‘No Means No!’, ‘My Body! What I say Goes!’, ‘No Difference Between Us’, and her parents’ guide ‘Body Safety Education — A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ go to www.e2epublishing.info

All books are also available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2cC7QNb

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Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.