Raising Strong Daughters–and Sons

Yang Mommy (a continuation of Yin Mama’s blog, “Raising Strong Daughters, Is It an Uphill Battle?”)

My first reaction to reading Yin Mama’s post was empathy–an outpouring of empathy, really, because I too have walked in her shoes when I worked outside the home. I too have been “counseled” by others to bide my tongue and  keep my ideas to myself less I muddy the waters. And I have even been labelled as a “bitch” for not doing as “I was told,” going against the company grain or just plain doing my job. 

I would take it as a compliment though, or at least try to in the face of those colleagues, male and female, who could only resort to negative terms. But it was hard at times, very hard. I can’t say I blame Yin Mama for wanting to keep her head down, nose to the grind and not wanting to contribute anything less she get turned down again or chastised.

But it’s not just about raising strong daughters. It’s also about raising strong sons. Sons who will turn into men with open minds, who value the opinion or idea regardless of whose mouth it comes from. Sons who will become polite men, not chauvinistic bullies. Sons who will put aside cultural stereotypes and see that person for the individual they are.

I firmly believe that all parents want to raise good, kind, sensitive, caring children who will become good, kind, sensitive and caring adults. The culture we live in and the mores we surround ourselves with play a huge impact on how our children grow up. But it all starts within the home. Not daycare, not school, not houses of worship.

It’s true that children are sponges, soaking up everything around them. And they keep doing so well into their high school years. So it’s by example that we need to raise our children. For what they see in the home, they will in some manner, mirror in the outside world.

Just think of how many times you  find yourself saying, “I sound just like my Mom/Dad!”


2 responses to this post.

  1. What an interesting pair of ideas. I have a son and two daughters in my house, and the challenge to raise them into the kind of adults I hope they will be, is overwhelming at times. I am glad my son has a great role model, in his father, and I work daily to be the kind of woman I hope my girls will admire. I have found that it is a true blessing that our son has sisters because he is immediately exposed to the complexities of what it is to be a girl. My husband, one of four boys, comments often about how different his house would have been had he had sisters. Boys need to be exposed to girls, and everything that comes with that, as early as possible. Being open often only happens with being exposed.


  2. Posted by yinmama on April 1, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    So true Meagan. I have 2 brothers and feel I have had good relationships with men because of that. I sometimes don’t ‘get’ groups of women and have often wished I also had a sister. And I am happy my daughter has a good example in my husband; my father’s example has impacted my view on men for life. I think the key as Yang Mommy said is making sure it starts in the home and making sure our children get a good diverse group in their lives: young & old; black & white; male & female. That way when we send them on their way they maybe will understand others betters.


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