Raise strong daughters, become strong dads: have women role models

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

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A while ago I put together a piece about how dads can help raise strong daughters. It should also have been called how dads can become more well-rounded themselves, but I have learned since then.

So, I wanted to take a look at a couple of those things I came up with. They are simple things we could start doing immediately and hopefully they have as big an impact on dads as they might on daughters.

Please note, this works for dads and moms and sons and daughters too!

Have women role models

There are billions of amazing women out there and just because we grew up thinking hockey players, rock stars, and Sylvester Stallone in Over the Top were the most worthy of our emulation doesn’t mean that as grownups men can’t find new role models.

Or, maybe you’re one of the smart ones who has always looked up to the strong women around you.

Simply put, women make great role models for men. Girls make great role models for boys. It is awfully hard for you to tell your daughter she is amazing and can do anything and then say “but all the people I look up to are men.”

Make sure your daughter knows how in awe you are of young women like Malala or Jazz Jennings. Another tip is to sit down and watch some women’s sports too. The National Women’s Hockey League is both good hockey and progressive in rule implementation. Serena Williams is, well, the best athlete in the world.

Find women to read as well. Jessica Valenti and Lindy West have great books out and so does Roxanne Gay. And if you aren’t already aware of some of these amazing role models, check out A Mighty Girl to start your education.

Oh, and I wager the women in your family are pretty damn excellent role models too. Basically, if you don’t have women role models right now, you are doing something incredibly wrong.

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