How to encourage the empowerment of girls in childhood?

A 2017 study conducted by researchers Bian Lin and Sarah-Jane Leslie together with Professor Andrei Cimpian, and published by science magazine, pointed out that 30% of girls between the ages of 6 and 7 feel less intelligent than boys. This finding demonstrates the importance and necessity of girls empowerment in childhood.

The study, which was conducted with 400 children, asked the little ones to indicate whether the main character of the story told by the researchers about a “very, very intelligent” person was a man or a woman. In a second moment, after observing pairs of adults with males and females in each pair, the children had to guess which of the two was “really smart.” The last tasks of the children were to assign objects and qualities to the figures of men and women, in addition to choosing the games they most identified with: whether “very, very clever” children’s games or “very , very hardworking” kids games. ”.

The result surprised scientists, as it showed that up to age 5, both boys and girls saw intelligence and brilliance in their own gender.

From the ages of 6 and 7, the girls who took part in the study began to associate behaviors, objects, and qualities that they considered intelligent with men, in addition to giving greater preference to games for “very, very hard-working” children. In response to the same stimuli, boys between the ages of 6 and 7 stopped ascribing intelligence to women, preferred men, and identified more with games for “very, very intelligent” children.

Empowering Girls in Childhood: A Collective Mission

Girls holding hands and forming a circle

The study’s conclusions were that children begin to internalize gender stereotypes much earlier than most adults expect, and that this attitude of the little ones ends up hurting their interests directly.

Because they don’t feel good enough or not smart enough, many girls end up avoiding being interested in areas like science, math, or physics. This behavior, which started as the research shows, is reflected in what we see today: with the absence of women in the scientific field, in leadership positions or prestigious positions, in addition to gender pay inequality.

To change this scenario, both families and educators need to work together to put into practice actions that promote the empowerment of girls in childhood and encourage the female protagonists from an early age. By investing in this jointly, everyone contributes to a future with more equality and female presence in different spaces.

7 tips to boost girls’ empowerment from an early age

1) Watch your vocabulary

In childhood, children learn and internalize behavior from the attitudes of adults with whom they live. For this reason, it is very important that families are aware of their behavior and the vocabulary they use with and in front of the girls.

A good exercise for adults is to think before saying something in front of girls. Questions like “will this encourage and strengthen her self-esteem?” or “would I use those words when talking to a boy?” are excellent ways to consciously contribute to the empowerment of girls.

2) Invest in affective education

The concept of affective education, developed by specialist Henri Wallon, tries to unite thoughts and feelings in the learning process. For girls, this is extremely important as it strengthens the process of developing their self-esteem in a healthy way.

To invest in affective education, it is enough for the family to bring it into everyday life with small phrases such as: “you are brave!”, “you can be anything you want”, “you are smart”, “we are proud yours”, “we respect you”, “we are here to support you”, among other phrases that escape the compliments regarding physical appearance. In this way the girls get a broader view of their abilities and they are stimulated in their development process.

3) Diversify the content of the stories

O child protagonism it is important for children’s development, especially for girls. to see female protagonists in the stories the girls feel represented.

In this way, investing in diversifying the content of children’s stories, showing books in which girls are heroines who can save the day or making incredible discoveries, brings various benefits to the imagination and sense of belonging of the little ones.

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in the custom book “Science Rebel Girls” The girls, along with the famous physicist Marie Curie, meet several rebellious girls whose discoveries have changed the world of science. As they learn the story of these inspiring women, the girls are empowered to overcome their own challenges in and out of stories with great courage and daring! Click here to customize your little one and show her she can be anything she wants!

4) Encourage new games

To empower girls in their youth, it is important to show them different ways to play and have fun. This practice not only contributes to the expansion of the children’s repertoire, but also contributes to the deconstruction of the stereotypes of “girl” and “boy games”.

Dad introduces new games to his daughter

How about introducing the girls to toy cars, creative activities, numbers games, science experiments, new designs or even sports? Contact with these games is essential for girls to feel free to choose the activities they most identify with when it comes to having fun.

5) Introduce female references

THE representativeness is important and much to encourage girls’ empowerment. After all, it is through the achievements of other women that the little ones are inspired and motivated to fight for their dreams.

Whether it’s a cartoon character or toy character with similar physical characteristics, women who work in different professions, play sports or perform activities: each example is important so that the little ones can build an imaginary full of references with other women, who can be just like them. conquer what they want.

Hair Love, short animation film about a girl with curly hair

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6) Respect preferences

In childhood, it is normal for girls to show preferences for certain themes, games or activities. During this interest-building process, it is extremely important that the family respects the girls’ choices, especially in the case of preferences for topics that normally do not receive as much encouragement from society for girls.

By feeling respect and empathy from parents and caregivers, little ones will feel safe not only to make their own choices, but also to share their ideas, thoughts and opinions.

7) Practice active listening

Mother talks to daughter and practices active listening

the girls from alpha generation live with various stimuli in their routine, in addition to regular activities such as going to school and playing with their friends. Each of these interactions with the world and people produces different and remarkable experiences to a greater or lesser extent.

For this reason, the practice of active family listening is an excellent ally to empower girls in their childhood. By taking the time to listen and help the little ones with their experiences, the family shows interest, care and attention. Such characteristics are essential for girls’ self-esteem as they feel seen, seen and valued.

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Author: insurance101

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