I remember before I had babies, so many people told me I was going to be a “boy mom” and it always annoyed me because I secretly always wanted little girls. It also annoyed me because it made me wonder what made them think that and what made my personality not compatible with raising little girls? And more importantly, why would one person be better at raising boys than girls? It just never quite sat right with me. Years later, I am now a mama to two little girls and could not be happier about it. Honestly, I would have been just as happy if they were boys, because empowering your children doesn’t come down to gender or race or one specific aspect -- it is so much more. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a super structured parent, we just do life together and figure it out as we go, but I will say I always, always, always want my daughters to feel like they can try anything, SO when I had the opportunity to collaborate on a new show that focuses on girl power, environmental responsibility and diversity -- I was intrigued! This post is sponsored by Rainbow Rangers, a new show on Nick Jr., BUT all of this is my own thoughts and opinions.
Honestly, I wouldn’t even be writing this if we weren’t watching and talking about Rainbow Rangers in our house. I wanted to give you a little more information about the show. It features seven diverse girls, all different colors of the rainbow, who save Earth with the help of their unicorn sidekick. The message of the show is that girls can make a difference in their home and community, that protecting our natural resources is important and my favorite message is their focus on true diversity and that every personality is unique, strong and valuable. You can check out Rainbow Rangers for yourself on Nick Jr. weekdays at 3pm / 2pm CT.
This show alone has been pretty empowering and awesome. After watching the show together, I want to share five ways I am trying to empower my girls to be themselves:
I Listen to Them: This one seems simple, but can honestly be so challenging because Ophelia has a vocabulary of all of 5 words and Jessamyn has a lot of words, but is completely impossible to understand when she is upset or excited. Rather, I take a step back and usually get down at their level and listen. So many hard emotions and frustrating situations have been resolved just by everyone taking a step back and communicating. This is not always easy and I don’t always do it well, but I always want my daughters to know I hear them and I am listening. This doesn’t always mean they get what they are asking for, but it does mean I let them know I heard them, and then explain why whatever it was they wanted wasn’t an option. It is amazing how just taking a deep breath and listening can help diffuse a situation and calm everyone down.
I Encourage Their Individuality: This means for me letting them like what they like and not critiquing it. Sometimes this can be hard for me because Jessamyn and I can have very different ideas of things and I have to check my response and remember she is listening to what I say and looking for validation of her individuality and unique style. My job isn’t to make her like me, but to encourage her to find her own voice and be herself and often times that means letting her leave the house dressed like a half princess half dinosaur - I love it… and I think letting them both be themselves and know that home is a safe place for them to explore their own identity is so important.
3. We Try New Things: This means regardless of my own fears or anxiety, we try new things! I am not always the best at this, but want both girls to be adventurous and not be afraid of something just because it is new or different so we try anyways. This includes activities, food, places, etc.… I want them to grow up knowing different is okay and unknown experiences don’t have to be scary!
4. We Practice Kindness: When we are at the park or out with others I try to encourage them to be kind to everyone and look for ways to help others. This is not just limited to others, it’s important for them to also be kind towards themselves. Jessamyn has taken to saying “your not being my friend right now” when she is frustrated and feels like I am not being nice to her. Honestly, I love that she is communicating that because it gives me a chance to listen and also practice kindness. I think this also carries over into body positivity and being kind with myself because they are watching me. I want them to grow up loving themselves and their peers for who they are!
5. I Embrace Their Differences: When I think back to my childhood, I was bullied pretty intensely for being different or weird and I don’t want that for my girls. There really isn’t a way to prevent bullying, at least none that I have found, BUT I can empower my girls to love what makes them an individual, embrace that weirdness and go out into the world knowing their differences are a strength that will help them in life!
Those are the five ways I am empowering my girls! If you haven’t watched Rainbow Rangers yet, definitely check it out. I mean, what isn’t there to love about rainbows and unicorns and girls saving the Earth? It premiered a couple of weeks back, so you’ll have a few episodes to catch up on. We have been loving it! Also, if you have any thoughts or points to add about empowering your children or about Rainbow Rangers, please comment below!