Little Women: Shaping a story of her own

Little Women: Shaping a story of her own
From a young age, little girls are expected to be timid and soft-spoken, playing with dolls and tea sets. Toy cars? Superheroes? Robots? Oh, those are “for boys only.” Ask any woman, if at any point in their lives, they were reprimanded or even shamed for acting boyish. It won’t be surprising to hear that this is not very rare. In fact, as much as we hate to admit it, this sentiment may have been ingrained in our minds and we may be unconsciously also repeating this to our own children. 
In our earnest attempts to motivate and guide them, we inadvertently send them an inconsistent message - that they are free to be whoever they want to be but only in the context of what is acceptable by our own standards (or that of society). 
As adults, we bear the responsibility of playing a pivotal role in empowering these young lives. While the role of a mentor can be daunting, the first step doesn’t have to be complicated. 
Unscripted dreams
Empowering our children is not just about encouraging lofty aspirations like becoming an entrepreneur, a doctor, or a lawyer.  Every child deserves the chance to choose and pursue their happiness. While reality can be a fearsome thing, shielding our little girls from it forever isn’t necessarily the answer. Rather, it's about fostering an environment where they understand that their dreams and aspirations are valid – and it begins with embracing the beauty of their unfiltered aspirations.  
Children, by nature, are inquisitive beings, deeply fascinated by the world around them, and always posing a myriad of questions that can oftentimes surprise us. This is how they come to understand what roles they’ll want to play in this world. Yet, these questions also go beyond mere curiosity; they reflect the very core of their dreams. Witnessing children attempt to articulate what has piqued their curiosity is a truly captivating experience. And it is our privilege as adults to accompany them on this journey, keeping our ears open and our minds just as curious as theirs. Let us create a safe space where they feel free to ask questions, express what they feel, and dream without limits.
Coloring outside the lines
Sometimes, we need only a subtle shift in perspective. For far too long, there has been an unwritten rule dictating how little girls should dress—draped in pink dresses, adorned with ruffles, flowers and ribbons. This conventional palette has long influenced our collective mindset, prescribing not just the hues but also the styles our children should embrace. Little girls in pink princess gowns are cute but so are girls in blues, greens and all the colors of the rainbow.
Let your little girls discover delight in donning a dress on one occasion and relax in the comfort of cargo pants on another day, unburdened by societal norms. The key to unlocking this new world lies not in erasing age-old notions of pinks and dresses but in liberating our children to choose for themselves. It can be as simple as fashioning a wardrobe with variety that can serve as a playground for personal expression. Let them be free to explore and experiment. Give them the tools and revel in the whimsical choices they make for themselves.
Guiding lights
Little girls can also learn how to navigate and perceive their experiences not just through words of affirmation and wisdom but through the powerful influence of how their parents and other adults take on the challenges of life. In the absence of limiting stereotypes and with the guidance of inspiring role models, little girls can not only dream but also believe that their dreams are possible, regardless of who they are or where they come from. 
In a world where gender roles are often rigidly defined, showcase a reality free from antiquated traditions. Girls should not be made to believe that household chores are just a woman’s job. Their fathers and brothers can also take part and contribute for the benefit of the entire family. Engineering, information technology, architecture or sports should not be considered masculine fields. On the flipside, nursing, culinary careers and taking care of kids should not be considered exclusively feminine fields as well. Equality and a sense of justice is best understood in the context of our own families.
How we speak to and about people of different genders, even casually, can stick and affect their judgment. What we do and how we do it as well as what we say and how we say it hold unparalleled influence in the minds and hearts of our little girls.
Your every action can speak volumes. Your story can become a narrative that sets the stage for what lies ahead. As they start to navigate their experiences and overcome obstacles on their own, it is our hope that they see that resilience knows no gender and, instead, learn to persevere. 
Beyond fantasy
From literature to cinema, let them see that the heroine of the story can be a scientist unraveling the mysteries of the universe, a marine biologist saving dolphins and whales, or a poet weaving the most beautiful tale. These narratives can serve as stepping stones for them to imagine a world where they can be the protagonists of their own tales – on their own terms. Let them understand that their happiness isn't tied to predefined roles, that they can find joy in pursuing whatever they desire. Break them free from the common narrative of damsels-in-distress often portrayed in the media. 
Now, this isn’t about excluding princess movies from your watchlist. If they wish to be a princess, let them; but also encourage exploration across a spectrum of hobbies and interests – be it science experiments, building projects, or sports. Our fundamental role is to provide them with as much access to such knowledge, equipping them with the means to chart whatever path they want to pursue for themselves. Empower them to confidently navigate their own journeys and apply the learnings they acquire along the way. Believe that they have the capacity to become the heroine of their own story.
Whatever they choose to do, with our unwavering support, we can dismantle the walls and ceilings that restrict the brilliance of their dreams. As we champion our little ladies, let us introduce them to a world where they can write their own story, color outside the lines, and wholeheartedly believe that the world is theirs to shape.