The methods we use to raise our sons and daughters are different. Sometimes these methods are affected by stereotypical biases that we use unconsciously. Children are expected to be brave, tough, and courageous.

Girls, however, must be calm, cautious, and perfect. But this approach can negatively affect the future of our children. We analyzed various research findings to show our readers that by raising girls to be brave, we can make them prosperous and happy.

Trying To Be Perfect Isn’t Healthy

What Can Happen If We Teach Girls to Be Brave Instead of Perfect
© Problem Child / Imagine Entertainment

“Practice makes perfect,” they say. But do we really need to be perfect? Psychologists say that the pursuit of perfectionism is unhealthy. Perfectionism feeds on our fear of being wrong.

And when we are afraid, we cannot make the correct and rational decisions. So by encouraging your children to be perfect, you are teaching them to be afraid of making mistakes.

But it is not possible to avoid mistakes in real life experiences. When your kids end up screwing up, you want them to find a way out of the situation and not be upset that they made the mistake in the first place.

Girls, Specifically, Tend To Lack Self-confidence

What Can Happen If We Teach Girls to Be Brave Instead of Perfect
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Discussions about the gender trust gap are not new. However, a recent study confirms that women are more likely to rate their own performance as poor compared to men.

The study evaluated 4,000 participants to determine if there is a gap in confidence and self-promotion between men and women.

The experiment showed that women are not only unreliable; they promote themselves less, even when they know with certainty that their performance is as good as that of men.

Reshma Saujani, a lawyer, activist, and founder of a non-profit organization called Girls Who Code, speaks from her own experience: “Teach girls courage, not perfection.”

Saujani explained that girls, during the learning process, out of fear of making mistakes, are more likely not to try than to try to fail. “Perfection or bust!” she said.

Therefore, to prevent your daughter from missing out on life’s opportunities, you must teach her to take risks, speak out loud, and properly assess her abilities.

Get Rid Of Stereotypes

What Can Happen If We Teach Girls to Be Brave Instead of Perfect
© Legally Blonde / MTM Studios© Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides / Disney

One of the main reasons why girls are not so confident in themselves is due to stereotypes applied by society. Women are expected to be beautiful, calm, and bad at math, while men are strong, brave, and do math quickly.

This stereotypical approach can shape a woman’s perception of her abilities. Research to determine how people perceive their abilities has shown that women are more likely to underestimate their abilities in a field that is commonly considered male.

“Gender stereotypes determine people’s beliefs about themselves and about others,” said one researcher.

Change The Way You Speak

What Can Happen If We Teach Girls to Be Brave Instead of Perfect

Research shows that the way we talk to boys and girls is different. If we praise boys for “trying hard” or “making an effort,” girls will be praised for being “good,” “perfect,” or “smart.”

Stop labeling your daughters with judgments and praise them for their efforts. It should not be “good”, it should be encouraged to strive for a goal.

Are your girls brave enough? As a parent, what are you doing to build your self-confidence? Let us know in the comment section below.