I recommend that when a girl reaches age 9 – it could be sooner or later – a parent sits down and gives them “the talk.” Not a talk about sex but a talk about power, what it is and who has it. By age 9, a girl already has nascent sexuality. She notices her impact on boys. Her sexuality is often one of the first powers she experiences without realizing its vast limitations compared to her entire arsenal of power. She does not know that missteps will drain her power and self-confidence, sometimes for a decade or more.
To avoid this situation for your daughter and to raise strong and brave girls, early tweens is the time to find time for a chat.
Here is “the talk.”
Everyone wants power. We all love power. But it manifests differently in boys and girls, men and women. Most people do not know this.
You are learning about history. For about five millennia, a wrong, inaccurate definition of power has kept women suppressed and often oppressed. Power, even in the dictionary, has been defined as domination and control. This is just not true.
In fact, the strongest power we see around us is in nature. In nature, power is change, movement, and fluidity. Here are some examples.
- When it’s snowing lightly, it’s pretty and we go outside and make snowpeople. But when the snow fall speeds up, grows denser and combines with wind, there suddenly is a powerful blizzard.
- When a small breeze speeds up, it turns the blades in an energy windmill and power is generated. When water rushes through the chutes in a dam, turbines inside the dam capture the movement and power is generated.
Today, we know that power is generated through change, movement, and fluidity.
And that is what you, girl, have.
Compared to men, our female bodies are all about change, movement, and fluidity. We menstruate, we have the capability of bearing children. Studies now show we have more stamina, more sexuality, a longer lifespan, greater collaboration and communication skills, more active brains. Our physical bodies reflect change, movement, and fluidity – we did not know this before because no one used to study women. In the old days, men did not think it was important!
Boys and men have power too, but it manifests differently. Their power is in the area of loving kindness. Boys grow into men and typically have a denser muscle mass. Their innate structure is beautifully suited for the power of love and humility, of a gentle and kind nature.
If a boy tries to be more powerful than a girl, and a girl believes that or allows this to happen, she will get drained. You lose self-confidence because you are holding down your power level to become less powerful than a boy, which is not actually possible. When you look at boys in your class, think of them as loving and kind. View yourself as an expression of power.
Boys are sometimes angry at girls because they were told or shown, in films or video games or online images, that their role is to dominate or put down women. They feel the power innate in girls, but they don’t understand it. Sometimes they come up with demeaning or derogatory ideas of girls. If you accept any of their behavior, you will lose your self-confidence.
If you want to be very powerful, and it takes power to help other people, then I will support you. But I want you to know you represent power as it really is. Your body owns power. You are entering a time period where people, particularly boys, will be drawn to and challenge your power. Please don’t be fooled into thinking you have to attract or please boys to make them feel better about themselves. They have to do that on their own. Your job is to be who you are – a powerful person.
“Talk” paused, to be resumed as real life power builders and drainers emerge in a girl’s life.
In general, here are power tips for girls.
- Meditation and mindfulness – this is the best way to create self-confidence and independence. When a girl learns meditation in her tween years, she can bypass insecurity, neediness, and overreactions. She learns how to find her center and experience stillness – still going on her life’s path but with inner stability and strength.
- Martial arts of any kind. Check out the studio to make sure everyone is respectful and there are no symptoms of egotism. Let your daughter go through the belt ranks. She will learn self-discipline and a practical range of physical moves that will raise her self-confidence in any setting.
- Technical studies. Many girls avoid engineering, technology, and math because of a fear of appearing unfeminine. In fact, since these studies challenge the brain and therefore raise energy, parents should encourage girls to follow the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) route. Power will ensue.
- Team sports – women working together to achieve victory is a huge learning experience. Physical fitness is a power raiser. Today, women are proving they can excel in sports that only men used to play. Self-confidence rises.
Power (fluidity, change, and movement) and how to gain it should be an open discussion point for girls. Over time, they will see when they gain power and lose it. Girls should be encouraged identify and drop the power-drainers and go with their innate power. It is so much more fun and gratifying. Power girls and women like to give back to the system. That is what they do.
Talking about feminine power is a never-ending conversation that will ensure generations of women develop savvy, bravery, self-esteem, and self-confidence from an early age.
This guest post was authored by Liz Lewinson
Liz Lewinson is the award-winning author of “The Power of the Loving Man,” “Women, Meditation, and Power,” and “American Buddhist Rebel: The Story of Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz.”
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