We are living in a bright new age for women. Though we have not yet reached true equality, the opportunities now are well and beyond those even a few decades ago. Our daughters can be anything. But along with such benefits come the stresses of life, which can have a serious impact on their self image.

As involved parents we should be instilling these 16 wonderful qualities in our daughters every day. While we are at it, let’s teach them to our sons, too.

  1. Confidence - Girls are held to a harsh and unyielding standard. We should be teaching them to be confident in who they are, not who the world says they should be.
  2. Literacy - Reading is becoming more and more lost as time goes on. We should push our daughters to read anything and everything they can get their hands on.
  3. Healthfulness - This is different than being healthy. It is being well rounded in their health, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual (in whatever way she sees fit).
  4. Emotional Awareness - So often emotion is used to demean women, but it is a strength to be aware of one’s feelings. Only through awareness can they be responsibly coped with.
  5. Friendliness - Cynicism is much too common and accepted in today’s world. Friendliness and connecting with others is a better skill.
  6. Physicality - Part of staying fit is being active. But it is also a part of being happy and strong. Whether it is running, rock climbing, dancing, boxing, or anything else, we should encourage our girls to be physical.
  7. Empathy - We should all care about one another. Having the capacity for compassion and empathy can take you far.
  8. Education - All girls have to be educated, at the very least with a high school diploma. It is a stepping stone towards greater things, including a greater view of the world. Education opens doors.
  9. Communicative - Communication is the key to every relationship, whether that is a romantic, platonic, or working one. Learning to listen and to speak with clear intention are both important skills.
  10. Stability - Gone are the days when a woman had to rely on her spouse to support her. Financial stability brings with it freedom.
  11. Healthy Love - Anyone can find a partner. Finding a compatible, supportive partner and developing a relationship takes a foundation of understanding what those things look like.
  12. Personal Talents - Writing, singing, sports, math, science, art...everyone has something they are good at, and passionate about. Talents should be encouraged.
  13. Integrity - Being a person others can rely on and trust is a goal that every girls should strive for. Whether it is with responsibilities or secrets, deadlines or emotions, integrity shows your ability to handle every one.
  14. Goodness - This may seem a vague concept, but it is always worthwhile to try and be good. A good listener for a friend, a good sister to a sibling, a good coworker to a company, a good girlfriend/wife to a partner...there are many ways in which we can be good in our lives.
  15. Success - Success is not so narrowly defined as you may believe. To be a success, you have to succeed in the goals that you set yourself. So we should teach our daughters how to meet that definition.
  16. Generosity - There may be no character trait so valuable as being a generous person. That doesn’t necessarily mean with money; it could be with time, affection, attention, care...anything.

We are responsible for the things we teach our girls. And so we are somewhat responsible for the women they become. Let’s make sure we are instilling in them strong, positive qualities that help them break from the mold of gender ideals, so they can be their own person.

Author's Bio: 

Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and freelancer, with experience in writing and outreach for organizations that help troubled teen girls and their parents. Tyler has offers tasteful humor and research backed advice to readers on parenting tactics, problems in education, issues with social media, mental & behavioral disorders, addiction, and troublesome issues raising teenage girls. Connect with Tyler on: Twitter | Linkedin