My daughter is turning 8 in a week and as a way of getting more presents, she asked me if Santa Clause gives birthday presents. I told her, while trying to hide my smile, unfortunately Santa only gives presents once a year, at Christmas. My daughter being her normal self didn’t accept my answer and instead, wrote a letter to Santa. Her present request was to get superpowers! Teleportation to be exact. Can you imagine raising a child with teleportation skills?
It has been a real struggle raising my daughter. She is strong willed, never takes no for an answer and generally walks her own path. In kindergarten we fought every morning as she wanted to wear a summer dress to school while it was snowing outside. It’s not easy. Every argument we have, she makes me incredibly mad and incredibly proud at the same time. Part of me wonders why she can’t just listen to me and put on winter shoes instead of sandals, while the other part is proud of how independent she is.
I’m raising a future leader.
The level of innovation, independence and constant search for solutions for the things she wants shows me I’m raising a future leader. Her wants and needs right now might seem silly to us ‘grownups’, but they are fitting for her age. Think about it, innovation happens when someone doesn’t accept the phrase “it can’t be done”. Constantly searching for solutions instead of backing down and accepting that this is as good as it gets. That’s entrepreneurship. The greatest entrepreneurs and innovators have those abilities. Just because my little girl developed them very young, doesn’t mean you can’t at your age.
It’s all about mindset.
My generation was told us women weren’t good enough, smart enough and too weak to be equal to our male counterparts. We had shop class at my school when I was growing up, I can’t have been more than 9 or 10 at the time. We were supposed to pick a project to build. I wanted to make a bird house. Several other boys at my class had picked the same project. When I told my teacher what I wanted to build, he told me “girls are not allowed to pick the birdhouse, it takes using the big saw which girls aren’t allowed to use”. It’s my first memory of me being told that I can’t do something due to gender. I still remember how shocked and mad I was. I didn’t understand what my gender had to do with my skills to operate a saw.
I have been told throughout my life, along with millions of other women my age, that we are lesser than men. No wonder we have so many women who have to jump over barrier after barrier before they can find success. We have to fight decades worth of being told, we aren’t good enough.
I want you to be like my daughter. Don’t take no for an answer. Go after what it is that you want. Find solutions to make your dreams happen. Be the woman you want your daughter to be!