This last weekend has been a rollercoaster of emotions with many shades. There have been doctors appointments, a family crisis, personal health maintenance, but also moments of great beauty if we slow enough to appreciate. A recent bout of a stomach bug has slowed my usual nonstop, continuous motion train that I typically accept as my life. This has given me time to reflect on what is important and how I have been personally interacting with the world around me.
I have been chewing on a lot of thoughts lately, but I have been contemplating how to truly raise my daughter to be fearless and to understand her value in this world. My initial approach was very passive, because she was dealing with medical trauma that most will never (fortunately) have to deal with. We both learned how to be strong despite everything that was set in our living path. However, now as the world and we continue to change, I have had to shift my approach on this subject, it has been more task and skill oriented, letting her explore and approach her environment in a way that allows her to see her strength, then by me or others reinforcing these findings verbally, “look at the mountain you just climbed or the river you just navigated.” I feel that there is learning and growth in this approach. I have seen her recognize her own power and strength, and this has empowered her when things are sometimes tough. It has not just been in the outdoors, but in school, volunteer work and simple tasks around the home that we work on this growth.
However, today, as I was gazing at Instagram, one “influencer,” Caroline Gleich, a ski mountaineer and activist, had big words. She said “Don’t tell her [your daughter] she is beautiful first. Tell her she’s strong, determined and capable of far more than she could ever imagine. Don’t lead with comments on her looks, her beauty or youth.” Link to Caroline’s Insta Post. The comments on the post were equally as empowering. This was a powerful reminder that I am on the right page with Kayla. She is strong, determined and capable of far more than she can imagine, or even I can imagine. I look forward to the life she will lead.
My advice to those out there, raising fearless humans: let them learn by experience, allow them the opportunity to make mistakes, allow them to vulnerable, but sit down with them, help them to navigate and recognize their power and the impact that they are already making.
Thank you for everyone out there trying to make this world a better place by guiding our future.