Psychologist Sylvia Rimm conducted a survey of 1,000 women who had achieved success in their careers and happiness in their personal lives to find out what they have in common. Here are her guidelines for raising happy, succesful daughters:
1. Set high educational expectations for your daughters Expect them to complete college and beyond, whether or not you did. Discuss careers with them, and teach them that educational attainment is of the hightest priority.
2. Help them cope with pressure Don't be too quick to back off if your daughters have to cope with some pressure; it's all part of learning resilience. However, too much pressure can cause serious problems. Don't set unrealistically high expectations.
3. Be smart (but not necessarily the smartest) Help your daughters understand that they don't need to be the smartest to feel smart, but assure them that you believe they are intelligent.
4. View your daughters are intelligent, good thinkers, and problem solvers Value work. A work ethic and a love of accomplishment underlie motivation.
5. Encourage maths and science skills Counting, measuring, and experimenting can begin from the toddler years. The future will offer your daughters more opportunities if they are comfortable with maths. Encourage girls to play with toys that develop spatial awareness, such as puzzles and blocks. Reading is a high priority too - encourage girls to read about successful women.
6. Encourage extracurricular activities Extend your childs horizons w ith music, drama, dance, sports. Learning to manage busy schedules teaches them organizational and planning skills, but make sure they have some quiet time too.
7. Allow your daughter to be competitive Girls sometimes avoid competitive activities unless they are certain they'll be winners). Winning builds confidence; losing builds character. If girls are to be successful and take risks in a competitive society, they will have to experience both winning and losing.
8. Travel with your family Try to include special twosome trips (mother/daughter, father/daughter) to encourage closeness and bonding. Although family travel arrangements can often be difficult, children don't seem to remember the hassles – only the fun, learning, adventure and independence.
9. Give leadership opportunities Share out the responsibilities, regardless of birth order. Don't baby the youngest; be sure middle children also receive individual attention, and don't label children.
10. Teach your daughters to value the three C's: challenge, contribution, and creativity Girls should grow up to expect equivalent remuneration to men in similar positions rather than settling for inequality. Girls should learn to insist on equal treatment.