[bigletter]I am the mother of boys. Boys are a lot. They are loud, destructive, active and exhausting, but on more than one occasion I have thought to myself, “I am so glad I don’t have girls.” Being a mother is hard, but I suspect being the mother of girls is harder. The world is a harsh place for a woman and even scarier for a young girl.[/bigletter]
Instilling a healthy body image, a sense of self-worth, courage, and confidence seems like an overwhelming task, especially when you may struggle with those things yourself. Which an huge majority of women do, myself included.
[pullquote align=”right” style=”style” width=”381″ size=”16″ line_height=”18″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#333333″][blockquote custom_class=”” txt_color=”#333333″ size=”25″ line_height=”32″]“Stop expecting your kids to chase their dreams, respect themselves, forgive themselves, love themselves… if they spent a lifetime watching you do the opposite for yourself.”
Society has done a number on us. So much so, that I don’t really even know what is normal. How I should feel about myself and what I would teach my daughter if I ever did have one. I spent much of my younger life avoiding this issue, sweeping it under the rug and pretending. Pretending I was all those things a woman “should” be. Confident, empowered, strong and secure. But in reality, I felt none of those things.
We don’t plan on having any more kids, but stranger things have happened. If I ever find myself staring down into the tiny, beautiful face of a little girl, I would like to have the tools, to lead her in the right direction. These well-written children’s books can help with that. Detailing the stories of some of history’s greatest heroines and discovering some new ones. These are some of the best books for girls to encourage empowerment, courage, self-love, and girl-power. And while they may not fix the entire problem, they are a great beginning. The beginning of a very important, life long conversation with your daughter. An amazing tool to show our girls just what they are capable of by sharing what other extraordinary women have done and are doing around the world. (And yes, sharing these stories are important for our boys too)
LITTLE FEMINIST BOARD BOOK SET by Mudpuppy Illustrator Lydia OrtizText by Emily Kleinman
Mudpuppy’s Little Feminist Board Book Set is a brightly coloured work of art briefly introducing real women who have made a historical impact on the world. These books share one sentence each on the women that perfectly sums up there impact and introduce children to these amazing women in history with images that are fun for youngsters and also text simple enough for them to enjoy and understand. The Board Book Set includes 4 mini board books and the bright colours will appeal to even the youngest of readers and are a cute, simplified introduction to some of the most powerful women who have lived.
This board book set includes amazing women from four different categories: Artists, featuring Maya Angelou, Lucille Ball, Frida Kahlo, and Ella Fitzgerald; Leaders, featuring Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I, Indira Gandhi and Hillary Clinton; Activists, featuring Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Gloria Steinem, and Malala Yousafzai; and Pioneers, featuring Marie Curie, Sally Ride, Amelia Earhart, and Billie Jean King.
HER BODY CAN by Katie Crenshaw and Ady Meschke
This new book is written by bloggers Katie Crenshaw ( you can find her blog at katiecrenshaw.com ) and Ady Meschke (check out her blog at Verbal Gold ) Her Body Can is written for children ages 0-8. The book is filled with messages promoting self-love and body positivity. The authors aim to teach children that their bodies can do anything and self-worth is measured by how much they love themselves.
Have a look at the message from the authors of the book and what they want young girls to take away from this new, amazing book, “We believe, in the depths of our souls, that all bodies are inherently good, capable and miraculous. As former little girls turned women, we are all too familiar with the limits society tries to set for us and what our culture expects a girl to look like, act like, and be like…Your body’s most important job is to carry you—an irreplaceable human being— through your life’s journey. As you grow and experience life, it is important that you love your body and yourself with the entirety of your heart,” and continue, “It is our sincere hope that young girls who read this book absorb these concepts so they don’t have to work reverse self-judgment as adults.”
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Paris Rosenthal
Dear Girl is written in the form of a love letter to all girls. It is written by a mother-daughter duo and is meant to remind girls of their power, strength and how valuable they are to the world.
The theme of this book is you are great just the way you are, a much-needed message for our girls. It is meant to help each and every girl celebrate themselves and it will have you wishing you had this book when you were young. (I’m not crying, you’re crying) It is a beautiful, beautiful book and a must-have for your home library if you have little girls.
This book is for you.
Wonderful, smart, beautiful you.
If you ever need a reminder, just turn to any page in this book and know that you are special and you are loved.
—Amy and Paris
SHE PERSISTED: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton, Alexandra Boiger
Chelsea Clinton introduces tiny feminists, mini activists and little kids who are ready to take on the world to thirteen inspirational women who never took no for an answer, and who always, inevitably and without fail, persisted.
She Persisted is for everyone who has ever wanted to speak up but has been told to quiet down, for everyone who has ever tried to reach for the stars but was told to sit down, and for everyone who has ever been made to feel unworthy or unimportant or small.
This book features Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor—and one special cameo.
6 Chelsea Walk
GIRLS WITH A VOICE by Ann Turnball, Linda Newberry & Adele Geras for Usborne Books
This one is definitely my favourite, It is a series of books that explores the lives of the extraordinary and inspiring girls who have lived throughout history at 6 Chelsea Walk. Girls with a voice is one of the 4 books in the series.
The story of Mary-Ann, who dreams of becoming a singer in the 1700’s. Each book details a different inspiring female living in the same home throughout the years. Quicklinks are provided on the Usborne website helping you to explore the music, and fashion and even check out the layout of the house on 6 Chelsea Walk. So fun! It helps to really bring the book alive and transport the reader back to the time it is set in.
A Great First Step
I don’t think this is an issue that can be fixed in a day or that reading your daughters a few children’s books will ensure they have a healthy body image or self-love. I believe that we have to model it for them and feel it ourselves. If Mama thinks she’s fat, ugly and worthless. Chances are her daughter will feel the same.
[pullquote align=”left” style=”style” width=”381″ size=”16″ line_height=”18″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#333333″][blockquote custom_class=”” txt_color=”#333333″ size=”25″ line_height=”32″]“Celebrate Women’s History Month with your daughters, sharing these remarkable books[/blockquote][/pullquote]But I know that these children’s books can be the start of a journey, for both you and your daughter. Open up a much-needed dialogue from the time she is very small and maybe even start you on a path to a little self-discovery, self-love, and self-improvement. That is the power of books and that is the power of motherhood. There are no limits to what we will do for our child. Even tackle life long issues that have been burdening us since childhood.
That is true of all mothers and dads too I would imagine, whether you have boys or girls.
Being a mom has a way of shining a light on our shortcomings, some days it feels like we are just not qualified for the job. But, we press on and do the best we can and that is why having the support of other moms and parents is so vital, That is the purpose of our lovely mess. To build up, support and encourage. You got his Mama. You are strong, powerful and worthy.
Don’t let them tell you any different.