Personally, I believe being a mom to a daughter is wonderful, terrifying, and humbling all at the same time. But with everything that's going on in the world I have to admit that I'm more than a little bit scared for her future. Not only do I take seriously the responsibility of raising her to be a strong woman, but I also want to make sure she knows I support her and stand with her as she fearlessly fights for change right now. That's why it's worth knowing some famous quotes about raising daughters to help all of us celebrate International Day of the Girl — a day for girl-led activism and empowerment.
According to Day of the Girl - U.S., International Day of the Girl is not just an international holiday, but a movement seeking to center and lift up girls' voices in the fight for gender equality. As mothers we can help, too. We can empower our daughters to be their true selves, learn about these issues, challenge gender stereotypes, shatter glass ceilings, dismantle the patriarchy, and change the world for their generation and ours alike. We can also serve as examples for them, showing them that they are amazing just the way they are, and we can be advocates who stand up for them, next to them, and behind them when they need our help.
For those of us moms who want to celebrate our daughters on International Day of the Girl, and support them in being the badass warrior goddesses, activists, leaders, advocates, and change-makers we know them to be, here are a few famous quotes about raising daughters that are perfect inspiration for this special day:
"Tell her every day she is smart and capable and lift her up...Don’t underestimate the power of day-to-day motivation and inspiration in a girl’s life." — Michelle Obama
Former First Lady Michelle Obama is the epitome of a strong mom and inspirational role model for her and all of our daughters. This quote about the unbelievable responsibility of raising daughters, and setting a positive example with our words and actions, was part of her speech to 8,500 supporters at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, in Denver on July 25, 2017.
"A mother who radiates self-love and self-acceptance actually vaccinates her daughter against low self-esteem." — Naomi Wolf
It's easy for women to view our bodies with critical eyes, especially once we've had kids. Unfortunately, when you have a daughter, a bad attitude about your body can be infectious. A better way, suggests Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth and former political adviser to Bill Clinton and Al Gore, is to try to openly and unconditionally love yourself and your body.
"As for my girls, I'll raise them to think they breathe fire." — Jessica Kirkland
Just as girls can learn limits from their moms, they can also grow up thinking that they can do anything. As reported by US Weekly, Georgia mom Jessica Kirkland posted this quote as part of an open letter on Facebook about raising her daughters to know that they aren't bound by gender stereotypes and can burn it all down if they so choose. So completely badass.
"She stands firmly on her own two feet and I just behind her; should she ever need me." — J. Iron Word
Author and dad J. Iron Word wants his daughter to be strong, live loud, and know that they will always have his support if they need back-up, as any parent should strive to do.
"Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons." — J. K. Rowling
Here's hoping all of our daughters have the intelligence, drive, and inner-strength of Hermione Granger.
"Teach your daughters to worry less about fitting into glass slippers and more about shattering glass ceilings.” — Melissa Marchonna
Melissa Marchonna, a digital marketer in professional sports, wants us to start talking to our daughters about gender stereotypes. While their world can seem focused on princesses marrying princes, we should make sure our little girls know that they can be scientists or CEOs, too. Confidence can be as contagious as glitter, my friends.
"We must teach our girls that if they speak their mind, they can create the world they want to see." — Robyn Silverman
Child development expert and author Robyn Silverman wants girls to stop being seen and start being heard. She knows that our daughters can envision a better world, and we can help if we start encouraging them to find their voices and if we start listening to what they have to say.
"We have to be the women we want our daughters to be." — Brené Brown
Author and mother Brené Brown tells us to always remember our daughters are watching and listening. Even when we don't realize it, they're looking to us as their examples for how to be a woman in our world. Brown dares mothers to love themselves more, so our daughters grow-up seeing self-acceptance rather than self-loathing, adding, "I can encourage my daughter to love her body, but what really matters are the observations she makes about my relationship with my own body."
“Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.” — Clementine Paddleford
As my own mom used to say, "If wishes were horses, we all would ride." As she wandered through male-dominated kitchens of NYC, food writer Clementine Paddleford totally agreed with that sentiment. She knew girls were strong as hell, but also that it was time to stop simply wishing for change. Instead, we should let our daughters know that they have the strength to take action.
"We mothers are learning to mark our mothering success by our daughters’ lengthening flight." — Letty Cottin Pogrebin
As a founding editor of Ms. magazine and author, Letty Cottin Pogrebin knows a thing or two about being a successful woman in a man's world. She encourages moms to teach our daughters to soar further than we ever thought possible, and to know that we'll always try to boost them towards a better future.
“Mothers and daughters together are a powerful force to be reckoned with.” — Melia Keeton-Digby
In her book The Heroines Club: A Mother-Daughter Empowerment Circle, author Melia Keeton-Digby encourages us to recognize that together, with our daughters, we are stronger than ever before and can resolve to make change today.
"A loving and careful mother both recognizes and even protects her daughter's autonomy and also helps her dance out confidently on to a wider stage." — Rachel Billington
In The Great Umbilical, British author Rachel Billington encourages mothers to back their daughters up, but also to have the confidence and independence to go out into the world on their own as amazing, autonomous girls and women.