As a mom of a daughter, I want her not only to appreciate the contributions of women to the world's history, but also to inspire her to make her own stamp on the world. But since girls have a way of tuning their mothers out, I'm glad there are encouraging quotes for daughters that put the sentiments into words better than I ever could. And Women's History Month in March is the perfect time to remind girls about their worth and potential.
It's never been easy being a girl, and today's daughters face many of the same problems and roadblocks my generation and my mother's generation did: stereotyping, objectification, discrimination, harassment, abuse, mixed sexual messages, body-shaming, bullying. This generation also has the additional influence of social media, which can be a blessing in some ways, but a huge curse in others. Our girls need all the encouragement they can get, along with role models who can inspire them to be their best.
My daughter enjoys reading inspirational quotes on Instagram, such as Martin Luther King Jr.'s "If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way." She tells me, "It makes me feel that even if I don't become famous, I could still have an impact on someone's life." [Insert image of misty-eyed mom here.]
Maybe one of the quotes here will encourage your daughter(s), too.
1. "The most effective way to do it, is to do it." — Amelia Earhart
This could motivate your child to positive action, whether it's homework or something even better. After all, would we have ever heard of Earhart if she'd stayed on the ground?
2. "You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world." — Lucille Ball
3. "We must teach our girls that if they speak their mind, they can create the world they want to see." — Robyn Silverman
History-makers don't usually get where they are by staying quiet. Letting our girls have a voice is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.
4. "Life is tough, my darling, but so are you." — Stephanie Bennett-Henry
We can't sugar-coat reality for our girls, but we can teach them that they have what it takes to face life's curveballs.
5. "No matter where you're from, your dreams are valid." — Lupita Nyong'o
The actress's Oscar speech should be required viewing for every girl who doubts herself.
6. "I hope you know you're capable and strong and significant. Even when it feels like you're not." — Unknown
We all have our moments (or days or weeks) of doubt, but it's heartbreaking for a mother to see her daughter going through them. A good one to write down and slip into a lunchbox.
7. "Don't compromise yourself. You're all you've got." — Janis Joplin
Compromising is for extending a curfew or having a scoop of ice cream instead of a whole sundae. Compromising ourselves is never an option.
8. "Nothing is impossible. The word itself says 'I'm possible'!" — Audrey Hepburn
Few things were impossible for the screen icon, whose humanitarian work became as famous as her movie roles.
9. "Breathe, darling. This is just a chapter, not your whole story." — S.C. Lourie
When your daughter is going through a rough patch — with her friends, with school, or with herself — remind her that it won't last forever and that brighter days lie ahead.
10. "Don't let the Muggles get you down." — J.K. Rowling
Remind your daughters of the magic they hold within themselves. Who cares if the Muggles don't understand it?
11. "Be an encourager. Scatter sunshine. Who knows whose life you might touch with something as simple as a kind word." — Debbie Macomber
Author Macomber offers this sage advice. Let your child know that one way to make a difference is by helping others feel that they can, too.
12. "Don’t blame your parents, don’t blame your boyfriend, don’t blame the weather. Accept the reality, embrace the challenge, and deal with it. Be in charge of your own life. Turn negatives into positives and be proud to be a woman." — Diane von Furstenberg
When your daughter starts playing the blame game (and they all do, just as we did), show her this quote and help her move forward.
13. "Don't change so people will like you. Be yourself, and the right people will love the real you." — Author unknown
A perfect quote for a tween or teen girl who's poised at that awkward moment between fitting in and standing out.
14. "You get in life what you have the courage to ask for." — Oprah Winfrey
We should all hope that our children have Oprah's kind of courage.
15. "I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass." — Maya Angelou
I could do a whole story on Angelou's writings alone, but this one seems especially appropriate for girls who hope to become history-makers one day.