I’m so excited about teens. And by teens, I mean mine, yours, everybody’s. They are engaged, opinionated, and hell bent on change. My kids have a number of issues they feel strongly about; girl power is one. Here are three ways we help them live that out and give them a sense of ownership. There are so many ideas and great things parents are doing…if you have some to share, I’d love for you to share in the comment section below!
1. Women’s March Poster-Making Party!
Are you going to join a Women’s March on January 19th? We are! Phil and I believe in raising kids who value feminine energy and the strength, potential, and equality inherent in every woman. A night or two before the march, we are inviting any friends over who might also be joining the march for a poster-making party. I’ll provide the posters, markers/paint, a few snacks, and- with a girl-power playlist in the background- we have a creative, fun, and empowering evening together.
(PS, We can’t wait to join our fellow feminists in Philadelphia that weekend!)
2. Start a Girl-Power Book Club.
Niamh is starting her own bookclub, inviting friends to read stories about strong women figures, feminist history, and current issues that young people can participate in to change the present landscape of our culture. I can’t think of something I’d like to help start more! A few text message invites (make easy text invites–> head to this APP!), a quiet space, a bookmark to give each friend, and some snacks. That’s it. Parents, we could quite possibly change the future by simply creating the space for the next generation to have a conversation, be taken seriously, and think out loud. Raising kids who are engaged and awake is my best chance at tilting the world a degree or two towards a better future…I will gladly help with a bookclub to ignite these kid’s passions!
3. Do the little things that add up to tell a big, empowering story.
Find the women in your community that are strong leaders and then get your kids around them. Ask your children to write down their passions and YOU be an advocate for those things. Invite them into real conversations and take their words and views seriously. Share your favorite podcast or book with them, even if it feels like it is too adult or advanced. You might be surprised at how much effort they give to understand it just because they’ve been included.
As we stand by our daughters, naming their dignity and honor and refusing to apologize for their strength— our sons are watching these acts and will come to understand them as givens instead of outliers. Last year, when we took the kids to a Flobots concert, Philly had on a sweatshirt with the word “FEMINIST” across the front. A man told him he loved the shirt and then asked him what a feminist was, giving Philly the chance to show that he understood his shirt and his parents weren’t just picking out his clothes for him. He answered the question, and the guy gave him a fist pump. I couldn’t have been more proud of his answer, and it was so ridiculously cool to see another man notice and cheer on a kid in the sea of adults that night.
All the little moments add up. Our teens will remember the bookclubs, poster parties, marches— the feeling of fighting for important issues, of being on the right side of history. There are a million ways to fan the flame of our children’s hearts. May we, as parents, do so with humility, expectation, and all the energy we have! What an honor.