Raising Girls

Raising Girls: Practical Parenting Advice and Dad Wisdom

“Daddy, are you proud of me?” According to coach Sean Smith, this is something every daughter longs to know. During our Thriving at Home Summit, Jenny and I had the opportunity to connect with Sean. The three of us dove into practical parenting advice and dad wisdom for raising girls.

As a daddy to five girls (four daughters and a foster daughter) these tips for raising girls hit home.

I was first introduced to Sean during an online conference. To be honest, I didn’t really want to go. Sean’s presentation was specifically geared toward women selling Mary Kay products. So I was fairly certain that the prevention would contain a lot of fluff, hype, and makeup talk. Even though my expectations weren’t high, I attended to cheer my amazing wife on.

Then, Sean began. “Do the work,” he said, “And you’ll get there when you get there.” Sean offered practical psychology advice and broke things down into simple steps. Within a few minutes, I was mesmerized.

During our conversation on raIsing girls, Sean once again worked his magic. His practical parenting advice hit home. And he made things easy to understand and apply. Sean is 2013’s “North America’s Next Greatest Speaker.” He has shared his powerful message on the TEDx stage and has a wealth of parents’ insights on personal growth and parenting! Here are a few of my favorite takeaways from our conversation with Sean.

Practical Parenting Advice on Raising Girls

  • Sean’s journey into the world of personal development started with a bicycle accident. Sean was only a kid. But as a result of the accident, he decided he really wanted to live while he was alive. As an adult, Sean had a major breakthrough while working with a coach. Although Sean had the mindset that getting help was for weak people, this experience changed his perspective. Sean realized People need to know this! And his journey into coaching, psychology, and personal growth took off!
  • In his work with women in Mary Kay, Sean noticed that many major roadblocks in their lives were internal. Some of these issues could be traced back to problems with their dads. This changed Sean’s parenting style and motivated him to write a book for fathers called Daddy, are you proud of me?

Raising Girls who Know Dad is Proud

  • At the core of many women’s self-esteem issues is the pain that their daddy might not be proud of them.
  • Girls need to know that we love them, but they want to know that we are proud of them. And these two things are different. “I’m proud of you,” says, “I like you!”
  • Performance pride says, “I’m proud of you when you’ve done something well.” This can create pressure to keep performing—to be uncommonly beautiful, wealthy, and thin to be celebrated. However, many girls perform better when they feel valuable first.
  • This doesn’t mean we have to stop performance pride. Celebrating our daughters when they perform well is a good thing. But daughters also need “essence pride,” or to know that daddy is proud of them because of who they are. This isn’t an either-or issue. Performance pride and essence pride are both a part of raising girls well!
Raising Girls and positive parenting

Celebrating Our Daughters Well

  • “I’m proud of you is the cake, and success is the icing.” Raising girls who know their daddy is proud involves two parts. First, it involves celebrating our daughters for who they are and their effort. Second, it’s celebrating big accomplishments when they happen.
  • Another important thing for dads to consider in raising girls well is that having their authority challenged may be a good thing. Sometimes dads teach “Don’t question authority,” and “Do it because I said so.” However, we don’t want to raise our daughters to listen to anything any boy tells them. Some pushback and questioning of authority can be a good thing.
  • If you’re afraid of messing up your kids, don’t worry, you will! Being an imperfect parent is normal. So don’t go through life terrified you’re going to get things wrong. Instead, correct parenting mistakes graciously and keep moving forward.

More Practical Parenting Advice

  • It’s OK for us dads to show our kids we are human. This can lead to resilience and self-esteem when they are adults.
  • Resilience is one of the most powerful traits we can pass on to our kids. A requirement of resilience is adversity to bounce back from. Dads who raise girls well allow their daughters to experience their emotions and work through their pain. In other words, our kiddos don’t need to be shielded from all pain.
  • It’s even OK for parents to let their kids see “love-filled, conscious conflict.”
  • Most men want to use their strength to protect their daughters. A good reframe is to understand the “protection” doesn’t mean “fix.” Part of raising girls well is allowing emotional vulnerability. Every emotion has a lesson inside of it. In other words, dads can raise great girls by allowing them time to feel their emotions before moving on.

Diving Deeper into Raising Girls Well

I love Sean’s practical dad wisdom and his passion for helping parents raise girls well. If you’d like to dive deeper, you may want to check out the all-access pass to our Thriving at Home Summit and check out Sean’s entire interview.

Thriving at Home Virtual Summit

For more great insights from the Thriving at Home Summit, be sure to check out the following posts:

Continuing the Conversation

Jenny and I would love to continue the conversation in the comments below!

  • How are you raising girls well?
  • What positive parenting skills would you add to this list?
  • Which of these ideas have you already used, and which ones do you plan on putting into action?
  • What dad wisdom would you add to this conversation?

Just add your thoughts to the comments below and know that we can’t wait to hear from you!

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Jed Jurchenko

Jed Jurchenko is the husband to an incredible wife, daddy to four amazing girls, and a foster dad to one more. He's served as a children's pastor, marriage and family therapist, psychology professor, award-winning writing coach, and life coach. Jed is the author of 23 books on relationships, parenting, writing, and doing life well. In his free time, you'll find Jed reading, preparing for an upcoming marathon, barbecuing, paddle boarding, and enjoying life with his incredible family. Find out more about Jed's books, coaching, and courses at www.ithrive320.com.

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