There are many parents that in their desire to protect their daughters, attempt to defeminize them. The long-term effects of this on the feminine psyche of your daughter are devastating.
There are many negative effects of trying to toughen up girls. Having spoken to literally thousands of women who have experienced this, let me speak to you as a parent. Both mothers and fathers contribute to this shift and therefore contribute to the mental, emotional, and spiritual fall out that arises as a result.
Fathers tend to do this from the place of desiring to protect her. Many fathers erroneously believe that the highest gift he can give to his daughter is for her to be invulnerable. He looks at his sweet, precious, perhaps precocious daughter and thinks that the world will eat her up unless he builds some toughness into her.
Mothers tend to try to toughen up girls from a fear of their own femininity. If a woman hasn’t yet learned to value and nourish her own feminine nature as distinct from the masculine; if she feels she needs to be both and have both and that showing any vulnerability, sensitivity, or the fluid nature of femininity is in some way a liability, she will pass this belief on to her daughter. She may even find herself becoming irritated when her daughter displays these feminine characteristics.
Yes, in this era of non-gender norms this can seem odd to say. Isn’t it best to eschew all of this in favor of a carefully calculated neutrality? The answer is no.
Here Are the Negative Effects of Trying to Toughen Up Girls
Children have a high need for a sense of place. In fact, after food, water, and shelter, it is this most basic of needs that drives their sense of security, safety, and well-being. It is the societal ignorance of this fundamental human need that normalizes things such as separation anxiety. However, when we offer children a default sense of place, they receive a potent security and selfhood that allows them the confidence to explore and become that which is a reflection of themselves.
It All Begins from Birth
It all begins here. From the precious time of birth through seven years old, the groundwork is laid that determines what adolescent years will look like. And while the celebration and acceptance of femininity in daughters is not the entire picture, it is a foundational aspect of it.
In short, it matters.
So what happens if you ignore all of this? Will your daughters hate you? Hardly.
Yes, she’ll love you.
Yes, she’ll be strong and less likely to get hurt.
Yes, she’ll know she’s capable of doing anything a man can do.
And she’ll also question what’s wrong with her and why she always longs to be handled softly.
Whenever she experiences her feminine vulnerability and longing, she’ll feel like she’s betraying you. She’ll have deep-seated internal conflict that will often take years for her to heal and become whole.
She will be less likely to attract a man who will feel protective and who will have the desire to handle her gently because she doesn’t seem to need that or him. On some level deep down inside, she’ll wonder and never ask why you, as her father, didn’t protect her, instead forcing her to protect herself and treating her tenderness as weakness. Why you, as her mother never showed her that her femaleness was enough.
Your daughter is feminine. It is her nature to be fluid. To be vulnerable. To be sensitive. To nurture and care.
This isn’t about personality. It’s about seeing her essence. Fathers, you are her first imprint of what to expect from men. Mothers, you are her first imprint of what it is to be a woman. This is not a weakness. It’s her strength. It’s the seed of her enjoying her life and knowing that her desires are worthy of having, that her feelings are valuable, and her tender heart is safe.
How you treat her determines what she believes the world will offer her. Fathers, your “covering” and protection informs on how she perceives the Masculine Divine. Mothers, your modeling and acceptance help her see the feminine as Divine as well.
Stop trying to toughen girls up. Treat your daughter like a princess, and she’ll understand her birthright to be a queen.
Baba Richard and Sri Namaste Moore mentor couples to create a potent pathway to sacred love, business growth, and spiritual alchemy. Through their teachings, couples working with Richard and Namaste describe an 11x more powerful relationship with each other and their business. www.infinitecouple.com