I believe you never stop learning. My life has been a series of incredible moments and some pretty challenging heart wrenching life experiences. Now, even through the other side of marriage and missing out on having a family of my own, I think a lot about what I wanted for my kids. In particular the daughter I didn’t have. I also think about the two girls I may have influenced (or not) while married to their father, over those particularly formative pre-teen years, when they allowed me to be their step mum. I hope they realise I think about them often even though we have no contact now.
If I had a daughter and she was hitting her teens I would hope that I had managed to cement her foundations in self love, interdependence and emotional security from within her family. Set her up to have a level of emotional maturity that enables her to be as confident or introverted as makes her comfortable. To have the self awareness to attract great people and be a solid person to her friends in return.
If I had a daughter I would want her to have a Dad that didn’t so much encourage a princess but creative thinking and that “girls can do anything” aptitude. If I had a daughter her Dad would be encouraging, challenge her to face the fear but never belittle her in a way that says girls aren’t quite good enough, strong enough, smart enough and that being a female is life-limiting.
If I had a daughter I would encourage her to focus on all the elements of life that give her joy, not get caught in the comparison game of who is more beautiful or slimmer but rather who contributes to their family and society in a meaningful and purposeful way.
If I had a daughter I would hope she would test the boundaries and know that even if things went off the rails that she always had a safe haven to return to, even if it meant dealing with the consequences, because she has confidence that in adversity there is always love, concern and care within family. With the very individuals who warned against certain pursuits. Some things you simply have to learn by doing, experiencing by trial and error.
If I had a daughter I would encourage education in all forms. To attain a level that opens the doors she wants to walk through. Where Art, Music and Creativity is seen as important as academia. I would try to understand how she best engaged in learning and encourage her to find that method of teaching, that environment that will stretch and expand her world beyond the comfort zone.
If I had a daughter I would encourage her to be tolerant of all people and challenge any entrenched family beliefs, as well know these things are like a virus and if we’re not self aware can be communicated through generations not always through obvious words but the unspoken prejudice we’re all handed from the generation before.
If I had a daughter I would want her to know that she can be strong in all ways, mind, body, soul and still remain a woman, feminine, powerful and important in this world.
An icon in the making, in my mind, Parris Goebel embodies this spirit and together with World Champion Slam Poet Harry Baker, Anchor are encouraging young people to be the best they can be. Advising that great nutrition (who can go past milk!) forms one of the key pillars to keeping a young mind and body ready for all the world can throw at them.
Find out more: Anchor Go Strong
Please note, while this is presented by Anchor all the thoughts and opinions are my own.