A child can learn and adapt knowledge very smoothly during early ages. One of the most interesting facts is that children’s brains are almost like sponges; they can learn anything they experience easily. At an early age, it is a good idea to motivate your daughters to start reading books from an early age so that they can learn different aspects of life and embrace challenges easily. Now the most obvious question is, what should your daughter read for her cognitive development? In this writing we have summed up some important topics for what you should keep in your daughter’s reading lists.
How to learn 3 R’s: Well, Reading, wRiting and aRithemetics– these 3 R’s are basic learning elements that you can’t ignore from your daughter’s reading lists. Your daughter should learn the basic skills of these 3 R’s and practice them accordingly because these 3 R’s are mandatory for every one’s development. Some girls believe that they cannot do math and it’s becoming a myth as well. With that said, you should encourage mathematical study of books that help your daughter to understand addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication early on.
Every aspect of her life is going to involve mathematics and you can start by counting objects, dividing portions of food, and emphasizing numbers in her life. If you see her becoming more curious, you may continue to more advanced mathematics, such as long division, multiplication with large numbers, and even addition and subtraction of fractions and negative numbers.
A movie that comes to mind is Matilda, in which a young girl named Matilda, who is seemingly oppressed and ignored from a young age is inspired to read books and learns all she can, with a brilliant mind and shows her ability to excel at mathematics and other subjects. In the film, she has superpowers, which is fun and exciting for any child to see, but the real focus is about the intelligence of a little girl and her love of books.
With your daughter, you can break all myths and misconceptions that girls aren’t interested in science or math or the many things that make the world go round, such as chemistry, biology, physics, or even the neurosciences, and you can inspire them and make them love these subjects. It is not recommended that you force this upon them, but to spark a curiosity is to open the mind of a young intelligent lady in the making, and of course, much of it would certainly help her career later on.
When thinking about topics of books that will help you raise your daughters properly, you can give her all the tools that she will ever need to make sure she will become a strong independent woman in control of her surroundings and utilizing the primary tool she will be using in her life to be the best woman she will ever be. These are just several of the topics you can touch upon.
Discipline: Lots of adults are struggling now with discipline. Too many parents become their children’s friend when their children need a parent. A parent is the one who provides guidance throughout a child’s young life, and therefore, it is imperative to teach your children about discipline, following rules, and guidelines from authority. This is not to say that they should always follow rules, especially if they know something is wrong, but to teach them about right and wrong, is to teach them about discipline.
With discipline comes a respect for the natural order of things, and this is something that needs to be prominently taught in childhood by practising in daily life. So, it should be mandatory reading for every girl to read disciplinary books and learn to understand the value of being disciplined accordingly.
How to defend herself: You have a daughter, a little girl, and while you may make the mistake, as the world often does, of seeing her as weak, you know she is far from it because within her is you, a fierce warrior who stands up for their own rights and refuses to allow yourself to be pushed around, so teaching your daughter to step up, speak up, and defend herself, is imminent.
There is some concern that she will use this very technique to defend herself against you, but to give her those tools early in her life and to ensure she is disciplined enough to know the difference between defending and authority will give her some powerful tools for life. You should teach your daughter come forward to defend herself from any odds she faces, no matter who or what is concerning to her.
You need to teach her that it is her basic right to be respected as an individual, but especially as a woman. Therefore, books on women’s rights, women’s suffrage, and being seen as an equal individual to her man counterpart is an important step to giving your daughter the knowledge she needs to know that there were women who came before her, who fought for her to have these rights, and for her to continue fighting for them.
Taking responsibility for their actions: This is a very interesting and important task that you should encourage your daughter to read and learn from her surroundings as well. You should buy your daughter’s books on topics covering the cause and effect of every task so that she can understand the value of words, responsibilities, and seeing things through. As a woman, she will be expected to work harder, she will be expected to do more than her male counterparts, and she will have to go above and beyond to be recognized.
While in this article, we are not going to talk about how men or the patriarchal society should be changed to accommodate women, we will talk about how your daughter will change to accommodate her own survival skills in the world in order to ensure she finds her own happiness in everything she does, and the first step is to read books regarding responsibilities, actions, and consequences.
Self-respect: One of the most important things you will ever have to teach your daughter, because no one else will do it for her, is to love herself, and have respect for herself, no matter what she looks like. As women, we face a lot of challenges in our lives, particularly with body image, not to mention that we are already sometimes seen as less intelligent than our male counterparts, but when it comes to your daughter, the opinions of others matter most if they are positive. This is not to say she should ignore constructive feedback and criticism.
No matter how gorgeous you think your daughter is, no matter how intelligent you know your daughter is, there will be others who will say otherwise, and you need to instill into that the important opinions come from those who love her and want her to be the best woman she can be. Therefore, you must teach your daughter about self-love and self-respect because having this will push her to go beyond the restrictions that her society or her workplace may put upon her.
To be aware of her accomplishments, to know she can accomplish anything she puts her heart and mind to do, to know that she has the strength to surpass obstacles she may face, and to be a gamechanger in this life is to show her the true value of herself. Books focused on self-respect, self-love, and self-awareness are vital to her development.
Respect others: In comparison to teaching her about self-respect, your daughter should respect others as well, whether they are like her or not. Your daughters were not born to hate anyone or make judgements upon those she does not understand. Doing so will make her a bully and she will categorize herself into a very different kind of woman the world does not need. To accept and appreciate people for who they are is to teach her about loving-kindness and ultimately, respect.
This is not to say that she should not enact the defense mechanism and protect herself and her feelings if someone should personally attack her, but to treat others as you would want to be treated is very important, and much of this starts directly with the relationship between you and your daughter, as you are the first person to command respect from her, as she comes to expect a similar type of respect from you. It is your duty, as her parent, to provide her with reading materials that teach her about differences in order to prevent racism, sexism, ageism, and all the things she will likely witness on a first-hand account basis. Respecting others is the best way to earn the respect of others.
How to be passionate: From her early age, you need to pay attention to your child’s passion and value them equally so that they will become more confident. Whatever they aspire to do or be, within reason, is something you should fully support. If your daughter is passionate about reading, writing, acting, or playing a sport, there is nothing she needs more than the support of loving parents. This also includes her desire to play with things that are supposedly reserved for the male gender, such as liking blue, wanting to be an astronaut or the President, or even playing video games.
Letting your daughter be herself is a way to inspire and drive that passion within her. This enhances more strength in her and makes her believe in herself right from childhood. This will never go away, and she will continue this path of passion for a lifetime. So as parents, your aim is to continue encouraging her to read the books she is interested in, telling her to strive to be who she wants to be, and to affirm to her that no one can stand in her way, as long as she refuses to allow it.
How to communicate: A very important skill for any daughter is her communication skills. If she wants it, she must ask. If she wants it to be known, she must speak up. If she is unhappy with something or feels uncomfortable, as she will face many of these situations in her life, she needs to communicate about her feelings and emotions, and certainly be encouraged to do so.
Books that lead your daughter to express herself, the things she wants, and the confidence to ask for them will lead her to not only excel and be comfortable with communication with others, but to ask for that raise, to express an idea or opinion at her workplace, or to speak up and out against things she sees are wrong in her life, and this will surely lead to success in her future study and career life.
Time management skills: Punctuality is another skill that needs to be practiced in daily life for her own development. This ranks up with responsibility, being on time, saying something and following through with it, doing as she says she will do, and showing up. Everything in her life will be run on time and therefore, completing tasks, organizing her time, and stressing the importance of doing things consistently and swiftly will bring everything else in her life into play, such as being disciplines and respected by others.
Providing books on topics that help her to understand the importance of time and conducting herself in a professional manner will not only make others take her seriously, but prove to herself that she is to be taken seriously as a woman, in her own life, whether she is working her first job, going to college, or is a career woman.
These topics are essential to the development of your daughters to become strong, independent, and command the respect they deserve. Knowing that you have given your daughters the tools they need to succeed in life already puts them way ahead of the game and will help you avoid many conversations that you would have had with your daughter otherwise. Teaching her while she is young and opening her mind to a world that, by default, sets her apart, just for being a woman, is already preparing her for a world that she will be ready for before she even steps a foot into an often unforgiving world.
A great book to start reading to your daughters that covers every topic mentioned above is My Life As A Woman: World Edition. This book explores the lives of hundreds of women, who all touch upon topics that were covered above and highlight the power and strength of women. By taking your daughter on this journey, you will read encouraging life stories of women around the globe as of 2020. This book will teach your daughter to understand the issues and give her the tools and confidence to know that whatever she faces in her life, she is not alone, as many women have faced it too, and have done something about it. If you are looking for a good read, look no further than this book.
Go girls, go! Live your life to the fullest! This is a world you are leaving for your daughters to live in, so it would be wise to give them all the tools they need to make it their world, a world full of adventure and excitement, but a world in which women are still fighting for to be respected and appreciated.
Sudipta Dey is a freelance writer from Bangladesh with a MSS and BSS in Anthropology from Shahjalal University of Science & Technology, is a loving wife, and a stay-at-home mommy of two daughters who writes articles for various purposes and can be found on Fiverr.