Inspiring Her to Aim Higher
You play a pivotal role in your daughter's academic achievement and ambitions. If you introduce her to brain teasers and strategic games like chess early on, have her solve mazes and riddles, she will learn to use her head and be proud. Together, you and your daughter can do crossword puzzles or sudoku.
Encourage your daughter to spend time with other bright kids who are eager to think. Many communities have science museums and libraries that sponsor activities for kids wanting to explore new fields. Take her to the meetings and watch her get involved in experiments or activities that require deep thought and concentration.
The more your daughter has a chance to think, the more her capacity for thought will grow. This capacity underlies all learning and has a long shelf life. In fact, clear thinking is the foundation on which all schoolwork builds. Your actions now can be a great impetus in furthering this ability.
Way above Average
There are several ways you can inspire your daughter to grow mentally and not be content with being average. You can encourage her to be a top achiever in school, which may lead to her becoming a top achiever in life. You can explore several possible career paths with her, long before she enters high school, by taking her to visit places where those careers are practiced. You can show her how to research some topics of interest on the Internet. You can send her postcards and e-mail from your business trips, text her snapshots, bring back maps from where you were, and take her to work to show her how you spend your time away from home.
Encourage Her Curiosity
Most important, please encourage your daughter's curiosity and avoid squelching it. When she asks you something, tell her where to find the answer, if you do not know it. You should also take your daughter to hear inspiring lecturers — male or female, young or old — who can thrill girls with motivational pep talks that make them eager to acquire more knowledge. Be sure to let her overhear you in discussions with other people and ask her opinions.
Of course, either a father or a mother can use many of these strategies, but the fact that you, a dad, use them makes them special. It is your male point of view, your male interests, and your male approach to life that infuses your girl-raising actions with extra power in her eyes.
Q & A
You can showcase your daughter's growing fascination with a new topic by posting the results of her Internet research on the refrigerator. You can ask her to write to an agency or corporation and share her joy when she gets a letter back. You can cheer her on as she dashes off a question to a girl living on another continent via e-mail. You can guide her in the selection of books and other materials, such as articles, movies, and artifacts, about her latest fascination.
Take your daughter on a stroll across the campus of the nearest university, walk with her to the philosophy department, and show her where college students spend their time inquiring into the nature of things. Tell her that many powerful ideas are still waiting to be conceptualized and that you hope that she will not only have such ideas but will be willing to express them to others. Introduce her to some famous women in history, so that she will feel the power of the strong women who have gone before her vibrate through her.
Two famous philosophers are Hypatia of Alexandria (370–415), an Egyptian woman with a passion for astronomy and astrology who became a well-known orator, and Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986), a French writer and the author of The Second Sex, who worked to eliminate the oppression of women.
If your connection to your daughter is strong, you can expect her to flourish. Your inspiration will produce great results. She will stand on tiptoes mentally, constantly reaching for new ideas or new understanding. The more often she does that, the more she will enjoy the process. Trust that you can stimulate your daughter's thoughts and visions of her future success more than anyone else in the world. To realize as much of that success as possible, she needs to be determined, have an independent mind, and be strong willed.