Thursday, April 19, 2012

How to Raise Strong and Confident Asian Pacific American Daughters | InCultureParent

An old article suddenly starting new conversations about apa girl power and leadership workshops...interested?

A few years ago, I took a seminar called, “Raising Strong and Confident Daughters.” My husband laughed at me. “Could our daughters 
be any stronger or more confident?” 

The class was an eye-opener for me, not just in how to raise my girls, but also in understanding my own Chinese-American childhood. I had no memory of dealing with a lot of the issues the instructor talked about as being so important to pre-adolescent girls, such as friendship and physical appearance. 

At first I thought that I must have been just so low on the social totem pole—because of race and nerdiness—that I had given up hope of competing in those arenas; I never even tried. 

Then I came across a Wellesley College study of Boston middle-school girls’ self-esteem along racial and ethnic lines and discovered that girls of different ethnic backgrounds based their sense of self-esteem on different factors. It found that the Caucasian girls were obsessed with dieting and body image, the Puerto Rican girls were very attached to their friendships, and the Chinese girls based their self-esteem on how well they spoke English. I started noticing in the media and in casual conversations that Caucasian women cannot talk for more than five minutes without making some self-deprecating comment about their appearance or weight. The Chinese women I know do not talk weight or appearance, except in the context of health, as in, “You’ve lost a lot of weight, have you been sick?” So it wasn’t me, it was a cultural thing.

click on link for more: How to Raise Strong and Confident Asian Pacific American Daughters | InCultureParent

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