Encouraging Femininity

encouraging femininity

Having young girls in your house might mean lots of dress up, tea parties and dolls. But it can also mean mud, sports practices and messy bedrooms.

Our culture desperately wants you to believe that boys and girls are a blank slate, that they are neither boy nor girl at birth and that they can choose which to be. They couldn’t be more wrong.

The truth is that our girls are distinctly feminine in their biological makeup – their brains are female! They have strengths that our boys simply don’t and that is a wonderful thing!

So how can we be encouraging femininity in our girls, especially when the world tells them that a boy can be just like them, that there’s nothing special about them? Both parents have an important role in this, so let’s discuss encouraging femininity!


First, Know Your Child

As parents we need to become students of our children: we need to learn all about them and know them well. We can identify our child’s temperament and love languages, but learning about your child as a boy or as a girl is probably even more important! This is because the differences between the sexes are the largest at birth and childhood, and decrease as the child grows.

Right now the culture is loudly proclaiming that sex and gender are different, and that gender is “fluid,” and changeable, and hundreds of schools are rolling out new guidelines institutionalizing these ideas. Against this confusion, we proudly and firmly say that boys and girls are defined and different–wonderfully different!

And here’s the thing: while we know for certain that boys and girls are different, girls having more boy-like tendencies (the idea of a tomboy) is absolutely normal! Our girls have their own interests and personalities. Your girls might prefer to wear pants and play in the mud like their male peers. That’s okay. You can still encourage femininity in these girls, to encourage them to embrace who they are and who God created them to be.


What Dads Can Do

First, dads need to understand that their daughters are very different from their sons and from themselves.

Anatomically,  the parts of the brain that are connected to emotions are further apart in boys rather than girls, and those microns of distance can make a world of difference. For girls, speech and emotions are more closely wired together, which is one reason why girls tend to more easily express their feelings verbally.

This can be hard for dads to deal with. Men generally have a harder time expressing and verbally processing their emotions. It’s a generalization, but on average, this is very true. So dads, start practicing! Give your daughter that space and welcome her expression. Share your thoughts and feelings with her as well.

Our daughters crave to belong and feel beautiful. Their attraction to textures, faces and colors gives them an eye for the beautiful and for relating to others. It can be acutely devastating for our girls when they don’t feel beautiful or that they have friends.

So in parenting girls, it’s important to communicate to them that they are beautiful. Girls that are told that, especially by their fathers, grow into into beautiful and caring young women.


What Moms Can Do

Femininity is conferred by femininity. Men cannot really communicate femininity because, as we’ve talked about before, children learn more through modeling than through words.

So moms, teach your daughters to be feminine by being feminine yourself! Bring beauty into your home – in art, plants and decor – and don’t be afraid to dress in something that makes you feel beautiful, just because! Your daughters (and sons!) will notice these things.

Be careful about how you talk about yourself. Your daughters learn about their bodies from you. When you focus on your own flaws and vocalize these things consistently and in a negative manner, your daughters take on a negative view of themselves.

Girls tend to globalize criticisms from friends, peers, parents, and teachers. If they fail in something, they can think, “It’s because I’m terrible at everything: I’m a terrible person” instead of recognizing and isolating the hurt or the flaw.

The ritual of asking forgiveness is very precise and that can help girls to see that they have failed in one area, but not in all areas. They need to learn to forgive others in the same way. Model to your daughters that mistakes are a way to learn and that empathy and humility are the best ways to interact.

Bringing It All Together

Parenting is never easy. You’ll have people tell you that girls are easier at such and such ages while boys are easier at such and such opposite ages. But the truth is that every age and stage is challenging, whether you have a boy or a girl. All we can do as parents is our best, learning as much as possible and praying that the Lord makes up for our shortcomings with grace.

Moms and dads both have essential roles in encouraging femininity in their daughters. As a parent, you cannot build up your child too much. Tell your daughters they’re beautiful, encourage them in their creativity and in wearing and doing things that make them feel beautiful. Compliment them often – it shows them love – and in the end, remember to delight in your daughters!


If you’d like to hear more on this topic, check out our latest podcast here.

You can also watch this podcast episode on Youtube!

Do you have a daughter who’s approaching or going through puberty? Check out Alicia’s course, designed for moms and their daughters, where you’re learn about the wonderful design of the feminine genius together! The course is now open and fills quickly so check out the details and register here.