Baby Talk // Raising A #GirlBoss


If your Instagram feed hasn’t been inundated with images of Sophia Amoruso’s book, #GIRLBOSS, then we are definitely following different people.  I’ve seen it pictured next to countless pools, boarding passes, and even on a lounge chair or two.  Some day, when I have finally finished Wonder Weeks and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (page turners, let me tell you) I do plan to read it. In the meantime, though, I’ve been pondering the idea of raising a #GirlBoss, because that is in fact my goal.  I want to raise a confident, independent girl who will grow up with the ability to be a CEO or creative entrepreneur or anything else her heart desires.

Since we brought this little lady home from the hospital over three months ago, she’s been giving us small clues that she might be quite the strong-willed, independent gal.  Exhibit A: She pretty much insisted on sleeping in her crib in her own room from the moment we brought her home.  So long sweet bassinet.  There’s also the face she makes when she finally drifts off to sleep after protesting a nap.  It says “I may be asleep, but it’s on my own terms.”

Last weekend we were at the Farmer’s Market eating our Sunday breakfast burritos when I overheard a girl (probably 6 or 7) behind me begging her dad for kettle corn.  He had already said no a couple of times, but she continued to reason with him that she had finished her entire breakfast and that she was able to get some once before so why was today any different?  I was torn.  Ideally our kids accept our yes or no at face value and that’s that, right?  No whining.  No begging.  No repeating of the same question over and over.  But as an adult we want them to keep striving for what they want.  We’ve all been told in our adult life, “Don’t take no for an answer!”.  So how, then, do I raise a sweet little girl who will graciously accept that we aren’t having kettle corn after breakfast burritos on Sunday and a girl who will move off to New York some day, start her own company and become a total #GirlBoss?

Forbes Magazine suggests the way to raising confident girls is to minimize the princesses and sign her up for sports.  More soccer, less Cinderella.  I resonated with PBS when they encourage parents to let daughters make constructive choices about their own life, whether it’s choosing her clothes or after-school activities.  Making their own choices from a young age builds their confidence.  Even the Today show has tips for raising confident, assertive girls.  I would love to know, though, any moms out there have any advice?  Is Sheryl Sandberg’s mom out there somewhere?  Who raised Marissa Mayer?  If you’re reading this, please weigh in!

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  1. Love this! Thanks for sharing your desire to make a conscious effort to raise a #girlboss! Having my first (a girl) in October, and this is something I have been thinking through as well

  2. Love this! Thanks for sharing your desire to make a conscious effort to raise a #girlboss! Having my first (a girl) in October, and this is something I have been thinking through as well

  3. From my experience, my children are teens, is that although you can guide them, offer them opportunities, and obviously love them and let them know that on a daily basis….you really have NO say in their pre-determined personality type. Look for ways to build confidence, but they also need boundaries! I do happen to have a little ‘boss’ in my house (lol) and let me tell you, she is totally that girl you described asking for the popcorn over and over and over… What I would say….’I’m the boss in this household and no is no!’ You don’t want them growing up to be annoying and disrespectful. As much as ‘yes’is important when raising kids, ‘no’ is equally important.

  4. Kristen


    I think, maybe, I will teach my daughters which ‘no’s’ to respect and which to push against. I’m interested to read the Forbes article. My oldest daughter had a natural princess affinity…not something I pushed at all as it was never something I was into. I certainly want to intro sports but I’m not sure I want to direct her away from something she enjoys.

  5. From only my personal experience, I am grateful that my mom let me choose which activities I wanted to do. I never wanted to sign up for sports and would have hated it it if she signed me up against my will! I veered toward music, art, and leadership activities. These things gave me confidence and the desire to do more/learn more/be more. I also saw my mom’s example of independence.

  6. rachel


    guess your mum may have some tips?!

  7. From the day my daughter was born 21years ago, I knew she was going to be independent. I helped to guide her strengths which included grocery shopping, or coordinating with Dad the menu for holiday parties. These tasks allowed her to write down the menu and select groceries for the party. When she was 4 years old she loved to eat honey baked ham. I showed her how to select a number at the butcher and request her choice and sample the product before he sliced her cuts. I stood off to the side to watch her gradually develop her assurance. I think parents have to know what their girls strengths are and give them the opportunities to display them in their own way. It could be picking out their own clothes, doing projects independently, planning a family vacation, or role playing conflict resolution.

  8. charles


    I read Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In”. Many good points, but a lot of business leadership wisdom as well. I highly recommend it.

  9. I recently just quit my day job to pursue my dreams of having my own business. I don’t think there are any “rules” to how your raise your daughter, but my parents did all they could to cultivate my (& my brother’s) hobbies & interests from a young age. We both wanted to be artists in one way or another. I never thought for a minute that it wouldn’t happen. I am so thankful for their support!

  10. joelle


    My daughter just finished her freshman year in college. Just before final exams in early June, (which were on her birthday) I sent her Girlboss. She has always been incredible tenacious, a high school and now college athlete. The key is letting them know, starting form a very early age, THEY CAN DO ANYTHING. While your daughter may want everything pink, girly and princess-y, there can still be a very self-assured, strong female brewing inside.
    Enjoy every moment!

  11. I feel like I’ve definitely grown up to be independent and work hard thanks to my parents. At an early age they were always loving, but they were definitely strict in some senses. I took piano lessons, and played soccer, and by the time I was in high school I started choosing my own clubs/organizations etc. I ended up continuing to play soccer and play music around town. Then college came, and bam I wanted to do it all. My parents set boundaries when I was young, like I had to finish all my homework before I could watch tv on week days, and I couldn’t hang out with people on week days until I was in high school. And it never bothered me. I got good grades, and worked hard on things like piano and soccer. They let me quit activities I wasn’t a fan of, like dance and gymnastics. They signed me up for a lot of things and let me choose what I wanted to do! It’s a fine line, but I feel like the kids around me who grew up in the same environment are the same way now. Attempting to be successful and continuing to work hard to do what we love!