"My Daughter… Strongest!"

There was once a farmer who had a mare. One day, his mare fell into a deep, dry well, and there was nothing the distraught farmer could do to pull her out. Ultimately, the villagers decided that they might as well bury the animal and fill up the well, so nothing else falls inside. When the first lot of mud was shoveled on to the mare, she started screaming, neighing and crying. But then a strange thing happened. She shook off the dirt, and stepped on it. As more and more mud was shoveled on to her, she kept shaking it off and stepping up. Finally, she reached the top of the well and just walked out. 

As much as you want it and desire it, your daughter's life is not going to be pain-free. She is going to be faced with situations that may tear her heart out in the future, and cause her to lose hope, faith and courage. You cannot shelter her for the rest of her life, so you might as well teach her to be strong. 

Just like the mare, teach your daughter to shake off the difficulties, setbacks and failures she comes across, to learn from them, to take a step up and to MOVE ON.  

Encourage her to study hard

Do not ever, even in passing, insinuate that it does not matter how she fares in high school or in college since she will get married eventually and her husband will look after her. Your daughter may be very fortunate and end up marrying a man who will love and cherish her for the rest of her life, but you cannot shut your eyes to the fact that this dream just might not come true for her. 

Discuss career options

Condition your daughter to be financially independent. Encourage her with her studies. Discuss career options with your daughter. What does she want to become when she grows up? Send her for career counseling when she is around 14 years old, if she is not sure about what she wants to do with the rest of her life. A career provides fulfillment, so encourage your daughter to have one. 

Encourage her to have a role model

Does your daughter have an idol? Encourage her to idolize and emulate a successful role model. Oprah Winfrey is possibly one of the most powerful people in the world, and is worth more than 500 million US Dollars. She started from rock bottom, and her life story typifies the standard rags to riches tale. If she talks about a book on her show, it becomes a best seller. If she criticizes a company, it might as well close its doors the next day. The amount of power and influence she wields is tremendous. She's a woman, and she's an African American. Despite the obvious gender and racial disadvantages, she was single-handedly responsible when the ratings of her talk show soared and soared, and ultimately overtook the Donahue Talk Show. 

Remember, if a poor girl, abandoned by parents, raised by grandparents, raped as a child, could grow up to be so powerful and successful, isn't your daughter just as capable? So many successful women… and always place for more. 

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