In April of this year, Meghan held a virtual roundtable assembly where she spoke with young girls who are making an impact in their communities with education, social justice, and health or wellbeing initiatives.
“The group spoke about everyday struggles during COVID-19, including identity loss and isolation, and larger issues of mental health, racial bias and injustice, and more,” the Archewell statement continued.
“When asked what tools girls need to thrive in the year ahead, a common thread emerged: acknowledgement, support, empathy, and resources."
WATCH: How the royal children spend Christmas holidays
While over in the home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George and Prince Louis are encouraged to openly discuss their feelings – rather than follow the very British motto of “Keep Calm and Carry On”.
“Catherine and I are clear that we want both George and Charlotte to grow up feeling able to talk about their emotions and feelings,” Prince William said to website The Calm Zone in 2017.
“Emotional intelligence is key for us all to deal with the complexities of life and relationships,” he continued.
We spoke to experts Kasey Edwards and Dr Christopher Scanlon, authors of Raising Girls Who Like Themselves, on how you can raise your daughters to be the best versions of themselves, much like the royals.
Lead by example
One great way to build compassion is by modelling compassion, both to other people and to ourselves. A practical way to do so is to tell them about times you really screwed up.
Tell them how you made a royal mess of things or were completely rubbish at something. And provide all the gory (age-appropriate) details. By showing that you can make a mess of things, but still come back from it, and be a perfectly imperfect human being, you are demonstrating self-compassion.
They shouldn’t expect themselves to be perfect or that everyone else will be perfect. That’s where compassion can start to develop: when we recognise that we’re not perfect, and that you don’t need to be perfect in order to be worthy of love and respect.
What is also clear is that girls who are raised to like themselves are compassionate and kind because they don’t need to tear other people down to feel ok about themselves.
WATCH: Princess Charlotte hugs woman in wheelchair
Let them fail
You can’t give a child independence or confidence with word presents. Just telling our girls that they’re great at everything and they can do anything is a path to unrealistic expectations. Real self-esteem comes from kids feeling that they are capable and can do things for themselves.
And don’t paper over when they fall short. Instead, encourage them to try and try again and ask them what they’re going to do different next time. The road to mastery is paved with struggle and failure so rather than protecting our kids from failure, we should be helping them to learn to fail well.
If they get dejected, remind them of things that they struggled with in the past — riding a bike, or hanging from the monkey bars — that they can now do without a second thought. We call this a “failing well” story. The next time a child faces something that they think is too hard, remind them of their failing well story and help them realise that they can do hard things and with practice they can master them.
Take the pressure off
Try to resist the arms race of activities and self-improvement. Give kids the time and the space to explore who they are without constantly having to be measured and judged. Spend more time focusing on and nurturing your child’s strengths than trying to correct their weaknesses.
Visit www.raisinggirlswholikethemselves.com for more