Both girls and boys dream of being the explorer they see on TV or read about in a beloved book. They are refreshingly unfettered by the idea of "can't" and their active imaginations mean possibilities run wild as they plan their next big adventures.
This boundless imagination and curiosity about the world is crucial for developing feelings of confidence, self-esteem and control of one's surroundings. But where does this go as we grow into adults? After all, many of us are not trying to climb Mount Everest or explore Antarctica as adults (but kudos to those who do!).
For boys, this quality manifests in feelings of confidence and a can-do attitude that serve them well in later life, but for girls, their original sense of adventure significantly diminishes over time as they learn and experience gender roles.
"Girls in our society have been socialized to be more dependent in some situations than boys are. Our society is more protective of girls than boys and as a result, some girls may learn that they are weaker or more helpless," says Dr. Adiaha Franklin, developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Texas Children's Hospital.
Now, every parent wants their girls to have the same confidence, self-esteem and courage that their boys have, and that starts with allowing girls to explore, play and learn like boys do from a young age.
"It is very important for parents, caregivers and teachers to encourage girls to be strong, fierce, confident and courageous. It takes these internally motivating characteristics in order for a person to be successful in life," says Dr. Franklin.
Parents can do this by instilling a lifelong love of adventure and showing that they too still love a good exploration. You don't have to let your kids run wild, to be adventurous. Make a your own DIY excursion at home.
Your little girl will learn how to problem-solve independently by figuring out the clues for a scavenger hunt. On a rainy afternoon, set out a list of 10 things to find in your home, like "the book with the red cover" or "the toothbrush with the glitter handle." Have a delicious prize at the end for whoever is able to find the items on the list the fastest.
Get the whole family involved with a rousing game of I Spy in your home! Go to a crowded room like the study or the kitchen for a maximum challenge, then take turns picking random items. It is a perfect way to pass a fall or winter evening that forces you indoors.
Family Movie Night
Have a heartwarming family night and enhance your daughter's love of adventure with Barbie & Her Sisters in The Great Puppy Adventure.
The girl power movie details Barbie™ and her sisters' exciting adventure as they follow a mysterious old map leading to a long-lost treasure buried somewhere in their hometown! Your daughter will be all about the sisterly bonding and the confident girls plus the adorable puppies that are along for the ride.
Make a fun night of trivia and learning combined with some good ol' fashioned competition for the ultimate family game. Go for a board game or transform the whole house into a living board game with treasure hunts, trivia questions and clues placed around the house.
Check out our tips for creating the perfect mystery party.