Dimelo: 5 Ways to Raise a ‘Chingona’

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1. Don't just tell her she's pretty.

Yes, of course we all think our children are beautiful. And we should tell them that....often. But beauty isn't just skin deep, nor is it all encompassing. The quality of their character and kindness to others matter, and we need to teach our hijas that a pretty smile only gets you so far. The old adage is true - it is what's on the inside that counts. Take it just one step further and think about the message we pass on to our girls if we stop at commenting on their physical appearance. Exactly. So tell them they are beautiful, but take a page from my friend Jenny's parenting insights and remember the and.

Tell your daughters they are beautiful and smart or beautiful and creative. It's the and that they'll take with them when they are ready to leave the nest.

2. Be the woman today you hope she will become tomorrow

You want your girl to grow strong and fiercely secure in all that she is? I'm down with that. Children learn by watching us for cues they will internalize as they grow. Even if you are having a bad body image or self-esteem day, put on your big girl 'chonis and fake it till you make it. Eventually, you won't be faking anymore. It's a win for everybody.

3. Celebrate her voice

Gone are the days when children were seen and not heard. Yes, we might butt some heads as we teach them the fine line between standing up for themselves in the big wide world and talking smack to you at home, but be patient. Rome wasn't built in a day, either.

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