Just in time for Women’s History Month 2021, we partnered with our local Girl Scout council, Girl Scouts - Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, to create a three-part series on raising awesome girls. Each post will focus on a different theme: encouraging girls to be leaders, helping your girl find her passion at school (complete with a fun at-home STEM project) and supporting your girl’s mental health. 

Thanks to the Girl Scouts Research Institute and Girl Scout USA blog “Raising Awesome Girls,” Girl Scouts - Diamonds helped us put together a great resource that we are excited to share with all Little Rock families.

First up in our series, a primer on encouraging girls to be leaders and entrepreneurs in the business world. We cover everything from overcoming barriers, building resilience (spoiler: there are no shortcuts) and developing money management skills. 

LRF: What barriers do girls face when trying to take on the business world? 

Girl Scouts - Diamonds: According to a recent study by the Girl Scout Research Institute, 92% of girls think they’re smart enough to be entrepreneurs and nearly 80% say they’re interested in careers in the business world. The drawback of this statistic? The majority of girls think their gender would make it harder for them to succeed as entrepreneurs. There’s a lot of power (and money!) in the business world, and if girls are too intimidated to even give their entrepreneurial skills a shot, they’re getting locked out of a lot of amazing opportunities.

LRF: What’s the best way to teach resilience? 

Girl Scouts - Diamonds: Although it might seem counterintuitive, it’s 100% true: to set your kids up for success, you need to let them fail. Scraped knees, bruised egos, embarrassing moments and regrettable decisions don’t feel good in the moment, but in the long run, they’re some of the most valuable experiences you can give your daughter. Those moments set the foundation for her to become a resilient, forward-thinking leader who approaches challenges with bravery, handles life’s hiccups with confidence and generally faces life with a can-do (or at least can-try!) attitude. 

LRF: What are your top tips for teaching girls how to spend and save as they grow? 

Girl Scouts - Diamonds: It’s always a great idea to give your girl an allowance (even a small one) so she can make financial decisions on her own. Help her set the pattern of saving, spending and sharing with a charitable cause. Using cash in front of her, rather than credit or debit cards, will also help her see how real money is exchanged, and help her understand the real value and potential of the money she has.

LRF: How can you encourage your girl to think creatively?

Girl Scouts - Diamonds: Consider encouraging your girl to make something from scratch. In a society seemingly run by screens, it can be easy to forget about hands-on projects, yet those can be some of the most important activities for your girl to do. From dreaming up ideas and designing projects to testing concepts and problem solving on her own terms, hands-on projects are one of the best ways to keep your girl learning and boost creativity.  

LRF: How can you model and allow healthy bargaining?

Girl Scouts - Diamonds: If she’s angling for a bit more freedom and wants to stay up later than usual or go to a party you normally wouldn’t agree to, don’t just say no—ask her to explain her side and outline why she thinks you should say yes. Has she been super responsible and shown she can handle that freedom? Is she offering to do extra chores around the house in exchange for this one-time treat? Hearing her out doesn’t always mean she’ll get her way, but it can help you understand her thinking a bit better and will definitely help her gain solid negotiation skills that will come in handy sooner than you think.

LRF: What are other activities that help girls stretch their leadership and entrepreneurial skills? 

Girl Scouts - Diamonds: Check out free activities for girls at girlscouts.org and head over to the Girl Scouts at Home tab! There are age-appropriate activities for all girls to try to exercise and develop their leadership and entrepreneurial skills.