When it comes to empowering our girls, it is always good to have resources and tools that can help us nurture them. That’s why I’m delighted with the newly released bilingual children’s book “BE BOLD! BE BRAVE! ¡SÉ AUDAZ, SÉ VALIENTE!” highlighting 11 Latinas that have made their mark in U.S. History. Through rhyme, the book helps us encourage our daughters to be bold, brave, and to pursue their dreams unapologetically.
Through the beautiful illustrations made by Jone Leal, we get to know these amazing mujeres and can point out the ways in which these women were bold in their aspirations and brave in choosing paths that were not necessarily easy or obvious for them. Leal uses colorful and simple drawings to attract the attention of the little ones. Since the book is recommended for children 5 to 9 years, it was the perfect gift for my 9-year-old girl who read the book and loved it.
In my journey as a mother, I’ve come to realize that to nurture courage, resilience and encourage our daughters to be bold we must first exercise them in our daily lives, modeling those qualities for them. That being said, there is also room to use the tools at our disposal in showing our girls other role models who have achieved great feats in the pursuit of their passions, goals, and dreams.
The book “BE BOLD! BE BRAVE! ¡SÉ AUDAZ, SÉ VALIENTE!” is one of those tools, as it shows Latina role models to our girls. We know that when children are able to see others who look like them doing what they dream of, it becomes possible in their minds that they, too, can achieve it. Moreover, it is very important for our girls to see no barriers in what they can aspire to, and learning about these trailblazers is a great way to start conversations with your little girl.
11 Ways To Encourage Our Daughters To Be Bold With “BE BOLD! BE BRAVE!
Know no limits. The first bold Latina we get introduced to is the one and only Rita Moreno. With a catchy rhyme, we quickly learn that no matter where you come from, who are your parents or what your circumstances are, there are no limits to what you can do, even becoming one of the greatest stars in Hollywood!
Girl power. Challenging traditional gender roles is still one of the things we must do to encourage our daughters to be bold and brave. Nurturing the tomboy or girly girl you might have at home can be all fun and games through the life of Olympic Gold Medalist Lisa Fernández. Showing your girl she can be strong and play any sport can help build her confidence.
Icon material. If becoming the greatest singer and Latina icon is your daughter’s dream, you can let it know she can achieve it. For the bicultural girl in your life, the poem about Selena tells her how she can build herself up while being authentic and proud of her roots.
Having your head in the moon. While for many, dreaming of conquering the stars might be just a childhood dream that will fade with time, that’s no reason to diminish our girl’s aspirations. Teaching your daughter about Ellen Ochoa and how she achieved her goal of going to space, shows your little one she can do it, ¡everything is possible!
Your story matters. As Latinos, we are surrounded by storytellers and many of them are our kids! You can encourage your daughter to be bold and tell her story in whatever manner she likes. Like Pura Belpré, any little girl can leave her mark in this world by being the keeper of our stories.
High sense of justice. We’ve all seen her. The little girl that you know can become a lawyer or a judge! However, you must help her see it, too. Learning about the amazing Sonia Sotomayor is what your little girl needs to know she can one day get to the higher court in our country.
Seeking the truth. As moms, we are always telling our kids about the importance of the truth. But, what if your girl dreams of seeking and telling the truth about the things that matter? That’s where Maria Hinojosa’s poem comes in handy. Your child will see that being a journalist and inspiring others with the truth is something brown Latina girls can excel at.
Harness the healing power. Being a healer is one of the greatest honors a woman can hold in our culture. I remember how respected my own grandmother was by everyone because of this talent. However, for many Latinas, thinking of becoming a doctor can seem unattainable. Many parents worry about the costs of pursuing this career. We must not! Show how Antonia Novello did just that, and encourage your girl to follow what comes naturally to her.
Artists rock! Having a creative, imaginative girl at home might bring uncertainty as they grow. As adults, we tend to look for a secure path for our children and forget that happiness can only come from being true to oneself. Validating your artist’s aspirations to become an amazing artist is just what she needs to open her wings and fly. Through Judy Baca poem, she can see her dreams are possible.
Honor and service. Being a politician is something many little girls dream of, but for Latinas, maybe the dream seems far-fetched. The story of Hilda Solis is proof that dedicating your life to public service in an honorable way is not only achievable but also very real for a Latina to do.
Activism is life. I strongly believe that there is an activist inside all of us. However, some of our daughters will see it as the only path for them. In our quest to encourage our daughters to be bold, we must also be brave to allow them to pursue the path they want for themselves. Showing them about the amazing life and work of kickass activist Dolores Huerta, we are showing our little activists there is a path that was already created for them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Naibe Reynoso is a multiple-Emmy award-winning journalist and board member of the prestigious Peabody Awards. She graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Sociology and a concentration in Psychology & Chicano Studios. This is her first children’s book, written to help inspire the next generation of little ones, and highlight Latina Trailblazers. “Be Bold! Be Brave!” is available on Amazon in print and digital versions. You can purchase your copy here.