In deciding to celebrate National Daughters Day by writing an article, I did scratch my head a bit about the meaning behind the day. I don’t have any childhood memories of being celebrated every September 25th just for being a daughter. I’m no cynic, but when I recently heard of National Daughters Day, I did assume it was another celebration invented by a greeting card company. With a simple internet query, I confirmed my suspicion – the day was invented in 2007 in India by Archies Limited, a greeting card seller. According to my AI search, “Archies wanted to create a day to combat the stigma that is often attached to having a girl child in India. In some parts of India, daughters are seen as a burden, and female infanticide is still a problem. Archies hoped that National Daughters Day would help to change this mindset and promote the value of girls.”
Fortunately, our nation is well above viewing daughters as burdens, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still challenges. I have a daughter who is a senior in high school, and we are starting to look beyond our “nest” at home to envision what her life will be like in a new environment and in her career. Will she have an employer who evaluates her fairly? Will she decide to start her own business to ensure that she owns all of her successes and failures? Will she use the negotiation skills we have been teaching since she was a child? Will she find a mentor to help her navigate her growth?
The internet has lots of suggestions for ways you can celebrate National Daughters Day: Treat her like a princess! Take her to get a mani-pedi! Buy her flowers! And (of course) send her a greeting card! Without denying the joy that these actions can bring, do they – as Archies Limited hoped – promote the value of girls?
Instead, I encourage you to review our previous work on the gender wage gap and my TED-style talk on the importance of women being confident in their negotiation skills. And then, you’ll be ready to really do something special for your daughter. We’ve got three ideas:
- Teach her confidence. Today, and as often as you can find ways to do it, help her to see how awesome she is. After many years of trying to get to the root cause of the wage gap, I have settled on this broad idea - the biggest differentiator between men and women is confidence, as outlined in this superb 2014 article in The Atlantic. Confident people reach for bigger opportunities and negotiate for what they deserve – two strategies that can help close the gender income gap.
- Share your experiences. Despite all of the information available on the internet, an extraordinary number of people at all levels of success don’t understand how to make smart money decisions. Talk to your daughter about money – about your successes, your failures, and what you wish you knew when you were younger.
- Inspire her action. Encourage your daughter (no matter how old she is) to take a step towards increasing her financial independence. From piggy bank savings to 401(k) investing or intentionally paying down debt, anyone who is not yet financially independent can take a step to get closer to achieving that goal.
At BFS Advisory Group, we are focused on helping our clients to use their money to create the life they want – making smart decisions about their money and being confident about those decisions. As a female-led wealth management firm, we are grateful to be in a unique position to set an example about what it really looks like to promote the value of girls. We wish all women and girls a very happy National Daughters Day.
If you need help using your money to create the life you want, or if you have a comment about this article, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Debra Brennan Tagg is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional and the creator of the DBT360 Financial Plan, a proprietary program that helps her clients prioritize their goals, leverage their resources, and address their risks. She is the president of BFS Advisory Group and teaches the public and the financial services industry about the importance of values-based financial planning and investor education.