Fight gender stereotypes and raise active girls

There is a growing awareness about the importance of keeping girls active and involved in sports. There’s even a hashtag aimed at recognizing and appreciating females who excel at sports (#LikeAGirl). And while I think we can all agree that it’s important, it seems we’re far from sure about how to actually raise active girls.

For my latest contribution to the Globe & Mail Health Advisor section I asked Dr. Vicki Harber for some concrete guidelines for parents. How does one raise an active girl? And what are the cultural or societal challenges that we need to be aware of?

Dr. Harber provided informative, insightful, and reassuring advice that is a must-read for any parent raising girls. If more families follow her 10 recommendations, perhaps we’ll see not only a decline in the overall inactivity crisis in the next generation, but also a reduction of the existing gender gap within it.

As great as the #LikeAGirl hashtag may be, if we don’t have a clear plan to help girls develop the skills they need to be active from a young age, it will only ever be a hashtag. Maybe, someday, we won’t even need it.

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