WARREN HAYDEN: I want my two girls to feel empowered

The Spice Girls
The Spice Girls
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Being a father of two young daughters has made me think about and look at female empowerment and equal opportunities for women in the world we live in.

I often wonder about their future and wonder how much of their current, strong-willed personalities and self-confidence will remain with them.

It’s vital for me to make sure that my daughters are aware of how capable they actually are

Warren Hayden

I hope that these traits will grow stronger in them as they grow older. Recently, when sitting on the sofa watching Andy Murray in the Wimbledon final, my five year-old daughter Alyssa blurted out ‘boys are better at tennis Dad’.

This immediately made me sit up, look away from the action on the court and address what she just said to me.

Of course, I explained girls can be just as good at any sport as the boys.

But I felt like I wanted to show her every article about equal rights and find tales of brave women who have achieved what they wanted despite the odds being stacked against them.

But, let’s face it, she’s only five years old and it would bore her to tears.

I know full well that it is up to me, her father, to raise her with a can-do, aim high attitude.

Although I’ve always tried to empower my daughters this one small, off-the-cuff comment about tennis from my daughter made me realize how important my role is.

But it sometimes irks me that many of the so called role models on television and social media are more famous for their shiny hair and plump lips rather than their achievements and attitude.

Whether we like it or not, these celebrities influence a generation.

This is why I am delighted that the United Kingdom’s top job is now taken by a female.

Looking beyond politics, policies and personalities, I can now show my daughters that the most important job in the country is done by a woman.

Add to this the opposition could soon have a female leader and the United States of America could start next year with a woman in the White House.

I’m hoping that for my daughters and all young women,this will show that there should be no limits on their ambitions.

I think it is vital for me to make sure that my daughters are aware of how capable they actually are.

This can be as simple as asking them to do things for themselves that us, as parents, would usually do because it’s faster, easier and we’ll probably do a better job.

However, for me, it’s all about planting those seeds of independence and confidence at an early age. I want my daughters to be brave, confident, self-assured and positive.

The Spice Girls said it in the nineties and I’m saying it now… Girl Power.

Making children’s ideas a reality

The garden of Moorings Way Infant School, in Portsmouth, needed some tender loving care. It had become overgrown and was unusable.

There was a vision to create a place where children could read stories, build dens and explore the natural world, but this wouldn’t come easy or cheap and would require people power.

Fundraising initiatives were launched involving teachers, parents and the children and the land was cleared and foundations were laid.

The school children were asked how they would like to use the land and for what purpose.

Ideas became reality and Treasure Garden now has a bug hotel, a space for building dens and a circle of seats large enough for a whole class to share

stories and enjoy lessons.

It would have not been possible without the co-operation and support of the teachers, parents and children.

The garden will greatly benefit and enrich all who use it.

And it’s proof that with hard work and determination a vision can be built right in front of your eyes.