Empowering Our Girls: Inner Strength, Smarts & Resources for Girls

Fight Like a Girl: A New Definition for 2015

When I was a little girl, “Fight like a Girl” was a term I heard used by boys calling other boys wussies. As a teenager, the term used in the lunchroom after two girls would have a brawl, arms flailing, scratch marks on faces and hair left in clumps on the floor.

Today, I believe that “Fight like a Girl” needs of a new definition, based on the inner strength, smarts and resources that all girls can draw on any time she needs to.

So, we need to teach our girls how to fight like a girl. Here is a list of 5 things we can teach them. 

Trust Your Intuition

We have all heard of women’s intuition. Well, girls have it too! Here’s how to help your daughter or any girl in your life how to know what her intuition is.

Intuition is when the phone rings and you know it is gramma. Intuition is when you have a dream while you’re sleeping and it comes true the next day. Intuition is that funny feeling you have in your stomach when you don’t like being around a certain person. Intuition is when you simply know that you are going to get called on first by your teacher to share your project.
Talking about your own intuitive feelings when you have them with your daughter will demonstrate to her how the intuition works. And when you witness her following her intuition, support her decisions and talk about how that intuitive feeling actually feels.

Our intuition is connected to many body sensations. Talking about those sensations, such as sweaty palms, quick breathing, hair standing up on neck, knots in the stomach…will help your daughter to know that her body gives important signals that can help inform decisions that she makes in her life, around friends and situations.

I’ve written more about this in a recent blog post, Children’s Self-Defense Tips – Gut Feelings.

Be Smart & Aware

Girls are naturally very aware of their surroundings. It is important for them to feel in-the-know about pretty much everything going on around them. Let’s use that skill to hone in on their personal safety awareness skills.

Using their senses of sight, hearing and their decision making skills, girls can remain in charge of their situation. Awareness of one’s surroundings simply involves using one’s eyes and ears to maintain a sense of what is going on at all times. And then, if anything seems strange and stirs a negative intuitive feeling, our girls can decide to take action so that she can feel more comfortable and safe.

Channel that Powerful Voice

Most girls have the power to have great volume in their voices. Correct? Let’s channel that volume into teaching them that it’s okay to yell “No” if they are in real danger and it is crucial for them to learn how to use their voices when it comes to expressing their wants and their limits whenever they need to. Practicing setting limits, in my opinion, is one of the most important gifts we can give our daughters.

They are probably good at setting limits at home, but what happens at school or with their peers. Can we build strong girls who are unafraid to speak their minds? Can they become the role models for girls who can set limits and be respected for that? I think so. When we and our girls set limits, we give the other women and girls around us permission to do the same.


Girls can be quick and when it comes to their safety, running away might be the best way to fight for it.

Natural Fighting Skills

I have never found a girl who has not been able to learn to fight with all her might. Girls can use their full strength no matter her size, strike a grown man in a vulnerable area and make him fall down or step back long enough for her to get to safety. If you don’t know any specific skills to teach your daughter, there are many ways to learn and I suggest that you do.  Empower your girls while connecting with them by taking a self-defense class together, opening up a dialog that is age appropriate about topics that might be otherwise difficult to approach. Find a YouTube video that you like and learn from it! You both deserve to feel the confidence that comes from knowing you can defend yourself if necessary. — To learn some basic self-defense, check out my video.

Trusting your intuition, being smart and aware, using a powerful voice, running and learning natural fighting skills help us to define “Fight like a Girl” in new terms. Every girl has the power to stand up for herself and fight for her safety. She deserves that and you deserve to rest well knowing she has all it takes to “Fight like a Girl” and stay safe.


Nancy RothenbergNancy Rothenberg

Nancy  has been empowering girls since 1985. She teaches self-defense, martial arts and life lessons at her studio in Northampton and beyond. Nancy is also a bodyworker, blogger, love of life and most importantly, a mom. You can read her latest blog posts at nancyrothenberg.com.

2 Comments on “Empowering Our Girls: Inner Strength, Smarts & Resources for Girls

  1. Our daughter is now 40 with her own daughter. We taught her that “no one has the right to touch you or verbally abuse you. Leave or prepare to fight back”
    One of my moments of pride was when in Japanese she told a hotel clerk she was in charge of the group (mostly men) and the clerk and the manager would talk directly to her.

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