Wednesday, 9 March 2016


It was a day of two sides. A day of two halves. A day which told me to be brave, which told me I should teach my girls to be brave.

But not too brave.

On International Women's Day I enjoyed a TED talk by Reshma Saujani. She spoke clearly that we should teach our girls not to be perfect, when they can let go of perfection and take risks they become brave and courageous. It was an interesting talk about how boys will have a go, take risks and put their hands up even if they are not sure of an answer - and girls, well, they usually have to get it 100% right before they are confident to speak out. P is like this, her crippling sense of perfection stops her from doing things, from drawing even, for fear of it not being good, perfect.

Right, I'm going to teach my children to be wild and free, to have a go, to make mistakes, to be imperfect and to take risks.

And then my newsfeed flooded with #RideForOlivia. Olivia was only 17 when she died on Sunday, she was riding her horse at a competition when the horse clipped a solid fence and fell on top of her. Her parents saw it happen.

I cannot imagine this horror - and as we were asked to post our favourite riding pictures as a tribute to Olivia with the hashtag #RideForOlivia, I wanted to never let my children near a horse again. I wanted to wrap them up and shield them from dangers and risks.

I am reminded of the joy A feels when she rides a pony, the risks she is willing to take, the difficulties she has overcome, the frustration, the falls, the tears and the laughter. And then I realise this is making her brave, courageous and willing to take risks for a passion. For that, my darling daughters, I am very proud.

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