They'll be encouraged and supported - why I am sending my daughters to a girls' school

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock 

After months of agonising, we've decided to send our kids to an all girls' school and we couldn't be happier with our decision.

The school my husband and I've chosen for the girls is a small, public, un-zoned school (the only of it's kind in the SA). It attracts girls from far-and-wide who are at the school because they want to be there, not just because they live close by. And with less kids, they get a chance to know each other across age groups.

At first we were worried that they'd miss out on interactions with boys and that would somehow impact on their social and personal development, but then we were assured that our three girls would be just fine.

Teenage girls, who are interested in boys, will always find a way to meet them. We also have lots of friends with sons and their friends at school will have brothers. There'll be meet-ups at bus stops, hanging out at the local shopping centre and we're sure they'll interact on social media.

When it comes to meeting boys, they'll be completely fine.

But that is not the point.

Initially, I was nervous the girls would miss out on building resilience by competing and interacting with boys in a learning environment.

Then something clicked.

Our girls will have plenty time for that to happen. They'll have a lifetime of dealing with gender inequality. Why not give them six years to build their confidence and tenacity without having to also deal with the boy/girl divide?

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Those teenage years are really hard for boys and girls. There's a lot of learning to do, not just scholastically, but also socially and personally.

Teens will face some of their hardest life lessons during their high school years and they'll grow up a lot.

I figure our girls will be dealing with enough, without also having to navigate gender politics.

For six whole years, they will be in a nurturing and woman-centric environment. They'll be challenged to become the best young women they can be, they'll be given double the leadership opportunities and when they step into a science class or on to the sporting field they'll be competing against other driven young women.

Competition will be fierce, as when young women are given the opportunity to thrive, they run with the challenge.

They'll also be encouraged and supported, obviously not all the time - as let's face it, teen girls can be cruel - but they'll learn to negotiate and resolve conflict. And they'll build strong connections with a diverse group of young women.

Our girls will form a network of women to champion each other later in life – to challenge the boys club. And they'll experience six years of celebrating the uniqueness of girls.

I couldn't be more excited for them to step into a world where girls rule, so they can truly see the power of women.