Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Talking to Girls


I read this post a few months back and knew I wanted to respond in some sort of way.  Mixed feelings about the article itself, but overall it’s really good.  A part of me wants to say “Let’s change the world one little girl at a time” and then the other part of me wants to say “what’s wrong with being told you’re beautiful? Or that you’re outfit looks pretty? “ So, I say we do both.  Balance people, balance.
It’s a great article and message, but in a world where there are so many insecurities, bullying, and media I want to tell my daughters that they are beautiful.  Not only beautiful physically, but beautiful inside.  I find myself complimenting my girls ALL the time.  Here are a few I find myself saying a lot:
·         You are so smart!
·         You are fast when you run!
·         You are so pretty!
·         You are so strong!
·         Good job on matching all of the game pieces together (followed by, you are smart!)
·         That dress looks so beautiful on you
·         That picture you drew is the best picture I’ve ever seen!

I’m not sure how I’d be if I had boys {I’d hope I’d be the same way}, but I’m very aware of the things I say to the girls because of how our world is these days.  I can’t bear the thought of them feeling inadequate, insecure, ugly, unimportant, dumb…anything!  I know I cannot control others actions, but I do have a part in forming their opinions of themselves.  I want them to grow up confident.  Confident enough that if they were to be put down by jerks someone they don’t believe it one bit.

I know they will run into cruel people throughout their lives, but how do you make sure you’ve taught them how to overcome it?  I certainly don’t know if I’m doing it right, but I have been around the block {ok, how old am i?!} and from my experience, choosing middle ground is my route.  On the flip side, I don’t want my girls to grow up being one of those jerks people either.  I haven’t tackled exactly what to do here, but for now it’s to lead by example.  Dishing out those same compliments and phrases to others, so that they hear them being given. 

Kids will be kids and kids will be mean, but I can only hope my actions and words will soften the blow when my girls are involved. Crossing my fingers, toes, legs, and arms in the meantime ;)

Are you overly aware of the things you say to your kids?
Does it differ for girls and boys? 


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13 comments:

  1. My mother in law is very big into appearances and very critical, and it has, in part, led to a lot of issues I've had about myself. So it upsets me when she constantly talks about weight and being thin around my stepdaughter, especially because when you are part of a broken home already, and can't control much, one thing you CAN control is your weight, and I don't want my stepdaughter to ever have a disorder or feel inadequate. So I try to praise her intelligence and sense of humor and let her know she is beautiful inside and out, no matter what.

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    1. Between you and your mother in-law you guys provide that balance for her. It sounds like you're an awesome stepmom! It's so hard, but I think it's good that we are conscious of the things we say to our girls :)

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  2. I think you're doing a great job!
    Not everyone grows up hearing those affirmations all of the time and I hope I'm like you when I'm a mom ;)
    You're right, it's definitely a balance!
    xo

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    1. aw thanks love! I know you will be AMAZING!

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  3. Thank you for linking up to August's Share the Love Blog Hop

    now following you via GFC

    Natasha x

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  4. I had mixed feelings too -- I would guess that most of the issues that were brought up about young girls worrying about weight, wearing make up, and getting "boob jobs at 17" are more the result of the example their own mothers are setting. My daughter is only 18 months and she already mimics everything I do! So when a 6 year old girl is asking if she looks fat, I have no doubt her mom asks that question all the time. And boob jobs at 17? Who lets their daughter do that? Doesn't that require parent permission?! I tell my daughter she is beautiful and sweet and smart and strong too. Wouldn't it be worse for a girl to never hear that she was pretty or beautiful from her own parents? All girls want to hear that and I'd much rather my daughter hear it from me so I can show her what real beauty is rather than for her to learn from TV or music what "beauty" is! My definition of beauty includes things like being strong, smart, and having a good heart. We definitely have to keep the balance but I think it all comes down to the parents. Thanks for sharing Erin! PS Your daughters are beautiful ;)

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    1. Well said Amy! You're on point...on everything! :)

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  5. The article you linked was great and your post was as well. Growing up, not only was I always the tallest girl (I'm 6'1" at 32 years old) but I was the largest too.. While all the other girls were being told that their dress looked gorgeous on them, they were so pretty, etc-- I wasn't being complimented at all. I have always dreamed of being a Mother, when I first got pregnant and found out I was having a boy, I knew that I would teach him how to speak to women and other people-- how to not look at certain things and how to be compassionate and caring. Unfortunately, he passed away at birth and I didn't get to instill those values in him. I just recently found out I was pregnant again and all those feelings came back-- I lost that child to a miscarriage and I can only dream of being able to teach my child, I pray that I get the chance to have one again that survives, all the things that so many people don't teach their children. Children deserve to be taught how to care about things other than looks, to be told that they are smart (like you mentioned), that things matter other than their beautiful hair, etc. It makes my heart warmed that you took the time to mention these things in your post! You seem like a stand up Mom and there's no doubt your children will benefit from that.

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment! I'm so sorry for your loss. You sound like you're a stand up mom as well :)

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  6. I definitely agree with you--there has to be a balance! As a teacher, one of the big things I try to do with praise is give them a reason. So for example, rather than just saying "You are so smart," I would say "I loved how you remembered to put your periods at the end of your sentences. That was great work!" or something like that!

    Glad to find a fellow Virginia blogger!

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    1. Yeah I definitely let the girls know why they are so smart, or why they are so strong...etc. Thank you for stopping by - i love finding other VA bloggers!! Stopping by yours now :)

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  7. Yeah I definitely let the girls know why they are so smart, or why they are so strong...etc. Thank you for stopping by - i love finding other VA bloggers!! Stopping by yours now :)

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