I wrote this for ooph a little over a year ago. Now having two girls and with Ellie getting older this list is becoming more important in our house. I have added one more to this list. I never really put much thought into number six until someone said it to my son.
Can we all just agree that you should never say any of the five things below in front of or directly to your daughter or any young impressionable girl. I bet you can all remember something that was said to you early on that you have remembered forever and it has altered your image of yourself. We need to think before we speak, be aware of the ramifications of our comments and choose phrases and words that build up, not tear down.
1. He’s picking on you because he likes you. Teach your daughter to respect herself and not to accept this. Teach her to walk away from this kind of behavior. Letting her believe that this is acceptable is not ok. Later in life when she’s dating a guy who treats her terribly it’s because you let her believe that it was ok. Remember that.
2. I wish your hair was thicker, eyes were blue/brown, you were taller or anything you’d change about her physical appearance. What she hears is that she’s not good enough the way she is.
3. Act like a lady. What does a lady act like? How about, “Act like a caring, well-mannered, respectful human being?”
4. I look fat today. Not in your daughters eyes. In your daughters eyes you are beautiful! What she hears is that she needs to be worried about how “fat” she looks.
5. One day your prince will come. So what is she supposed to do until then? Put her life on hold while waiting for her prince? Teach your daughters to live their life. To be happy without a boy! A man will not, can not make her happy. Only she has the power to make herself happy.
6. …like a girl. Recently someone told our 3 year old little boy to not cry like a girl. My ears perked up and I know Ellie’s did too. What does it mean to cry like a girl? Do girls cry differently than boys? In our house using “like a girl” in a negative manner is strictly forbidden!
Ellie works out 2 to 3 hours 5 to 6 days a week. She takes dance very seriously as do most of her BFF’s. There is nothing wimpy or weak about these girls. I am proud to say these girls are pretty unstoppable LIKE A GIRL!
It is more important than ever that we teach our girls that they are just as strong, just as tough, just as smart, just as capable as any boy.