The challenge of raising girls.

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  • #75374
    MomMDMomMD
    Participant

    As a mother of two girls I am often torn between the conflicting influences society has on girls. One day Madonna is kissing Britney (which actually doesn’t bother me) and then publishing a kids book aimed at 6 year old girls. Another week we read of the abstinence sexual education policies of the Bush administration and then see thong undies marketed to 12 year olds.

    My five year old has come home from school after the first two weeks of kindgarten telling me who is in the ‘pretty’, ‘cool’ or ‘smart’ crowd. My three year old wants to be a princess when she grows up, I tell her she can be a doctor or a princess if she wants. She might be better off being a princess!

    I know raising boys has it’s own set of issues. What are your main concerns about raising girls in today’s world.

    Sethina

    P.S. Here are some interesting books

    Fast Forward: Growing Up in the Shadow of Hollywood
    Girl Culture

    #75376
    CaLiGirL :)CaLiGirL:)
    Participant

    Hi Sethina,

    I understand what you’re saying. My main concern with raising my daughter is trust. I want her to trust me, and I want to trust her. I want her to grow up KNOWING and BELIEVING that her mother is her best friend and that she could talk and confide in me about anything. With all of the crap that goes on in the world today, the best feeling in the world is knowing you have someone to turn to for anything. I want more than anything to be that someone for my daughter. My biggest concern is that it wouldn’t happen this way. I’ve seen far too many teenage girls who resented their mothers one way or another, and I certainly don’t want that happening to my relationship with my baby girl.

    Annie

    #75377
    rockfeverrockfever
    Participant

    I have a boy and wanted (want)a girl so badly. however my friends who have both say that they appreciate the slowness of a boy’s development much more. they remain kids longer. they feel like they have to rein their girl’s in because they get caught up so quickly in outward appearances. some say that this happend to their girls before they knew what had even happend. one of my friends struggles to find appropraite clothing for her 7 year old- no thongs undies, no low rider jeans and no t-shirts with writing that draws attention to the chest- you know the kind. anyway, when/ if i have a girl it will be interesting to see if this is true. jumpers and mary janes for sure until she is 12! ๐Ÿ˜€

    #75379
    CynthiaCynthia
    Participant

    Originally posted by bermiegal:
    I have a boy and wanted (want)a girl so badly. however my friends who have both say that they appreciate the slowness of a boy’s devleopment much more. they remain kids longer. they feel like they have to rein their girl’s in because they get caught up so quickly in outward appeareances. some say that this happedn to their girls before they knew what had even happend. one of my friends struggles to find appropraite clothing for her 7 year old- no thongs undies, no low rider jeans and no tishirts with writng that draws attention to the chest- you know the kind. anyway, when/ if i have a girl it will be interetsing to see if this is true. jumpers and mary janes for sure until she is 12! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I know what you mean!!! We can’t FIND jumpers etc. for my 8 year old (she wears a size 10). All that seems to exist are things like T-shirts with things like “hottie” on them….excuse me? for an 8 year old? I don’t think so. It’s been a struggle finding clothing for her this year! BUT it HAS been an opportunity to talk with her about what is acceptable and what is not……and WHY. ….and yes, sometimes it seems like she is 8 going on 16!!!

    #75381
    laleelalee
    Participant

    I hear what you’re all saying! I have a 9 1/2 yr old and she knows more than I did when I was 15!! :bigmouth:
    I know we can’t shield them from everything, but I hope to atleast filter some of it!

    #75382
    LaramisaLaramisa
    Participant

    This is one of my anxieties about moving back to the states with my daughter, who is 7. I don’t think this kind of very early pressure is quite as blatant here in Europe – though of course some of this influence is international- like pop music stars (wanting to dress like Shakira)- and it comes eventually for the older kids. We don’t watch tv (except videos) so that helps I think. But there are other sterotypes here – lots of princess stuff and barbies for girls, hard to find sports teams for girls to join etc…

    #75384
    drmoo55drmoo55
    Participant

    do you find yourselves acting/responding differently to your girls than your mothers did with you?

    #75385
    rockfeverrockfever
    Participant
    #75387
    Doc201XDoc201X
    Participant

    Originally posted by Laramisa:
    This is one of my anxieties about moving back to the states with my daughter, who is 7. I don’t think this kind of very early pressure is quite as blatant here in Europe – though of course some of this influence is international- like pop music stars

    When my then 6 year old daughter returned from a sleepover at a friend’s house(She’s 7 now) asking me if I thought Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake had sex ๐Ÿ˜ฎ , I KNEW I had to 1) Have the “talk” a lot earlier than I had thought I would and 2) Get her some new friends. In this case, I shouldn’t have been to suprised since this former friend of my daughter’s had posters of N-Sync and other teenaged stars in her room and is allowed to watch MTV, Vh 1 ect. My daugher still has Barbie, bunnies and Bratz dolls pictures on her wall and is NEVER allowed to watch music videos.

    So I realize now more than ever that at this age, she’s like a little sponge walking around absorbing EVERYTHING she hears and sees ๐Ÿ˜ฎ This is a little difficult at times becasue we live in a neighborhood full of rich, spoiled kids that are being raised with very few rules (which may explain why some of my daughter’s friends don’t like to come to our house that much) :laughing:

    However, I’m now much more diligent about with whom she associates.

    #75388
    rockfeverrockfever
    Participant

    i was thinking of this post earlier when i got a catalog in the mail for Lily’s kids. i guess this is an off shoot of lilian vernon. anywa it was a toy catalog and this is what i noticed:
    girl’s toys:
    “spa” sets for you and your doll.
    makeup kits
    diva dress up costumes
    leopard print loungewear
    after which came the more traditional girls toys

    boys toys:
    cars
    virtual reality sports
    construction kits
    more cars

    do you have a hard time finding appropriate toys for your girls?

    #75390
    LaramisaLaramisa
    Participant

    I’m getting tired of the constant requests for more barbie stuff. She doesn’t really seem to be interested in anything but this lately, and since they are constantly ever-so-slightly modifying the latest princess barbie or horse, there is always something she thinks she needs to have, even though she already has something almost identical. I’m trying to get her interested in making her own things to go with her barbie playing. Like making simple clothes herself, or furniture and houses out of boxes etc… I don’t have a problem with how they actually play with the barbie stuff – they always come up with very imaginative games and scenarios, so I think it’s good make-believe. It’s just the constant temptation to buy more stuff and overconsume.

    #75391
    Doc201XDoc201X
    Participant

    Originally posted by bermiegal:
    do you have a hard time finding appropriate toys for your girls?

    I don’t have a difficult time at all because I buy my daughter traditional “boy” toys too. For example while she does have the Barbie townhouse, dolls with cribs, and the doll clothes, she also has about 30 of hotwheels cars and a couple car racing tracks. She has a lot of toys that require “building” things like the dinosoar kits you find at craft stores and a little microscope too.(which shouldn’t be a suprise since I’m studying pathology ๐Ÿ˜‰ )Of course, my mother thought I was nuts for allowing her to play with such things at first but I think now she understands how inportant it is. :laughing:

    I personally think it’s imperative that girls get exposed to toys that lead to careers in science and engineering and these include many of the traditional “boy” toys. So next time you’re in walmart or Kmart, take a look down the isle with the race cars and erector sets.

    #75393
    Supermommy28Supermommy28
    Participant

    My daughter is really into Barbie and being a princess. I’m happy that she’s still really in that princess and fairy tale stage (Erikson, eat your heart out.) I’m not in any hurry for her to leave that stage. She does have a ton of Barbie stuff, some of which she was given. But, she also has a computer with several educational games on it (Reader Rabbit, Science explorers, Human Body explorer, etc.) She has lots of books of all kinds, including some on things like sharks which she’s fascinated with (even if the books are way above her level, she loves them.) And I also find that she plays a whole lot with things like my stethoscope. I actually have a second stethoscope (a real one–forget Fisher Price!) and I will often listen to my daughter’s heart/lungs while SHE listens to mine! I also garden when I have time and I have a second set of gardening utensils for my daughter. This weekend, she brought her barbie house and car/dolls outside, but ended up raking! (her choice!) I also take my daughter out hiking and camping regularly–in her pink hiking boots! ๐Ÿ˜Ž She does have toys, but they just aren’t all that important overall! I can feel good about the fact that my daughter is well-balanced. She may be a princess, but she’s a princess who rock-climbs! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I do have the same concerns–my daughter comes home from school (toothpick that she is) asking me if she’s FAT :boggled: And in all honesty, she focuses a whole lot more than I would like on her clothing–she is obsessed with “pretty shoes” and insists on wearing dresses all the time. I have no idea what this will evolve into over the next years. I can only hope that she will see mommy as an example of “strong femininity” and will adopt some of the same attitudes. I’m sure she’ll have her own slant in its expression. As a side note, we don’t have cable at my house and wouldn’t have time to watch it even if we did–so TV is not exerting its influence. I do think that makes a big difference. It isn’t that I’ve BANNED TV, we’re just always off doing other things–like climbing mountains! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    #75395
    LaramisaLaramisa
    Participant

    My daughter went through a phase where she wanted to wear dresses all the time – even though she was climbing trees and bike riding in them. But now she only wants blue jeans.
    We also do alot of hรฎking and mountain climbing, and she’s got a mixture of traditionally ‘boy’ toys too (train sets, cars). She and her girlfriends just seem to be most interested in barbie right now. (I think alot is the influence of friends – we don’t watch regular tv, just videos) Also the kids seem to have separated into boy and girl groups earlier than I expected. Only one boy in her school regularly plays with the girls, and the boys often try to exclude the girls from impromptu soccer games etc… My daughter is also taking karate with a class in which she is the only girl.
    She also came home last week and for the first time asked if she was fat (she’s 7). Her new best friend told her she was (yikes) – and she’s definitely not fat, though the friend is skinnier.

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