Bringing up Girls
I read an interesting book this week on this topic. How do we as parents ensure that our daughters are emotionally and physically healthy and stay that way? Is the process of bringing up boys and girls different? Are there healthy role models for girls and boys? Are we, as parents, good role models for our own children?
I think that many would agree that every child is different and it may be neccessary to adapt your parenting skills to suit the child, while maintaining a coherent parenting plan for the whole family. You can't very well have completely different rules for each child, because that is just unfair. But you can for example have later curfew times for older children. That is still fair. It may be that this is the way to parent children of different gender.
There are many expectations that parents, grandparents, teachers, other children and society have for children. Boys are generally expected to be rougher physically than girls. Girls are generally expected to be better behaved, have better manners, and be more studious in primary school. I think most parents will agree that there are this expectation, and they are different for the different genders. Whether parents agree that these expectations are right or wrong is an altogether different topic.
I think bringing up boys is a little easier because the expectations for boys and men aren't as confused as those for girls and women. Let's look at expectations for girls and women for the rest of the article and hopefully I can prove my point.
The expectations that parents have for their daughters is probably quite varied, but most of you probably want your daughters to be happy and to be the best person they can be. Perhaps the expectations on daughters from their dads and moms are slightly different, but I don't think that is where the difficulties lie mainly. I think that the media and society have such confusing expections for females that our daughters just don't know how to fit in, and this where the difficulty is.
Just think for a minute about what we see on the TV, internet, magazines, newspapers etc about women. The images of the perfect women portrayed are thin, beautiful, sexy, intelligent, outgoing, healthy, sporty.... But not too thin, not too beautiful, definately not too sexy because thats slutty., not too intelligent because thats not attractive, definately not too sporty because that's manly, and never, ever should women be fat. And there is more... they need to study hard so they can have a career, but they must also fit having children into this scenerio. It seems to me that women are headed for lives where exhaustion is the only thing that's definate.
Where are the normal, healthy role models for women? Are you a healthy role model for your daughter? I know that I am not. I work too hard, I put everyone else first, and i'm always exhausted.