The comments below were posted in a mom group I’m a part of on Facebook by a wonderfully talented mother who has a beautiful view of how she wants her daughter to be raised. The comments were spurred during a conversation in the group about how society’s perception of females is quite negative, so much so that the absolute worst insult for boys these days is to be called a girl. How do we as parents combat this narrow-minded view? How do we raise strong, confident women without creating extremists who believe their gender is better than the other? I loved what this mother had to say so much that I had to repost it here. I hope this inspires you as it has me.
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This is a seriously heavy responsibility for parents, I think. So heavy that in the process of trying to best prepare our children for the world, I think it’s easy to sometimes forget children will interpret some of this in their own way, separate from our influence.
I notice with my nephews on my husband’s side that they don’t engage me at all in “boyish” activities, like throwing balls or sports-like activities. My husband, for the record, does not enjoy that stuff. You know who does? Me. And I’m decent at it. I think their ideas about gender and activities are presumptuous and reinforced by their very traditional parents.
I also noticed with this same family that one of the daughters tried to instruct MY child on which toys were for boys and which were for girls. I corrected her. I will NOT have the myopic views of the world spouted through the mouth of a 5-year-old to the ears of my child.
Here’s the thing: I can’t change the world. I can only try to teach my kid that she is capable of great things. The same as I would teach a son, if I had one. I LOVE being a woman. I think it is the coolest. If I were a male, I’d probably feel the same way about being a man. People, when they are mad or hurt or frustrated, lash out by attacking what is different from them. Gender is one of the most obvious. I can’t change that. But I also don’t want to raise a kid with a superiority complex either.
Be great. Be kind. Be you. Be proud. Be humble. You are what you are.
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And what you are is beautiful…