Family and Parenting: Parenting Girls

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Deborah Costello
Deborah Costello
United States

Parenting Girls

I am challenged by parenting a 9-year-old daughter who is growing up faster than I did. Her friendships are intense. She is in the middle of a group of six girls who get very jealous when one of them is playing with her. Then the name-calling can become bitter. Have any of you had similar challenges - or successes with daughters?

Young feminists

I remember this age...it was traumatic being a young girl! Now that I'm older and have a little more feminist wisdom than I did at that age. I can see from my life how my society teaches young girls at an early age to compete with each other. We dolled ourselves up to compete for boys' attention. We spread rumors about each other to discredit each other. We fought our cat fights for the title of most popular.

I think that growing up in a patriarchical society ingrains in women that their are scarce positions of power designated for them and to earn them, you better beat out all the other women. It is the age-old divide and conquer mentality... keep us fighting with each other so we don't turn on the powers that be.

Of course, this isn't any sort of parenting advice! I don't know the first thing about raising children, but I do think that it is never too early to turn a young girl into a feminist :)

Masum Momaya, Curator
Masum Momaya, Curator
United States

Boys can be feminist too!

It's also never too early to share the values of feminism with young boys either! True gender equality is only going to be brought about when what it means to be male and what it means to be female - and the false perception that they are distinct and mutually exclusive - is transformed.

a failure in feminism?!

i belive bell hooks has spoken of this as a failure in earlier feminist thought...boys were not included in understanding the wrath of a sexist society...and the need to change that

focus was on little girls...the boys continued to hide their tears encouraged by all, even mothers, to toughen up!...the cycle continues!

i agree with you masum...

Thasneem Hoey
United States

Parenting

I run Parenting groups in NYC. Well it is better to help you child face such challenges because they will be ongoing. Good that she is able to share with your on an ongoing basis which goes to say that you have a good trusting relationship with your child. Being a good parent is an onging growth and understanding of the self. Children depend on their parents for their difficult answers on an ongoing basis.

Coming to the core issues. It is best to ask your daughter some important questions. Why do you think that other girls feel bad when you are friendly with other kids? (Actually her friends see her as someone good that they don't want to share her with others). And knowing this truth how is she going to speak to her friends knowing that they love her deep down.

What is it that she should address to them and reassure that she loves them right back? Her friends can know that real love is in sharing. Parents can be very crucial in helping kids understand. Parents can invite the children home and talk to them in a casual manner and help build their confidence in relating to one another. This will only help build healthy relationships and understanding of their own selves. Kids open up well when asked the right questions.

I hope I have helped you.

Anahi DeCanio
Anahi DeCanio
United States

Hi Renee...I'm the mother of two boys...Its never too late to turn a young boy into a feminist either!

Anahi DeCanio
Anahi DeCanio
United States

Didn't read the rest of the threads...Someone had already made the observation! As you might remember, I always like to tell people my dad was the first feminist in my life and he was 89...

hanou
Algeria

Parenting girls

Hello, I am parenting 2 girls. One is 6 and the other is almost 5. The two are very different from each other. One makes friends easily, and the other not. They are jealous from each other too, but they love each other. To solve any problem between them, I always try to find a win win solution. I think the best solution for your daughter is to play in group with her friends. Teach her to be careless with the name-calling, encourage her.
good day

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