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Things Girls Should Know - what are your thoughts?

(250 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 30-Jan-13 11:10:42

Last week, author and Mumsnet Blogger Kate Figes appeared on Woman's Hour with Steve Biddulph, author of the recently published Raising Girls.

The programme sparked plenty of discussion, and inspired a couple of interesting posts from Kate, who often writes about being the mother of teenage girls. The first (Things Girls Should Know About Bodies) - is here, and yesterday's post (Things Girls Should Know About Boys) is here.

It got us thinking here about things we'd like our daughters to know when they're older - and we thought we'd throw the discussion open to you. So, what are your own Things That Girls Should Know? Share your thoughts (and URLs if you blog) here.

TheLovingParent Wed 30-Jan-13 12:35:55

That she holds the answers within her. Her intuition will guide her, if she knows how to listen to it. If a girl knows that she has this inner strength and wisdom, she's much less likely to fall prey to outside pressures and influences. (I think!!) Same goes for mummies too!
As Steve Biddulph said at the start of his "Raising Girls" talk... WE (the parents) are the only experts on our children. We should never take other peoples' suggestions at face value, but find the answers within ourselves instead. smile

landrover Wed 30-Jan-13 14:12:51

I tell my nine year old that all boys smell! Im hoping i can keep that up till she s 21!!!!!!

cheapandchic Wed 30-Jan-13 14:29:29

There is ONLY ONE way to become more beautiful: work on building your character.

Beautiful women are kind, graceful, positive, intelligent and because they know these things, they are confident.

The size of your breasts or thickness of your waist is not going to captivate the opposite sex for more than five minutes.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Wed 30-Jan-13 14:34:13

you are loved for who you are, not what you look like.
do not believe him when he says 'but if you loved me you would....'
no All your friends are really not doing......

So, no need to buy the book then LovingParent ? wink

speculationisrife Wed 30-Jan-13 14:48:03

I want my daughter to have a strong enough sense of self to know this:

speculationisrife Wed 30-Jan-13 14:49:27

Sorry, this Link should work now!

MmeLindor Wed 30-Jan-13 14:53:55

Girls should know that if they believe in themselves, they can become Presidents, scientists, sportswomen, diplomats, or even a puppeteer. They should have faith in their decisions, accept that they will make mistakes or have mishaps, but that they should not let anything or anyone stop them reaching for the stars.

On a more practical note, I believe strongly that girls - and boys - should be taught how to recognise the signs of controlling behaviour. Many women have told me that when they read this blog post, they have recognised a past abusive relationship. They say that they wished someone had told them about this before they got involved with their partner.

SnowBusiness Wed 30-Jan-13 14:56:24

That all boys think know that alcohol will make the seduction easier. I figured that out at 32!

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Wed 30-Jan-13 14:57:39

an excellent article speculation

I think you do have to let girls know that it's not an equal world.

I wish it was a lot more equal so that that wouldn't be necessary but until it is I don't think I should pretend otherwise - especially to DD.

slug Wed 30-Jan-13 15:00:30

That boys lie in order to make themselves look big in their friends eyes.

MmeLindor Wed 30-Jan-13 15:05:52

Thanks for linking to that, Speculation. Good article.

I would add that girls should know that if they send a photo of their intimate body parts to a boy, he WILL send it on to his pals, even if he promises not to.

And that you cannot take back what has gone online. Huge issue for our kids in the coming years - companies will google your name when you apply for a job.

wishingchair Wed 30-Jan-13 15:14:48

That pictures of models/celebrities in magazines are fake.

That magazines like Closer and Heat are toxic and only serve to make you feel bad about yourself and mean about others.

That it's pretty easy to look amazing if you employ a team of stylists, hairdressers, beauticians and make-up artists. 99.9% of the population don't, so don't compare yourself to celebrities.

That confidence comes from within, and even if you had better clothes/shoes/hair/teeth/breasts/legs, you'd still be you. So work on your inner self way more than your outer self.

Females young and old get judged a lot. Be prepared for it, and don't do it to others. We're our own worst enemies.

That porn sex is not real sex.

That they, and only they, decide how intimate they want to be in a relationship. It's easy to lose your virginity, but not so easy to find it again.

That although women now can "have it all" (the fabulous job, the amazing wardrobe, the immaculate house, the perfect body), it doesn't mean you have to, should expect/want to, or would be happy if you did.

That a sense of humour in yourself, your friends and your partner is essential.

AbigailAdams Wed 30-Jan-13 15:39:25

Am I the only one to find it a bit depressing that a lot of these things we shouldn't have to tell our daughters and they are often as a result of mens/boys behaviour?

I would introduce them to feminism.

confusionoftheillusion Wed 30-Jan-13 15:42:15

Make sure you're financially independent

Yes, I agree AA I think introducing DD(13) to feminism is called for.

I think I've already made a good start, but maybe going to something like a "Million Women Rise" march would be good ? In fact I've just had a wee google !

AbigailAdams Wed 30-Jan-13 15:55:10

Oh yes that is great fun Juggling!

MmeLindor Wed 30-Jan-13 15:59:15

Good point, Abigail.

I'm going to look for a Million Women Rise march to take DD to.

mummybare Wed 30-Jan-13 16:06:01

Fantastic list, wishingchair smile

Saturday 9th March apparently !
Meet Oxford Street 12pm march to Trafalgar Square for 1pm.
What would it be like ?
Many young people ?
Anyone good at links ? (sorry I can't do them yet)
Was there one last Saturday (26th) ? Anyone go to that ?

Morebiscuitsplease Wed 30-Jan-13 16:07:53

Agree with confusionoftheillusion, really really important for a girl to be able to support herself so she does not have to be dependent on a man.

Would also tell my girls that nothing is as good as it seems and nothing is as bad as it seems.

Finally, things usually work out for the best.

Sparklyboots Wed 30-Jan-13 16:08:57

I think all girls should know that the expectations that seem to come from the world around them have a social history and agenda, which usually isn't about their liberation, choice or freedom of expression. I'm not sure telling them outright that how they look doesn't matter etc etc will be that helpful, since the whole world will be acting as if it does and you'd be sort of shoring up the point by addressing it in those terms. Rather, I'd be focusing on discussion about why particular things are seen as acceptable or desirable, what focusing upon and fetishing female appearance actually achieves and wondering with them how they might negotiate those difficulties.

That there's a whole lot more to life that has nothing to do with sex, men, your appearance and being attractive !

Looks are only skin deep and only take you so far in life, looks fade so work on your personality, fitness and education because they will take you further.

Berts Wed 30-Jan-13 16:10:48

That it's not important to be liked by everyone, or to always be a 'good girl'.

The 'girls are good/nice/pleasing' trope (while boys are allowed to be 'naughty') is probably the most damaging. My niece has been horribly bullied at school (now at different school) because she is nice and wants to be liked, and doesn't know how to respond to bitchiness, so responds by trying harder to be liked.

I dread to think how that will translate to how she lets boys treat her when she's older!

And then when we get to work, we think that if we're 'good girls' and work hard and keep our heads down, we'll be noticed and rewarded for our hard work - and of course, we're not!

Let's stop teaching girls that the most important thing is to be liked. If they're happy, confident, kind people, the right people will like them anyway. The rest can f**k off - and that's not a bad thing.

X post with Sparklyboots - yes extremely well put smile

Berts Wed 30-Jan-13 16:13:52

Oh, and porn is to real sex what 'Die Hard' is to real policing (I'd like to tell that to the poor boys too!)

anklebitersmum Wed 30-Jan-13 16:33:43

As Judge Judy Sheindlin so rightly says beauty fades, dumb is forever

Never settle for second best, especially in relationships.

If you wouldn't want to show a photo to your Nan and/or Dad don't take it in the first place.

Men are after one thing from 13 to 103. Most of them will say and do anything to get it.

If you put out on the first date you're unlikely to get a second.

Success genuinely is the best revenge.

williaminajetfighter Wed 30-Jan-13 16:36:30

wishingchair i wish you were my mum.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Wed 30-Jan-13 16:39:29

Ooh, good question. Will be back later with more but initial thoughts are:

- You WILL look back and think you looked gorgeous (yes, even if there are photos where you have two chins or no boobs, it's just a bad photo) so you might as well enjoy being gorgeous now rather than wasting time hating yourself.

- Qualifications/things you've learnt are the one thing that NO-ONE can ever take away from you, whether that be GCSEs or how to cure hiccups or how to put up a shelf. Your brain is a wonderful thing so fill it up.

- Fashion always changes, that's the whole point of it, but the colours and shapes that suit you will stay much the same. Either choose your own unique style if you have an eye for it, otherwise stick to what makes you feel good rather than having to wear pink/PVC/tunics/skinnies because they're in fashion if they make you feel like a bit of a dick.

- Yes you will certainly have boys who like you, you will be kissed and have sex if you want to. Honest. Even if you think you have a big bum or you're too tall or whatever. Honest.

- Mooncups are amazing and will save you a bloody fortune!

- Your conscience is there for a reason, listen to it.

Sparklyboots Wed 30-Jan-13 16:49:42

Not sure about all this searching 'within ourselves'. As if what I think and feel as a parent hasn't been affected at all by the fact that I live in a particular time and place, with particular values and beliefs. Or that the hypothetical girl will be searching 'herself' for a similarly untouched and transcendent answer to a question which I'd bet my house was culturally specific (shall I sleep with x? should I dye my hair? what a-levels shall I do?). Sounds a bit like essentialising what are cultural values to me, and deciding that girls and boys need different parenting because of who they are, rather than because of what we expect them to become.

MoodyDidIt Wed 30-Jan-13 16:53:58

<marking place> ...for future conversations with little dd who i just can't imagine ever being anything other than a sweet, innocent little 3 yr old

louisianablue2000 Wed 30-Jan-13 17:00:07

Be a geek. Geeks get the opportunities to do the most interesting and well paid jobs. Well paid jobs give you freedoms that other jobs just can't. It also means you hang out with geek boys and they like smart women and therefore make good husbands.

wishingchair Wed 30-Jan-13 17:01:00

williaminajetfighter ... ah yes, I can talk a good line, but have no idea if what I say goes in or if it is just a roll of eyes and blah blah blah!

and elephants yes! I look at teenage girls and they are so fresh looking and full of life. I want to grab them and give them a good shaking and tell them they look amazing, and definitely better than they will at 40 so make most of it!!

abbyfromoz Wed 30-Jan-13 17:15:42

Mummy and daddy adore you.
You are the most precious thing to us and you should trust in your God given female intuition. Don't be afraid to be feminine- it's a gift! If people try to squash you for being too sensitive, don't listen to them! There's something wrong with them not you! You are powerful! You can make things happen! Follow your heart and be who you are. Never smoke! I made those lungs and it was bloody painful to push out 10.5lbs of child without drugs! So don't wen thing about ruining those lungs! or that liver! or anything else for that matter!! I will constantly remind you of the sacrifice i made for you (yeah yeah your dad too... Sort of?) revere the mum guilt! You too will possess this power one day. As did my mother before me! grin

wishingchair Wed 30-Jan-13 17:20:42

And yes I totally agree - financial independence is key, or at least the ability to be financially independent should circumstances change. If you have that as an objective, then that should inform some of the decisions you make. My DH had to take ill health retirement from work ... Thank god I have a job and can support us as although he has a pension, we couldn't live on it.

feministefatale Wed 30-Jan-13 17:21:39

If you put out on the first date you're unlikely to get a second

Only with the kind of man who you wouldn't want a second date with anyway, a decent guy isn't going to be interested in playing games with you where you have to not have consensual enjoyable sex together so you don't look like a slag

wishingchair Wed 30-Jan-13 17:23:22

And finally from me ...
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is
If you wouldn't like your actions/words on the front page of the newspaper, don't do/say them
If something doesn't feel right, walk away
And always talk to someone ... Me, a trusted friend, relative, anyone.

MmeLindor Wed 30-Jan-13 17:23:33

'Finding yourself' or looking inside yourself is too much to ask of a young girl, but we have to encourage them to believe in their self worth.

Yes, they are going to have to work with the society in which they were born, but it doesn't mean they can't challenge assumptions and low expectations.

specialsubject Wed 30-Jan-13 17:24:27

- that if shoes mean that you cannot walk properly, they are useless shoes and you are a fool for buying or wearing them.

- that makeup is optional.

- that being high-maintenance makes you very boring. Wash and go.

- that you should study the subjects that interest you, regardless of the gender of the other students.

- that 'no' means 'no' however you dress; but your behaviour must back up your words. If it is 'no', don't say 'maybe' or 'later', and if he thinks the subject is up for discussion, don't discuss -leave.

ithaka Wed 30-Jan-13 17:24:42

It isn't important what they think of you what matters is what you think of them. There is no need to try and please people you don't admire.

Get qualifications, get a good job and earn your own money. Self determination requires financial independence - don't give that up for anyone.

feministefatale Wed 30-Jan-13 17:28:14

I'd tell dd that being with a man (or a woman) and finding one won't be the most important thing she ever does, so don't worry about it,no matter what TV or movies say. The only remarkable relationships I have ever known happened when both parties were busy being awesome. She is her own person, being selfish is only frowned on when women do it, and make herself happy

ithaka Wed 30-Jan-13 17:30:12

The only remarkable relationships I have ever known happened when both parties were busy being awesome.

Oooh, I like that!

curryeater Wed 30-Jan-13 17:31:37

I will say to my daughters: talk to me. I will always love you. Everyone needs help sometimes, one of the great things in life is to have trustworthy people who you can ask for it, and the first one, and the one who will not ever, ever, ever go off you is me. I know you won't always want to talk to me, but do it anyway.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Wed 30-Jan-13 17:40:39

If life feels out of kilter and sad, have a hug, a bath or time with female friends.

EnjoyResponsibly Wed 30-Jan-13 17:43:36

Would you also tell your daughters that there's also an army of women raising sons to believe in equality, kindness and consideration toward women and not (just on thus thread alone) to believe porn sex is real, to rely on manipulation or drink to have sex, or lie or smell.

Thanks smile

PastaB Wed 30-Jan-13 17:45:11

I agree that I want my DD to know the importance of being financially independent and having her own pension.

I want her to know that she can choose whether or not she wants to have children and that having babies is enormously exciting if you so choose but so is having a career and she can do both if she wants.

PastaB Wed 30-Jan-13 17:47:01

Oh yes enjoyresponsibly I shall. Thank you.

EnjoyResponsibly Wed 30-Jan-13 17:47:36


Jux Wed 30-Jan-13 17:48:38

I want dd to know that she can lead a very happy and fulfilled life whether or not she 'settles down and has children'. I want her to know how to spot abusive relationships, abusive people, and to get out immediately, that life is too short.

There are lots of positive things I want her to know too, at least some of which are already on this thread.

MmeLindor Wed 30-Jan-13 17:48:47

Thank you for that post - it brought tears to my eyes.

myalias Wed 30-Jan-13 17:50:10

If time spent with a boyfriend isn't as much fun as being with your male and female friends it is time to let him go.

Bells21 Wed 30-Jan-13 17:51:27

Trust your instincts but don't place real trust in anyone - particularly men......and remember that the purpose of life is not to arrive safely at your grave.

redpickle Wed 30-Jan-13 17:52:58

Always check that there is toilet roll before you ....go!

myalias Wed 30-Jan-13 17:59:56

Share a house with male and female friends before you move in with a boyfriend it will teach you all the life skills you need.

StephanieDA Wed 30-Jan-13 18:00:18

I think we need to teach our girls (and boys) to be savvy about the media images they see all around them, and bring them up to know how they are being manipulated by them. This subject can be one which is always open for discussion from before they hit the teen years. Let's empower them to know what they are seeing rather than being unconsciously influenced by it. I wrote my blog on this subject a couple of weeks ago:

The importance of financial independence.
Emotional resilience.

And more mundanely:
How to change a flat tyre
How to budget
How to jump start a car
How to cook
How to do the basics of DIY
How to open a bottle of champagne
How to read a wine list

And how to make a proper cup of tea grin

In all fairness, these are things I would want to teach my son too, if I had one.

Back2Two Wed 30-Jan-13 18:09:28

I am assuming many of these posters have only girls?

I only have boys. I find some of these opinions alarming.

Am I the only one to find it a bit depressing that a lot of these things we shouldn't have to tell our daughters and they are often as a result of mens/boys behaviour?

That boys lie in order to make themselves look big in their friends eyes.

Trust your instincts but don't place real trust in anyone - particularly men

What sort of advice is that? Especially the last one : If you can't place real trust in anyone what sort of person will you be and what sort of life will you lead? Jeez. Everyone will get hurt at some point, but we live and learn. Never place real trust in anyone? sad

If some of the posts on here are going to be acted on, you will be painting a very negative picture of boys/men.

You can build one genders' strengths, confidence, esteem and respect without making them lack respect for the other gender.

If you have had bad relationships yourself do not project your bad experiences onto your parenting. Hope that your daughters and sons can expect so much better.

My mum told me to "treat men like shit". Not the best advice I have ever received I have to say.

Never be dependent on a man (or a woman), always be able to leave if you so choose.

If someone says "If you loved me you would..." then the response is "If you loved me you wouldn't make me". Because he wouldn't.

Your friends are not all at it. Not even all of the girls who claim to have had their first period are telling the truth.

The onus on mothers-of-boys is heavy too, of course. My biggest challenge is how to raise them with respect for other people's bodies and feelings. It shouldn't be, but with my history I feel obligated.

Starting off by having a DH (their father) who does mostly respect and value women is a good start.

anklebitersmum Wed 30-Jan-13 18:29:21

My Dad told me about young men-said he was better qualified than Mum on the basis he once was one.

I have sons and daughters and I'll be telling them pretty much the same thing and expecting the same kind of morality from both sexes. I will expect all of them to treat others as they expect to be treated and be genuine.

I haven't been 'PC' with my comments because sometimes, whether you like it or not and regardless of whether it's fair or not, that's just how it is.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 30-Jan-13 18:41:11

What I would tell my daughter is no different to what I would tell my son.

Success only comes with hard work, but work the hardest at the things you love the most.
If someone makes you feel bad they are not really your friend.
Think about the way that the things you do affect other people.
Don't forget that everyone feels insecure-some people just don't show it.
Take responsibility for your actions.
Sex is much better when it is with someone you love and who loves you.
Be true to yourself.

I certainly wouldn't tell my daughter not to "put out" on a first date because then she wont be respected. That would be very hypocritical of me..!

AbigailAdams Wed 30-Jan-13 18:42:33

I am not sure why you quoted me there Back2Two? Can you expand? Mine wasn't advice, it was an observation on previous comments. And I don't only have girls.

LOL @ how to open a bottle of champagne and how to read a wine list Hearts

I fear my DC's may need to learn rather different skills ! smile

AbigailAdams Wed 30-Jan-13 18:54:32

Oh I missed that Hearts grin. You never know Juggling your DC may become chefs or restauranteurs or waitors/maitre'ds

VenusRising Wed 30-Jan-13 19:11:36

Girls need to know:

that they have to fight for their rights, still, in this age of supposed freedoms, the fight continues, and must continue until every woman and girl, man and boy are treated equally and with respect.

The gender pay gap is an absolute disgrace, and in nobody's interests.

That they must negotiate a 20% increase in any starting salary, and any rise, and that they should be prepared to walk out if the negotiation breaks down.

Women are still paid 20% less for a job, any job than a man, any man does, just because he's male.

Never take second best.

That you own your body, all of it, and you have 100% say as to what happens to you.
Fight for your reproductive rights to have a choice.

Or get swept away by a handsome Prince ?

(DD or DS naturally, we're all open to a good opportunity grin)

EnjoyResponsibly Wed 30-Jan-13 19:16:55

Ive been pondering this thread during dinner. In life I have to say that I have been treated far worse by girls and women than by men. Yes, boyfriends have broken my heart and battered my trust.

But it was girls at school that judged and bullied because I was a bit more interested in school than they were.

It's been girls that have egged me on in drink fuelled situations, and despite having been sailing equally close to the wind, have humiliated me the following day.

It's been girls and women that have bitched and colluded in the workplace to draw attention to themselves. One very nearly got me fired using her affair with our boss to ensure I got dropped in the shit.

And shamefully, on accession I have been just like them because I didn't trust my own judgement.

So to my daughter I would say stand tall, if necessary prepare to stand alone, use your integrity to seek others of a like mind. Say yes or no and bloody well mean it. Expect a full education and exploit it to your full potential. Find a job you enjoy, friends you can trust and using these skill expect a love that makes you smile.

Also if you can hang wallpaper, cook eggs on toast and mix a killer gin and tonic that'd help smile

Back2Two Wed 30-Jan-13 19:18:48

Hi abigail I think it was because that statment seemed to just perpetuate the (generalised) feeling that boys=bad and nasty and girls=sweet and innocent and need protecting from boys.

As you know, if you are a feminist, it's society that needs to change . Boys and girls are both innocents. Parents have a real heavy duty to raise boys and girls to respect each other.

feministefatale Wed 30-Jan-13 19:24:13

Am I the only one to find it a bit depressing that a lot of these things we shouldn't have to tell our daughters and they are often as a result of mens/boys behaviour?

What can you possibly fault with the above comment backtotwo?

And the world will never be PC ankl if we continue to spread shit and misogyny to the next generation

feministefatale Wed 30-Jan-13 19:25:42

Abigail was saying that previous posters should not teach their daughters to alter their behaviour when men are the ones causing the problems.

For example, don't tell your daughter to not walk alone at night, tell your son to not go out raping at night.

feministefatale Wed 30-Jan-13 19:27:52

I have a feelin that people who say "putting out" don't really enjoy sex at all. It's said in such a derogatory way.

Back2Two Wed 30-Jan-13 19:29:00

Men are after one thing from 13 to 103. Most of them will say and do anything to get it.

How insulting. Is this what we are teaching girls? Then they will expect nothing better and have no respect for men.

Really? All men? The male friends that I have and my husband must be from a different planet than the men referred to on here. Lucky me. I respect my husband and he has never, ever been "after one thing". He has a brain as well as a penis.

EnjoyResponsibly Wed 30-Jan-13 19:31:21

<Proffers DH a seat on the bench next to Backs DH>

Back2Two Wed 30-Jan-13 19:31:21

feminsite i have explained my feelings about that statement. See my reaction to "Men are after one thing from 13 to 103. Most of them will say and do anything to get it." for more explanation of this general trend to simply blame boys and teach girls that they are innocent victims from the off.

Dangerous stuff

MoonLighter Wed 30-Jan-13 19:36:17

Backtotwo - but how will parents teach boys and girls to respect eachother if the message appears to be boys=bad? How will a girl grow up to respect a man with that sort of attitude?

MoonLighter Wed 30-Jan-13 19:38:18

Sorry backtotwo - i think i read your post wrong. The question is still out there for anyone who wants to answer it?

feministefatale Wed 30-Jan-13 19:40:18

i agree regarding your other quotes but absolutely think you have got it totally wrong regarding abigails as it was clear what she was commenting on.

marriedinwhite Wed 30-Jan-13 19:41:39

That their mother's love is unconditional (and their father's)
That even though I might disagree with her, I will always support her
That life is easier with a plan and mistakes avoided
That potential should be maximised
Ambitions need to be realistic
If you can't take the money out of the bank to pay for it you can't afford it
Financial independence is vital
You can always come home; whatever has happened, whatever you have done, there will always be a home for you here and we will do our best to keep you safe.
If a man hits you once he will do it again.
There is nothing wrong with making the best of yourself
It is better to wear flat shoes and have feet respectable enough for flip flops at 50 than to suffer agonies as a 20 year old and ruin you feet

Not far different from what I would tell our son.

Back2Two Wed 30-Jan-13 19:42:07

That's exactly what I said was wrong moon ....I said :

I think it was because that statment seemed to just perpetuate the (generalised) feeling that boys=bad and nasty and girls=sweet and innocent and need protecting from boys.

I'm saying that the above generalisations are wrong. Of course we shouldn't teach that boys are bad. We should aim to teach both genders self respect, esteem and reliance without blame on the other gender. And teach them to respect, trust and know when to rely on any other human being regardless of gender.

MoonLighter Wed 30-Jan-13 19:42:31

feministefatale - do you respect men?

Back2Two Wed 30-Jan-13 19:43:01

That is self respect, self esteem and self reliance...

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 30-Jan-13 19:44:04

yy married. I keep telling ds that my red stilletoes will ruin his feet!

AbigailAdams Wed 30-Jan-13 19:44:27

Yes to what feministfatale said.

MoonLighter Wed 30-Jan-13 19:45:16

Ok Back2Two, i think i got mixed up. That makes sense smile

feministefatale Wed 30-Jan-13 19:45:50

I respect individuals based on their own merits. I don't respect groups that became a group based on their being born. It's like saying do I respect white people, or the Spanish.

Can I ask which comment of mine gave you the impression I don't respect men? You seem to be getting confused about posters now.

AbigailAdams Wed 30-Jan-13 19:46:33

I also agree with you on the other examples you have given.

AbigailAdams Wed 30-Jan-13 19:47:16

That was to Back2Two.

Springdiva Wed 30-Jan-13 19:49:08

Getting DD interested in a sport is a good idea.
Any sport probably. There she might learn team work and shared effort and that getting sweaty and untidy is irrelevant (especially if you win). She might also get fit and meet new people, it's a great ice breaker if you move away to a new area or university.

feministefatale Wed 30-Jan-13 19:50:36

It is women who believe a man can't control himself because a woman wears a short skirt or that believe men won't respect a woman for enjoying having sex with him on the first date that don't respect men.

MoonLighter Wed 30-Jan-13 19:53:43

I think i would say:

Save. If you really want something it is so much more rewarding when you have saved up to buy it and avoid instant gratification.

Mannors and respect are very important. You can get far in life with basic mannors.

Respect boys/men, they are your equal. You are not better than them and they are not better than you.

Don't expect anything for nothing.

Choose the path you want to take in life, not the path that is expected of you.

People relationships are more important than material goods. Aim to form good relationships to help make you happy, not material goods.

feministefatale Wed 30-Jan-13 19:55:22

I hope to get dd in to sport too sprin, girls who do sports are less likely to suffer from eating disorders and have more self esteem

Back2Two Wed 30-Jan-13 20:06:24

Ok,yes is I can see that about abigails comment. Perhaps I was analysing it too much. And it is sad yes.

I am sincerely hoping that the parents of boys are not just bad-mouthing girls to them as part of the growing up advice they are providing them with.

MoonLighter Wed 30-Jan-13 20:11:12

I can safely say that as a parent of both genders i will be bringing them up to respect eachother and certainly won't be bad mouthing boys to girls or vice verca. Quite often if someone is labeled as something long enough, they start turning into the label.

sneezecakesmum Wed 30-Jan-13 20:31:25

Boys/men say they love you just for sex. Sad but true and the sooner its learned the sooner the bullshit radar will kick in grin

Liked yours marriedinwhite especially ...

Your mother's love is unconditional, and
You can always come home, whatever has happened

Love goes a long way IMHO smile

marriedinwhite Wed 30-Jan-13 20:47:03

Indeed smile

MmeLindor Wed 30-Jan-13 20:52:34

I agree with you. I have a boy and a girl, and I raise them both to respect others, regardless of gender.

I also agree that statements such as 'boys are only after one thing' are completely wrong. There are plenty of decent guys who are not only interested in sex, but are interested in the girl / woman they are involved in.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 30-Jan-13 20:56:38

If I want sex with a man they can say whatever they like. If they are crap at it, then I won't respect them.

thunksheadontable Wed 30-Jan-13 21:01:13

Not as a mother of boys but as a WOMAN, I find a lot of this advice alarming.
I don't want to raise any child of mine to feel they can never trust or put faith in anyone or, indeed, to push my fears or insecurities borne of my experience onto them.

My father told me not to trust men, they will tell you they love you for sex when I first went to him at 20 to tell him my then-boyfriend had said the three magic words. Totally fucked me up that sort of attitude. Turned out the sex fiend has stuck around 15 years on and is loving, kind and caring and not the animal my father might have painted him to be in my eyes.

All this financial independence buys self-determination nonsense also irritates me despite the truth in the value of money. My grandmother, an abused woman with no qualifications or training, left her husband at the age of 58 and THEN became a childcarer, working until she was 70. She also worked like a demon with her household budget and kept 8 kids fed and watered and in clothes with a pittance, and when she finally left, went to counselling, set up a new home with no support from anyone and has made literally hundreds of friends in the 32 years she has been out of that house.

Money didn't give her freedom, nor did lack of it trap her. What trapped her was the cultural expectation that she couldn't leave and a world where she wouldn't have been able to make money as a woman (this was when there was still a marriage ban). My grandmother ALWAYS was whole and self-determining even when in the throes of a horrific abusive relationship. She always argued back, she was not beaten down even if her bones were broken. She raised her kids to be kind and to have self-worth and remarkably they all ended up highly educated, decent law abiding citizens who didn't repeat any of their father's behaviour or end up in relationships where they were abused as she was. Money didn't make that happen. She made that happen. You are whole as you are, with or without money. Money just gives certain choices BUT if you find yourself without it, the strength is in finding another way, not in having a particular job or set of qualifications at that time. Women's strength is not to buyable or to be bought. It just is.

I think advice in general is overrated, and I think as a parent your job first and foremost is to be mindful. To parent in the moment, not to impose your fears and frustrations and ideologies on your children but to see them as they are, to run alongside them in the lap of the relay of life that you share, to be present with them as they work the world out. This doesn't mean you don't share your perspectives and experiences, just that you realise that your understanding of the world is as limited as any one else's: we all see but through a glass darkly.

I think anything that has the potential to limit your child's excitement for and enthusiasm about the world has to be shared with extreme caution and certainly blanket generalisations that encourage distrust and fear wouldn't be what I would want to pass on to any daughter, or any son. I don't want to tell my daughter to be careful not to be raped at night nor my son not to rape at night. Both impose a world view that is pretty bloody miserable, even if it is a reality that these things happen. I'd rather teach them both to really pause and listen to that inner voice that makes them feel comfortable or not in the moment (e.g. to listen to that instinct that says you are unsafe somewhere), I'd rather them to make mindful decisions that were in keeping with their values for themselves and for the world (e.g. not acting with violence towards anyone)... but if they don't, that's sort of up to them.

Our children have a right to their own sovereignty. We can try to pass on messages that we think are useful but in the end of the day, they may not be interested in those messages and/or no matter what we do, they may end up an abuser or in an abusive relationship or doing terrible things or having terrible things done to them. We have so little control and what difference we usually make is only through our actions and not our words. If you want strong, assertive kids who don't let themselves be abused - be a strong, assertive woman who doesn't let yourself be abused.. but be aware that even this might not stop your daughter being in that situation. It's just so complex.

feministefatale Wed 30-Jan-13 21:05:29

But if your children are having sex because they want to and not to make some one they love happy then it won't work sneeze.

So maybe the key is to make sure they have healthy ideas about sex being something you do for fun not as a bargaining chip.

mine are babies though so I can say all this with out really worrying about it!

ithaka Wed 30-Jan-13 21:06:35

My mum always used to tell me 'boys are only human being too'. They are not to be hero worshiped or feared - they have the same insecurities and need for love that we do.

I have been very lucky in my relationships with men (and have a happy long term marriage) - my mum spoke sense!

MmeLindor Wed 30-Jan-13 21:09:36

'I think anything that has the potential to limit your child's excitement for and enthusiasm about the world has to be shared with extreme caution and certainly blanket generalisations that encourage distrust and fear wouldn't be what I would want to pass on to any daughter, or any son.'

I totally agree with that.

At the same time, I do think that some warnings should be given - such as a warning against people who will try to control others. This could be other girls, or a potential partner / boyfriend.

thunksheadontable Wed 30-Jan-13 21:22:14

MmeLindor, it's hard though, isn't it? I shared a room with this terribly charismatic girl back in university who everyone thought was amazing initially, and it took a long time before anyone really saw how manipulative and controlling she was. How do you warn your child about these kind of things when the ways in which that sort of personality presents can be so idiosyncratic? This girl basically became a mirror, she could be anything she worked out you wanted/needed.. I think you can share these experiences with your kids but in some ways, they have to find out for themselves. Though my mother did offer to buy me a ghettoblaster (!!!!) if I said I wouldn't move in with this girl a third year running because she could see what I couldn't!

Back2Two Wed 30-Jan-13 21:29:54

I like your mums advice ithaka

Smudging Wed 30-Jan-13 21:47:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyMaryCrawley Wed 30-Jan-13 21:49:42

Everyone is too busy worrying about what everyone else thinks of them to think the things about you that you're worried they're thinking.

Show your cleavage OR your legs, never both. Or don't show anything if you'd rather not.

Don't believe the marketing. Everything and everyone is airbrushed.

happybubblebrain Wed 30-Jan-13 21:51:38

I tell dd that girls are much better than boys.
I was saying that when I was 5 and I'm still staying it.
One day men will realise and know their place.

Birthhippy9 Wed 30-Jan-13 21:52:06

How to read her own fertility and health and so not be reliant on devises or drugs.

Corygal Wed 30-Jan-13 21:56:05

Your main competitor in life should be yourself.

Attention from other people is not an end in itself.

Beauty won't bring the rewards everyone suggests it will. It doesn't get you anywhere, really.

MmeLindor Wed 30-Jan-13 22:12:30

I wrote this about controlling relationships - aimed at preteen girls:

Have you ever had a friend who behaves like this:

Always wants to spend time with you and doesn’t like when you play with others

Gets angry if you don’t do what she wants to do

Contacts you all the time, even when you have gone home.

Wants to be like you, or wants you to be like her. Copies your clothes and your hairstyle

Doesn’t take notice of your feelings, it is all about what she wants

Makes a fool of you in front of others, to make them laugh

If you object to this, tells you that you have no sense of humour, and that it was just a joke

Is moody and unpredictable, and blames you for anything that goes wrong

When you do something she doesn’t like, she ‘punishes’ you by ignoring you, or playing with someone else

Pinches, kicks or hits you

You might still think of this girl as your friend, and she can be a lot of fun at times, and you want to continue to spend time with her.

We would call her controlling. She wants to get her own way, and she does this by making you feel bad about yourself.

I think that being able to recognise someone like your Uni friend is incredibly important.

If girls can recognise that in their school friends, they are more likely to recognise it in an adult - whether it is an abusive man, or a manipulative colleague.

thunksheadontable Wed 30-Jan-13 22:28:26

I like that advice... I swear, it is like reading a personality profile of that girl!!

LineRunner Wed 30-Jan-13 22:39:51

Things girl should know?


I just thought of another really important one - take charge of your own fertility and always be responsible for your own contraception.

Haven't quite had to tackle this one yet as DD1 is only 9, but I am sure the day is coming faster than I care to think.

holy fuck I have just freaked myself right out

mathanxiety Thu 31-Jan-13 07:21:23

That there are no shortcuts to financial security. Do it yourself. Don't rely on anyone else.

To always put your best foot forward and not talk yourself down in front of others. To never jump up to make or serve the coffee or hand around food, and never, ever to clean or tidy up an office or conference room used by the group you are with.

That Feminist is not a dirty word.

mathanxiety Thu 31-Jan-13 07:23:07

Amen to that Linerunner -- girls should do calc and the highest level of science classes possible.

ComradeJing Thu 31-Jan-13 07:45:59

That trying to be popular in high school is like trying to be mayor of a town that won't exist in 4 years.

Drive is as important as intelligence. Looks aren't important at all.

Back2Two Thu 31-Jan-13 08:04:26

*I tell dd that girls are much better than boys.
I was saying that when I was 5 and I'm still staying it.
One day men will realise and know their place*

This thread has opened my eyes.
I despair.

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 08:15:27

These are not the thoughts of the majority of parents. I don't think girls are better than boys, or that boys are hateful creatures just waiting for a chance to take advantage of my daughter. How could I, when it would mean I think less of my son - and the sons of my friends and family.

I join in you disquiet about those who are posting these kinds of comments.

Back2Two Thu 31-Jan-13 09:27:06

I hope so MmeL and I do appreciate that lots of women on here have some excellent advice that is not gender biased.

It's just depressing that people (women) are proud to admit that they are blithely passing on awful negative stereotyping and generalisations about boys and men. And this advice is the best they can give for apparently producing the next generation of balanced, individuals who will have successful relationships? If they can't see the flaws in this it is quite scary.

AntimonySalts Thu 31-Jan-13 09:29:14

I have a boy and a girl, and would say that there is one thing that both genders need to know. Namely that I like them, respect them, and think the world is a better place for having them in it. In turn, they both need to show consideration and respect for other people.

They need to know that I am always available for them (teenagers need a parent to be available just as much as toddlers do) when they need me to be available, not when it fits in with my schedule (my experience of girls particularly is that there is one important nugget in three hours of rambling on - but if you're not there, you will miss that crucial nugget).

This mundane, day-to-day communication and their absolute certainty that I will always be there (and that I will always tell them when I think their behaviour needs amending) gives them complete security. That in turn makes it much more likely that they will both make sensible, responsible decisions, and will respect other people, male and female alike. It doesn't guarantee it, but I think it gives them a better chance.

EnjoyResponsibly Thu 31-Jan-13 09:47:38

I tell dd that girls are much better than boys

What a well-rounded, well thought through attitude you have. Or are you trying and yet failing spectacularly to be funny?

Ruk898 Thu 31-Jan-13 09:48:56

I would tell both boys and girls to choose their friends and lovers and not just let themselves be chosen.

ponydilemma Thu 31-Jan-13 09:54:41

How to ride, swim, build a den in the countryside, look after a dog and how to comfort a sad friend. If they manage all this then they'll be fine.

ponydilemma Thu 31-Jan-13 09:59:04

I don't spend any time discussing controlling friends or body image with my daughters. I think going on and on about it is pointless. Teach them to be physically strong and fit, how to be kind and not to take themselves too seriously. My daughters have never moaned about their body image and to be honest I wouldn't be very sympathetic if they did. They are healthy and in one piece and should be grateful for that, if they are obsessing about weight and appearance I would feel as though I had failed, it is boring and makes them boring.

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 10:10:12

I can't begin to tell you how many women have told me that they recognise the 'red flags' of controlling relationships in retrospect - years after leaving an abusive partner.

We are talking of sneaky, manipulative and difficult to spot behaviour that doesn't happen overnight.

Being able to recognise it might help my girl run fast in the opposite direction if she meets such a man. Teaching it from an early age as part of talking about bullying is important cause some girls get involved with men like this while still in their teens.

Girls don't just have to be physically strong, they need to be able to defend themselves against bullying - be it in school, in the workplace or in a relationship.

ponydilemma Thu 31-Jan-13 10:14:26

I wouldn't dream of having to explain controlling behaviour to them. If they are happy and confident in their own skin I doubt they will suffer with this. If they do, hopefully they will learn from it and move on. If the sad day comes when they are involved with an abusive man (god forbid) I will offer them a place to stay. It will be up to them to get themselves out of it. Yes, they've met bullying and bitchy girls and I have taught them to laugh at it and see it for what it is - jealousy and ignorance.

ponydilemma Thu 31-Jan-13 10:15:28

And I firmly believe that being physically strong and being able to do 'daring' things like riding or diving helps girls in ways that we can't underestimate.

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 10:19:10

The point is to prevent them getting involved with an abusive man.

Men don't suddenly become abusive overnight. There is a slow process that - if you know the signs - can perhaps be recognised and escaped from.

Do your kids a favour - even if you don't agree with what I'm saying - google 'red flags of abusive behaviour' or read the links I posted. You don't have to speak to the kids about this, but at least open your mind to this and read about it.

Why wouldn't you want to protect them from a life of abuse? And don't think that being strong confident women will protect them. I know plenty of women who I would have describes as confident, who were abused by their partners.

ponydilemma Thu 31-Jan-13 10:28:10

Giving them lots of self-esteem and surrounding them with nice people so they understand how nice people work probably helps. I have to say it hasn't ever occurred to me to even think about it, I have never lived or gone out with an abusive man, I don't think I even know any. I've met a few idiots in my time but they haven't really featured on my radar. I know there are lots of women who obsess over everything men say and do which I find terribly pathetic.

ponydilemma Thu 31-Jan-13 10:30:42

I only like nice men and luckily all the men I know are nice. There's absolutely nothing to make me think my daughters won't have the same experience. If you are saying that a nice kind man can turn into an abusive monster overnight then we are all doomed. If by 'red flags' you mean realising that some blokes are prats then you discover that when you are at university.

Isthisme Thu 31-Jan-13 10:37:01

"I tell dd that girls are much better than boys" - God, what a role model.

I despair at some of the ridiculous comments here.

Back2two - I'm with you.

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 10:41:11

You've been lucky then. You don't know that your kids will be that lucky.

I don't mean nice men who turn into abusers overnight. I mean abusers who pretend to be nice.

No one would get involved with an abusive men if it was clear from the start that he was an abuser. That's how they get their victims. By appearing to be lovely and kind, loving and thoughtful.

I don't want to take this thread off topic but if you want to know more, would be happy to discuss this on another thread.

thunksheadontable Thu 31-Jan-13 10:46:01

And I think it's worth saying here that women can abuse men in this way just as they can abuse their female friends like this. It's probably worthwhile everyone knowing that you can't always judge a book by its cover.

curryeater Thu 31-Jan-13 10:49:23

I want to go and live in the Center-Parcs style geodesic dome where Pony's house is, which is a sunique exclusion zone, the only place in the world where girls are not judged on their appearance and therefore get no hang ups about it

ponydilemma Thu 31-Jan-13 11:11:48

grin it is a bit like that. We live in the country and have lots of animals and the girls are expected to help. I'm not interested if any of my girls are worried because their boobs are too small/they don't have nice hair. They can obsess quietly by themselves if they must because they know I'd just tell them to pull themselves together. If there's nothing you can do about it, its not worth wasting time thinking about. There's plenty of positive things you could be doing instead. Happiness is a state of mind, you can be happy cleaning up dog shit if you so choose.

I tell my teen DD that nothing is really the end of the world.

naughtycloud1 Thu 31-Jan-13 12:07:42

i,d like girls to think they can be independent young women be somebody and achieve all there goals by themselfs without relying on men.

"Achieve all their goals by themselves without relying on men"

That's all well and good (up to a point) until you start bringing children into the equation.
Then there's the question of whether the children will have a Father and in what ways he will be involved in supporting his children and indeed his partner.

Life isn't a level playing field for women and men for all sorts of reasons.

MumMilly Thu 31-Jan-13 12:16:39

Sparklyboots - I think your comments most closely reflect mine. There's lots of evidence around of how these social perceptions change with time and I think I would also highlight examples of this to my children.

Save the last category (escalation), the boy I dated from age 17-21 ticked every single box in that Red Flags article. Every single one. For four years.

As a teenager, I was confident enough to sing solos in front of an audience and perform in the school drama club. I played two team sports. My father taught me how to throw a decent punch and defend myself physically. I made my school's Honor Roll and kept good grades in advanced track classes. I was taller and physically stronger than several boys in my school. My parents are still married and have a healthy, respectful relationship. My mother and father both have hobbies and interests of their own, separate from each other. Mom, in particular, has always had a life of her own outwith my father, my brother and me; and my father has always supported and encouraged this.

And yet, at age 17, I believed my boyfriend when he said I was a bad girlfriend for going out with my girlfriends to the mall and not inviting him. At age 18, I believed my boyfriend when he told me I should be "putting him first" and should prefer to sleep in his college dorm room, rather than my own. At age 19, I believed him when he said the girls I tried to make friends with were dumb, and were trying to interfere with our relationship. At age 20, when I finally broke up with him, I believed him when he said I'd never find anyone as sexually compatible with me as he was. And so I kept seeing him and having sex with him for another year, at age 21.

Controlling relationships really can happen to anyone. Even if you think they are bold, confident and strong. Even if you think you've set a fine example. Even if you think it couldn't possible happen to your daughter or son, because surely they are far too intelligent to fall for that.

Emotional maturity does not always arrive when it should. So I will absolutely tell my stepdaughter over and over again what those red flags are, and what she should expect from a decent relationship. I will spell it out. And I'll be spelling it out long before dating and the pressure to have a boyfriend is on her mind!

naughtycloud1 Thu 31-Jan-13 12:31:58

when i meant relying on men i meant when i was growing up i never felt love and thought that if i could have a mans love everything would be ok instead of going out there and making somthing of myself. yes a man role is very very inportant especially when children come into the equation. i wish id have had the confidence to do somthing with my life instead of thinking i was going to get pregant and everything would be allright seems that is the trap most young girls take if they have low confidence an the system in schooling has let them down take them to very dark sad places.

gosh, my DD1 is 6, so haven't really thought about the big stuff, but did take very seriously when a boy in her class tried to undermine her confidence academically. It was reported to her teacher who quite rightly took it up as bullying behaviour and his parents were called in by the head teacher. smile

The boy now wants to 'friend' DD1, and has invited her over to his house.

I'm not over it, even if she is wink

IfNotNowThenWhen Thu 31-Jan-13 12:45:32

I love your post upthread thunksheadontable and I totally agree-all the woman in my family have been formidable self determinists, money or no money.
My grandma was a full time working single parent after losing two husbands, and my Nanna was a highly skilled artisan who , despite quitting work when she finally married (aged 35!) always knew she had the resources to make her own way in the world due to her skills.
It's also true about imposing our insecurities and frustrations on our children. That is easier said than done, but sometimes the best thing is to wait until our dc get stuck, and then gently try and help them find their way, rather than impose a rigid set of rules on them (other than the golden rule of course.)

AntimonySalts Thu 31-Jan-13 13:02:42

I like your posts, ponydilemma. My daughter's greatest delight is sorting the horse poo from the sheep poo in her granny's fields. She's 9 and has as little time for worrying about her appearance as her granny and I do.

baffledmum Thu 31-Jan-13 13:19:03

I want my DD8 to know about how to manage finances - from earning money, saving it, planning for her retirement -, how to change a wheel on a car, why it's important to vote, why financial and emotional independence matters for both parties [and this is achievable even when one of you doesn't work], why education matters and the choices it gives you.

There's also plenty of stuff I want my DS to know too! Most of it is the same tbh.

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 13:23:27

I'm sorry you had to go through that,

My DD is quite sheltered from the harsh realities of life but I consider it my responsibility to prepare her for the time when she leaves the the nest.

I don't talk about these things all the time but occasionally we talk about it when it comes up in conversation -
Eg if someone is being Nasty at school

sieglinde Thu 31-Jan-13 13:23:39

Never to take a no from life. Keep on trying until it becomes a yes. In other words, never take a no or abuse as your just deserts.

Yes, horses are pretty good at teaching this grin at pony.

WilsonFrickett Thu 31-Jan-13 13:35:17

I already believe the world is a better place because you're in it. Now go and show me how right I am.

Be aware of your fertility, take responsibility for contraception.

You have a place in the world - so occupy it. Occupy space with your opinions and your body. Don't shrink to fit the world, the world will grow to fit you.

If someone isn't having fun, stop. And it is perfectly fine to have (safe) sex for fun.

^^this is all the advice I've/will give to DS by the way. I don't have a DD, but if I did I would tell her exactly the same things.

@MmeLindor: Thanks. My relationships got much better as time went on, but the one I described was my first real one, so it's stuck with me, even today. And I could have had a much better social life during uni if I'd understood what was happening and got shot of him quickly.

My mom, to her credit, did try to tell me before uni that she thought my boyfriend was controlling. But by that age, I was in love and prized having someone interested in me (someone I found reasonably attractive and funny, anyway) and I wouldn't hear a word against him.

I liked the post about teaching younger children to recognize a controlling friend. That's important too.

Fowey123 Thu 31-Jan-13 14:00:10

You can get pregnant the first time, very current at the moment as a girl of 13 pregnant at my kids school.

amazingmumof6 Thu 31-Jan-13 14:00:15

that some girls are sneaky little bitches and she has to be very careful whom she trusts so she can avoid being absolutely heart broken.

that a person you thought was your best friend for 15 years will tell you that she never considered you to be her best friend and despite you supporting her through the rockiest patch of her marriage she will ignore you when you need the most amount of support having just lost a baby because she can't cope with other people's dramas.
but first she will say that she thought it was actually better that that baby died because she was worried how I would have coped with 5.

that friendships come and go and what really matters is family.

AntimonySalts Thu 31-Jan-13 14:34:03

Some of these posts are very sad. Maybe our daughters need to know that if rubbish things happen to them, they mustn't let bad experiences cloud their view of the world (and other people) in general. The world is essentially a good place, and other people - men and women - are essentially good and kind. It is such a horrible thought that people are giving their daughters (or sons) messages that the world is hostile and threatening; that men are out for sex; that they need to secure their financial status for when they are left high and dry by their husbands; that other women/girls can't be trusted.

ponydilemma Thu 31-Jan-13 14:43:55

I agree antimonysalts.

ponydilemma Thu 31-Jan-13 14:47:46

Probablyjustgas I am amazed that that relationship has 'defined you'. He sounds like a needy bore but - abusive, no. I can't imagine anything your mum did would have helped either other than to pour the tea when you moan about him (which I intend to do).

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 15:00:42

That is incredibly rude. I'm quite astounded by your complete misreading of the Probably's post. How about you search for a little bit of empathy before ridiculing a woman who has spoken of emotional abuse she suffered.

Abuse isn't just being punched in the face. How would you react if your daughter stopped coming home because her boyfriend wouldn't allow it?

I'm reading this with interest.

I just wanted to say I empathize with probably. Of course I can understand why my parents, and probably others, don't feel equipped to help their children out of abusive relationships. My parents both admitted after I left my ex that they could see things were very wrong but had absolutely no idea how to help.

I wish they had told me this. Just them saying, no, we don't think he seems 'nice', would have helped hugely. Because I'd been brought up to believe most people were decent and caring, and that a bloke who seemed decent and caring would be that way.

I think we need to teach everyone that twisted, abusive relationships don't all look alike. A mate of mine is with a bloke who seems charming and sweet - except he is constantly chipping away at her, making her feel she has to behave a particular way in order to please him. I am really worried about her. I do think it is much, much harder to learn how to read the signs if it's left too late.

TrampyPants Thu 31-Jan-13 15:11:33

Im also surprised by Pony's post. I suggest you take a look at the Womens Aid website and educate yourself about what constitutes abuse. clearly you havent a clue.

probably, thats crap. Im sorry you went through that.

I dont have a girl, I have a ds, but I have taught him to be respectful and kind, to treat women as equals. he even told off our newsagent for displaying the sport on the bottom shelf because its "disgusting and not real and girls arent toys". I am very proud of him.

feministefatale Thu 31-Jan-13 15:14:28

How to read her own fertility and health and so not be reliant on devises or drugs

I hope by "devices" you don't mean condoms as your way is a recipe for AIDS

TheSecondComing Thu 31-Jan-13 15:16:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PeppermintPasty Thu 31-Jan-13 15:17:39

Pony you sound like my mother. I am 44 and have a distant relationship with her because she is a narcissist*, and spent all of the time I was growing up, and particularly through my teenage years, telling me to stop being silly, to stop obsessing, to snap out of it, to grow up blah. I hasten to add that, with hindsight, I know I was entirely normal, yet spent years believing I was a "problem child".

In short she was entirely emotionally unavailable to me, because she didn't want to be, and/or had no clue about it nor any desire to change.

I am a rather wonderful person,(oh yes!), but it took me far longer than I would have liked to realise that because of the damaging lessons my mother taught me about good self esteem and self confidence, neither of which she thought it important for me to have.

I tell my dd that I love her every day. A small thing perhaps, but incredibly important. I am going to teach her self worth, and empathy, and I am going to be there for her should she need me. Ah, projection is (sometimes) a wonderful thing!

*Disclaimer-Pony, I am NOT saying that you are a narcissist wink

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 15:29:18

I was pleased to see this thread, as I thought it was a great idea.

Now it is just making me sad.

Don't trust men, they are only after one thing.

Don't trust women, they are bitches.

Don't expect your mum to help you out if you get involved with an abusive person.

So many warnings of the terrible fate waiting to trip our girls - most of it coloured by our own experiences.

We have to INSPIRE our girls, not scare the crap out of them.

mathanxiety Thu 31-Jan-13 15:40:26

<well done TrampyPants' DS>

AntimonySalts Thu 31-Jan-13 15:57:59

I think it's a shame that this has become about abusive relationships. Most girls aren't in abusive relationships, and won't be in them either. It is a great shame if girls are being conditioned to think that abusive relationships are so much the norm that they have to make sure they don't end up in one.

I have never been in an even remotely abusive relationship, and I don't know anyone in RL who has. I hope neither of my chidlren ever is, but I wouldn't start alerting them even to the possibility at this stage. If they ever were in one, I'd have plenty to say about it (like: get out and come home) - but I absolutely refuse to accept that all girls need warning against them. A girl with real self-esteem and self-respect is unlikely ever to enter into this kind of relationship. It's not impossible, but unlikely. And that self-esteem and self-respect comes from parents (ideally two parents: fathers are so important to girls too) giving them love, firm boundaries, respect and endless, endless, endless time.

naughtycloud - I think encouraging our DD's to be independent young women is a great place to start. I admire you for wanting this for your DD when you don't feel you had the opportunity yourself to the same extent. smile

And I really like WF's "I already think the world is a better place because you're in it !
(Go and show me how right I am wink)"

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 16:07:40

I'm not going to say any more about this as I've stated several times that recognising controlling personalities isn't about men - it's about people who manipulate.

It could be a school friend, a college roommate, a boss, a colleague. Being able to recognise when a friendship isn't good for you is a great skill to have. And being a confident person does not protect you from this kind of person.

Of course it isn't the only thing and there have been great suggestions on here - ranging from the practical to the inspiring.

TheOriginalLadyFT Thu 31-Jan-13 16:13:10

That working hard at school and getting good qualifications gives you the chance of having a career - which is essential to giving yourself independence. Relying on other people (especially men) is a bad idea for lots of reasons - go into a relationship as an equal, financially and emotionally

amazingmumof6 Thu 31-Jan-13 16:18:35

secondcoming I said SOME are bitches. like you never met one.

fear not for her innocence, she's 9 months old and I'm not going to tell her about this for a very long time, if ever.

but yes, I will tell her to be cautious about a lot of things - as a parent we all do that, why do you pretend you don't?

you protect them every way you can, what's wrong about telling them to be careful? about anything?

BTW congratulations on your insensitivity as you picked up on "my issues" rather "I'm glad your baby died"
nice one

wherearemysocka Thu 31-Jan-13 16:20:43

Be a radiator, not a drain. And spend time with people who are radiators, not drains.

mathanxiety Thu 31-Jan-13 16:26:21

I disagree that you don't know anyone who has ever been in an abusive relationship. Even children are exposed to abusive relationships (this is what bullying is after all).

To state that a girl with real self esteem and self respect is equipped with teflon coating of some sort comes close to saying there was some flaw in women who came under the sway of an abuser, which is a bit like excusing bullies in the school playground.

It does no harm to train children to judge the behaviour of others, to listen carefully and to ponder things that bother them, assess motives, assess the strong points of your position and theirs. Children who end up doing well in business or law or other professions where there is a lot of interaction and a strong 'political' element are children who have been trained to be shrewd. My grandmother would have had a very different life if her step grandmother, back in turn of the century Ireland (a man's world if ever there was one) hadn't been a tough cookie, with her head screwed firmly on, able to run her small farm, hire and fire rough workmen, deal with the bank and then the Black and Tans, turn away granny's relatives when her father died and they came to claim her (and possibly turn her into a domestic skivvy with no hope of an education) on the grounds that she had made a solemn promise to her late husband, granny's father, to bring up granny and her half sister and provide a good life for them. She was a formidable woman.

'Trust but verify' is a good motto.

Firm boundaries, firm expectations for performance at school and contribution at home, mutual respect, open paths of communication, modelling respectfulness and consideration for others, modeling service to others in the community, knowing what battles are worth fighting and not letting hobby horses get in the way of the essential relationship -- all important for parents.

I guess I put my story out there because the original blog hit home with me, as did an article posted much earlier on in this thread, about warning signs.

Everyone's got to trust their instincts, obviously. Maybe a lot of us trying to warn kids about what bad relationships look like would just come across as hostile and paranoid. Maybe I would come across that way too, although I certainly hope not.

But I would like to remind everyone that just because someone appears to be confident, doesn't mean they actually are. And even when someone does things that require lots of self-confidence - such as perform onstage, or try out for a sport, or move abroad at age 23 - it doesn't mean they will naturally "get it" when it comes to relationships. I was unhappy for years and didn't have to be. If I can say something at the right time that will allow my stepdaughter to somehow avoid that herself, I will be content.

amazingmumof6 Thu 31-Jan-13 16:27:53

and I only said what I said because I agree with all the lovely things other people had posted before me, but there has to be a balance.

you have to teach them about the good, the bad (and even the ugly ) and then let them make up their own minds.

you can't pretend life is a bed of roses, coz it ain't.

TrampyPants Thu 31-Jan-13 16:28:48

Amazingmum, that's disgusting. How dare you accuse tsc of that? I am very sorry about your loss, but that's a vile thing to accuse someone of. I don't see why its necessary to warn your dd that some women are bitches. Why? All you can do is be there if and when they are let down, not assume that they will be.

I think we should teach our dd's to have high expectations, not to settle for less.

TrampyPants Thu 31-Jan-13 16:30:26

I agree with math, and thank you btw. Ds is rather wonderful.

mathanxiety Thu 31-Jan-13 16:31:15

*step grandmother = stepmother

drjohnsonscat Thu 31-Jan-13 16:32:17

The route to independence

- be true to yourself
- if you think it might not be right, get out
- think about your financial independence always - not just for now but for always
- remember that you are the best girl I could ever possibly have in my life - so take that knowledge and go out into the world and see what you and life have got for each other.

Plus everything that WilsonFrickett says. I also agree with AntimonySalts actually.

amazingmumof6 Thu 31-Jan-13 16:35:51

trampy what disgusting? I accused no none with anything- please explain

TheSecondComing Thu 31-Jan-13 16:36:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 16:45:06

I am very sorry for your loss, and the way that your friend treated you when you needed her. It isn't normal though, or something that you should warn your DD about.

Most women are supportive and caring towards their friends - I know when I suffered miscarriages my friends were there for me.

Would you want your DD to grow up being wary of other women just because one woman betrayed you?

TrampyPants Thu 31-Jan-13 16:46:13

BTW congratulations on your insensitivity as you picked up on "my issues" rather "I'm glad your baby died"
nice one

That. Fucking disgusting. And untrue. I certainly didn't see it as that, noone could.

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 16:51:16

Trampy / TSC

I think Amazingmum is referring to this part of her post:

'but first she will say that she thought it was actually better that that baby died because she was worried how I would have coped with 5.'

TSC mentioned the issues that AM had with her friend, instead of commenting on how horrible the friend had been to her.

I assume that was it - bit of a misunderstanding perhaps?

Fwiw, I think that was an awful thing for your friend to say, but I do think that to warn your DD about women in general based on what one person said - well, it is just wrong.

TrampyPants Thu 31-Jan-13 17:05:25

Mme, I get that. But there is no law to say that people must comment on the friends horribleness etc, or cannot disagree. Its a horrible thing to accuse someone of, I would certainly never do it, and I've had my share of run-ins with friends and family members being ball-achingly insensitive about my mc's and IF.

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 17:11:53

Perhaps Amazingmum will return and explain what she meant. Her posts were not quite clear.

If I were to warn DD because of all the insensitive stuff said to me about my miscarriages, she'd never trust anyone again. I am with you on that one, Trampy.

TrampyPants Thu 31-Jan-13 17:20:37

Its up to us to prepare the next generation. I am instilling in ds sensitivity and empathy. So, if in the future he and his partner, or someone he knows experiences a mc, he will know how to handle it, and what to say/do.

amazingmumof6 Thu 31-Jan-13 17:24:43

mmelindor gets it, thank you!

once bitten, twice shy is all I can say

trampy do me a favour and read what I said, please
I accused no one.
I said that TSC suggested on dealing with "my issues" rather than being empathetic about what my so-called friend said.

I can't help it that you misunderstood it and I think it's interesting that you are quick to accuse me without realizing what you are talking about.

I think you just proved my point, that one can never be careful enough.

I don't know why you thought it acceptable to be quite that rude to me as I did not accuse anyone....

44SoStartingOver Thu 31-Jan-13 17:27:39


basic first aid
how to manage her money
that no-one has EVER died of blue balls
you might love your job, but it will never love you back
perspective is a wonderful thing
experience is the best teacher (which is why she is so expensive)
she should only have sex if she wants to, under conditions she finds acceptable and to remember that teenage boys are going to be crap in bed.

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 17:31:07

to be fair, AmazingMum - your post was not that clear and could be taken to mean that TSC was happy your baby died, so not surprising that some misunderstood it.

When I saw the upset, I went back and read the original posts, which was when I realised what you meant.

And why would that prove your point? Because someone misunderstood your post, your daughter should be careful cause women are bitches?

TrampyPants Thu 31-Jan-13 17:31:20

I read it as you accusing tsc of being glad your baby died as in "it was rather "glad your baby died". It may have been "rather than glad your baby died" but you know what? I can't conjure up words that aren't there. there is no reason for you to be quite so aggressive. You have attacked tsc and now me. Lovely. What your "friend" did was horrible, but its not our fault. I think, and I say this meaning well, you would benefit from counselling. You are obviously still in a lot of pain. I wish you well.

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 17:32:10

I laughed at this

'Be a radiator, not a drain. And spend time with people who are radiators, not drains.'

Very good

Wow holy derailment batman!

amazingmumof6 Thu 31-Jan-13 17:59:38

trampy you attacked me. you accused me of being horrible to TSC. you called me disgusting. and you were swearing at me. and you turned out to be wrong.

but I'm the aggressive one - puzzling.

I made a grammatical error, sure, but you jumped the gun and were quite horrible to me instead of giving me the benefit of doubt.

never mind, thanks for wishing me well and I don't mind saying sorry for upsetting you or anyone else (TSC, MMe or whoever). I mean it.
I hate upsetting people. I'm actually crying right now because some strangers I never met thought for a second that I was horrible or disgusting or whatever.

I really am not horrible. I'm lovely and helpful and I'm a very good friend...ahhh I can't do this, I can't keep explaining myself, it doesn't matter. think what you want, I give up [what's the emoticon for sobbing?]

TrampyPants Thu 31-Jan-13 18:04:54

I am very sorry. I didn't mean to upset you. You were aggressive, and I was clearly not the only person to read it as it was said rather than what was meant. Its only the internet. But I apologise for misunderstanding, however, it was genuine and I said those things because if you had meant what I thought it would have been horrible. And yes, I swore, because I'm an adult and I swear at people and about things.

I do think you should seek some help.

mathanxiety Thu 31-Jan-13 18:06:32

I want to agree with pp who said emotional resilience is important. I think there is probably no asset more valuable for a girl. You can't talk it into someone. It has to be interwoven through a girl's childhood. Participation in competitive sport or music all go a long way to help a girl understand the world won't end if she isn't great on any given day, that diligent practice is important, and those areas of endeavour also provide the major plus that they afford a milieu where effort is important, and not appearance.

amazing, I can see this is horribly upsetting for you, but I admit I found your post pretty full-on, too.

It is really sad to see a thread that started out talking about how to support girls, turning into someone name-calling other women as 'bitches' and then rounding on posters for not responding as you wished they'd respond.

I am saying this because I honestly don't think you're aware of how you are posting. You are clearly hurting, as I can see, but you're hitting out as well. Step back from it all if you can. This thread has touched a nerve for you and I think you're just not going to be able to respond to it on its own merits while it is reminding you so much of someone's heartless actions towards you.

TheSecondComing Thu 31-Jan-13 18:13:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AntimonySalts Thu 31-Jan-13 18:16:19

I just asked DD (8) what she thought girls needed to know.

"Maths, English and swimming".

I asked her if she thought they needed to know anything else that they might not learn at school.

"You need to know the best foods to give your baby."

Oh to be eight again!

amazingmumof6 Thu 31-Jan-13 18:38:30

TheSecondComing thank you, again I'm sorry too....I did say Some are, not all! of course I would never generalize like that!

In fact I was very touched by the support and empathy by so many other people, some mums from school boldly came to me and showed their sympathy and told me what they went through and made me feel better - most of them I didn't even know personally.

the contrast of that loving & supporting attitude from people I hardly knew and the total wall of silence and ignorance from my "best friend" was staggering.
I'm dealing with it and I've forgiven her or at least I'm trying to.

I don't think that women or men or people are horrible in general, I just think (and know) that some are.

I hope you didn't think that I attacked you. although I admit I was a bit rude. sorry

amazingmumof6 Thu 31-Jan-13 18:46:57

LRD you hit the nail on the head and you are right, it did touch a nerve. thanks for your clear headed comments, I really appreciate it.

LesBOFerables Thu 31-Jan-13 19:03:25

That's very gracious of you, amazingmum- I hope you have lots of supportive friends around you now; it's gutting when you are so badly let-down by someone close, I know.

Hope you're ok, amazingmum. It must have taken a lot to say what you said. I hope you're feeling a bit better too.

You don't need 'friends' like that woman.

TrampyPants Thu 31-Jan-13 19:22:46

Sorry I was harsh. Do you have local support? Mc is a shit time and noone seems to understand, but when it hits the fan you find out who deserves to have you in their lives.

I wish you all the best x

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 19:50:15

oh, Amazingmum. That must have been awful for you. It is more than one person not being supportive. It was your best friend, and she should have been there for you, the way that the women from school were. I am sorry she wasn't.

Maybe we should teach our girls this. That sometimes we say things in the heat of the moment, and sometimes we wound each other. The mark of a truly good person is that she can stand up and say, 'I was wrong, and I am sorry' with no ifs and buts.

(((unMNetty group hug))

wine and [chocolate] all round

marriedinwhite Thu 31-Jan-13 20:00:19

Amazingmum it took us a long time to get two children. I had too many miscarriages and lost babies in each trimester. There is no hierarchy of grief in relation to m/c - it all depends on how each miscarriage is handled and the love and care extended to you in relation to that miscarriage. I'm sorry your friend was so insensitive.

Good luck - my girl was my absolute miracle and I hope she knows I shall treasure her for ever. What all our dc need to know is the message from that book (can't remember who wrote it) but the one that says "how much do you love me" and the message is to infinity and back.

Am sorry to infinity and back for your hurt and hope my dc know, above all else, that they are loved from here to the ends of the planet, round all the planets and back again.

wine thanks and that emoticon should be flowers !

amazingmumof6 Thu 31-Jan-13 20:14:07

thanks Trampy again I'm sorry too! smile stupidly phrased, I was in a rush....

it was actually 4 years ago, I didn't realize how badly the whole thing still hurts! I lost a baby girl, then my best friend on the back of it, it was really awful.

I think this thread "touched a nerve" as LRD said

I've had lovely girl friends and now have some new ones, incl SILS, but always got on much easier with boys.
the difference is that whenever any of them disappointed me, it hurt more coming from a girl.
especially from my mum or my sister. I don't know why.
(of course I disappointed them, no doubt...)

I never worried about how to be a mum to our sons. I worry about them, but not about how to raise them.
read fab books (inc Mr Biddulph's one about boys) and got great advice and DH is here to hold the fort from the male side of things.

but having a girl after 5 boys freaks me out.
my friends & Sils do tell me about some of the troubles their DDs go through coz of some nasty girls at school and I have no idea what I would do in their shoes or what I would say.
I worry about whether I'll be a good mum to my DD.

the phrase "my mum is my best friend" is alien to me, I think that says it all.

I'm going to buy this book. I'll calm down eventually.

I guess I just have to "woman up" about having a

thank you all you lovely ladies for bearing with me.

amazingmumof6 Thu 31-Jan-13 20:18:44

oh now you made me cry again with the group hug! thank you!

I'll accept the chocolates and the flowers (no wine for me, bf) smile

I really do feel much better, I do like a good kiss & make up!!!

marriedinwhite - do you mean "guess how much I love you?" one of my favourites...

marriedinwhite Thu 31-Jan-13 20:23:53

That's the one. Sorry mine are older teenagers now and the old favourite books are an age away. My dd loved the Alfie and Annie Rose books btw smile

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 20:30:31

my DD is 10yo and there have been issues with girls at school, but we have gotten together with them and talked it over and they have come out fine. We moved away from her friends last year and she is still in touch with her best friend, and they talk regularly on the phone.

I don't think raising a girl is harder than raising a boy (so far anyway!), and I try not to see them as so very different.

Boys and girls both need respect, love, trust and an open ear - I don't treat my son any different to my daughter, and it seems to be working fine. I don't think that a book can teach you much more than that really.

JoInScotland Thu 31-Jan-13 21:05:52

wishingchair wrote:

That pictures of models/celebrities in magazines are fake.

That magazines like Closer and Heat are toxic and only serve to make you feel bad about yourself and mean about others.

That it's pretty easy to look amazing if you employ a team of stylists, hairdressers, beauticians and make-up artists. 99.9% of the population don't, so don't compare yourself to celebrities.

That confidence comes from within, and even if you had better clothes/shoes/hair/teeth/breasts/legs, you'd still be you. So work on your inner self way more than your outer self.

Females young and old get judged a lot. Be prepared for it, and don't do it to others. We're our own worst enemies.

That porn sex is not real sex.

That they, and only they, decide how intimate they want to be in a relationship. It's easy to lose your virginity, but not so easy to find it again.

That although women now can "have it all" (the fabulous job, the amazing wardrobe, the immaculate house, the perfect body), it doesn't mean you have to, should expect/want to, or would be happy if you did.

That a sense of humour in yourself, your friends and your partner is essential.

I have a DS, but I will be teaching him this too.... we've already started on "respect my body" when he doesn't want to be tickled, etc, and he just turned 3. That he can say "no" to things, but so can everyone else. I already tell him that catalogues and adverts are just designed to make you want things, to buy things.

We can't just teach our daughters to be confident and independent, we have to teach that to our sons too, and to respect the choices that girls and women make!

People men Lie.

sciencelover Thu 31-Jan-13 21:59:16

All of these apply to both boys and girls:

Learn computer programming. This is a basic skill that nearly everyone ought to learn.

Fill your mind with success stories of people overcoming tough challenges so that you are never too discouraged if you run into prejudices or challenges.

Negativity is a disease. Never let yourself be so overwhelmed by the negative that you doubt yourself.

Self confidence comes from self discipline, self control, and overcoming obstacles, not from being popular or liked by others. If you want to lose it, be a bully or give in to peer pressure. To gain it, stand true to your values and stand by people who need you to stand by them.

Save sexuality for marriage.

that being yourself will attract the boys who are right for you - and keep the wrong ones away!

That's impossible to please everyone and that sometimes people just don't like/love you. And you can't do nothing about this.

You are allowed to say 'no'. At any point. And that you are allowed to be as forceful as necessary to enforce that (reread 2 paragraphs above. If he gets angry, you don't want him around)

i would say:
• it is fine to make mistakes - being laughed at isn't the worst thing in the world.
• be kind to your fellow humans, it's a tough life out there, we need to stick together
don't buy the ridiculous 'women's' magazines, they are designed to flog you things, and don't ever read the Daily Mail or I will disown you!

Even if you were to save sex for marriage sciencelover I don't think you could keep sexuality for marriage.

Most young people will have several relationships before they settle down with one person. I think this is completely normal and to be encouraged - making a hasty choice at a young age is rarely a good thing. And our sexuality is part of who we are certainly from puberty onwards ?

I'd rather talk about showing respect, consideration, and kindness to partners as well as friends throughout life, and expecting/ demanding the same in return.

I like your other ones though sciencelover

drjohnsonscat Fri 01-Feb-13 09:59:15

It would never occur to me to tell my DCs to learn computer programming!

Please explain smile

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 01-Feb-13 11:28:35

It's OK to be single and it's OK to have children without living with a man or not to have children at all. So don't panic if you get to thirty and haven't found a man you want to live with because you are just as likely to have a joyful, fulfilled life as a single woman as you are as a partnered one and you can have children whether you're single or partnered.

Don't have anything to do with men who use hatespeak about women like sluts, slags etc. They are not worth your time and energy and at base they think you're not as human as them. You don't need to be around shit like that.

Men who watch porn are shit lovers so going to bed with them will not be much fun.

Men who say that they believe in equality but act as if they don't, are lying. By their deeds shall ye know them, so don't believe them.

Men who overstep boundaries out of bed, will overstep them in bed.

Eat breakfast every day. Drink lots of water. Always brush your teeth before bed.

Listen to your gut feeling. Don't ignore your spidey sense. If you feel uncomfortable about someone or something, get the hell out of there and don't listen to the people who want to invalidate your feelings. Trust your instincts, they're there for your survival.

Read a lot of good books.

20% of what you acheive in life is as a result of hard work, luck, method and contacts. 80% is due to your psychology and what you believe about yourself and what you can do.

You are the only one who gets a say in what happens to your body, whether that's to do with medical treatment, sex or pregnancy. You have sovreignty over your body, no-one else.

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 01-Feb-13 11:32:35

Oh and I'm always amused by the sheer inaccuracy of saying that men are only after one thing.

If that were true, women would rule the world. Men would be too busy fucking to have had the time, energy or inclination set up a whole system of male supremacy which reduced women to chattels and breeders. Think about it for one moment logically - how could they possibly have succeeded in establishing patriarchy, if all they wanted was sex? It's just not very likely is it?

AbigailAdams Fri 01-Feb-13 12:42:48

Cracking list Fastidia.

duchesse Fri 01-Feb-13 13:34:46

I think what girls need above all is the ability to stand up for themselves and know how to say no. No to be pressurised for sex or sexual acts, no to jobs being given to them because they are a woman/girl, no to dressing in a way they don't want to dress, no to doing what someone else wants for fear of being unpopular.

All our daughters should be encouraged to be less malleable than we were generally expected to be, growing up.

IMO everything else in their lives will fall into place once they know how to do that.

sciencelover Fri 01-Feb-13 17:34:23

JugglingFromHereToThere: I would also encourage relationships with the opposite sex that include good communication, respect, mutual appreciation, and to not rush into marriage.

drjohnsonscat: A lot of people will never have use for computer programming, but a lot of people will find they have a talent for it. If they do discover a hidden talent for it, and learn a programming language, they've just opened up for themselves a relatively well paid backup work option, that could feasibly be done from home, in a pinch. I self-taught HTML and javascript, and have found both to be useful even in non-work situations.

feministefatale Fri 01-Feb-13 20:03:01

Do you not think people are much more likely to be rush in to marriage when they are not alowed to have sex first?

mathanxiety Sat 02-Feb-13 05:04:05

Fastidia it's equally plausible that it's because men needed women for sex so much that they bothered to set up the patriarchy, etc. Far easier to ensure you have regular sex if you are the owner of chattel who are equipped with the right orifices, after all...

My mum used to mutter that 'men are only after one thing ' line quite frequently. My late sister cracked us up one day when she admitted she had believed even far into her teens that that one thing was dinner on the table at 6 sharp every night.

AbigailAdams Sat 02-Feb-13 07:28:29

Oh dear math! Definitely one message we don't want to be giving our daughters! grin

LOL @ dinner on the table at 6 as the one thing grin

thunksheadontable Sat 02-Feb-13 10:27:07

The patriarchy always seems to me to serve those at the top no matter what. I guess we are hierarchical in nature - language is hierarchical, after all. I think quite a lot of individual men are trapped and enslaved and hurt by the patriarchy, I can see this happening in my own home. My husband is the "second son" on a farm and so his brother has a million pound farm as his inheritance while my husband has nothing from the farm he worked on all through his teens, too. We could pay off our mortgage and go back and work on the farm with my husband just as a worker and this would give my husband a lot of what he desperately wants in life - a way out of the office that stresses him and has given him IBS, closeness to his family, giving our children the relationships with cousins and grandparents he finds so important.. but to do so would be, to him, to admit failure as a man. He is really struggling with this at the moment. Questioning the dominant ideology, whether it is patriarchy or capitalism or communism or raving monster looneyism is something all our children need to learn to do, boys and girls, to prevent them becoming enslaved by it.

Can your husband not talk with his brother and come to an arrangement where he feels he is not "just a worker" on the family farm ? If his brother is to inherit a million pound farm can't he and his father find a way to be generous enough that both brother's have a proper role on the family farm whilst their father is alive, and your husband continues to have a similar role once elder brother inherits. Surely you could all explore being slightly more creative about things, and less traditionally patriarchal ?
Living on or near the family farm and close to family, cousins and grandparents, sounds like a really good option to me !

thunksheadontable Sat 02-Feb-13 10:59:45

Me too, but sadly I think they are all far too traditional in many ways. It is just nuts. As though birth order means anything! I suppose the way I see it, my husband definitely has more "privilege" from being male than I do (earning potential, status at work, all sorts of other bits...) but actually none of it really makes him happy.. so while he might be "worth" more in a capitalist society, what is the value of that when you only live one life if that life isn't the one you want? I think the same is true with some feminist discourse, or at least as it was. It's fine to throw off the shackles of femininity and outsource your childcare and disavow "traditional" female roles in favour of rocking the boardroom if that is what you truly want but sometimes fulfilment at a deep, personal level (beyond the ideologies you face) requires something more creative as you say.

TopsyRK Sat 02-Feb-13 12:37:20

I taught mine the most common peer pressure lines.

Top 10 Lines Used!{And responses!

1.If you loved me you would. (Well if you loved me you would wait!)
2.If we don’t do it, I am dumping you. (Fine BYE.)
3.Go on nobody will know. (I will know that I didn’t want to, or you mean I can trust you not to tell your mates, but I can’t trust you not to force me to have sex before I am ready!)
4.Everybody is doing it! (No everybody is talking about it, but really the average age of first time sex is 16.)
5.You know you really want to! (What you can read minds as well?)
6.It will be ok? (How can it be ok if I don’t want to do it and you do?)
7.You can’t get pregnant the first time you do it! (Did you have a day off for that lesson, of course you can!)
8.You will enjoy it I promise! (How will I enjoy something I don’t really want to do?)
9.You won’t catch anything. (How can you be sure as a lot of STI’s have no symptoms and did you know one in seven young people have Chlamydia and don’t know they have it?)
10.Fred and Sue are doing it, so may be we should. (How do you know, were you watching them do it, perv? )

sieglinde Sat 02-Feb-13 15:02:18

Topsy, this doesn't sound like 'peer' pressure, but date pressure grin. peer pressure is what makes you a drunken consumer who watches The X-Factor.

I fear I've been waaaay more specific with ds and dd.

Here's my ADVICE to them:

I kinda assume the day will come when they will do it. I talk a lot about love and commitment, but however loving and committed you are, some pragmatics are involved.

Sort contraception. The pill doesn't always work and will fail if you have a tummy bug, for instance (or spew it up when drunk).

Sort condoms for prevention of STDs. Girls should carry them tooas soon as they think sex is on the cards.

The girl must first come, several times, with that boy, before penetrative sex is even seriously contemplated. If he can't make you come, why would you fuck him?

You are v. unlikely to come from first penetrative sex alone. Also orgasm will mean more lube, so on the big occasion make sure she comes first.

Make sure she is gently stretched beforehand. Use lube or at worst saliva. Bumsex generally hurts the first few times. A lot. You def. need a lot of lube.

Don't give oral sex to anyone you don't want to fuck, or to stave off advances.

Anyone shocked? This is all stuff I wish I'd known.

PretzelTime Sat 02-Feb-13 20:52:10

Don't give oral sex to anyone you don't want to fuck
Do you mean that girls should be prepared to have all sorts of other types sex just because she wants to do one thing with a guy...?
Or do you mean, don't service someone you don't actually desire?

Pretzel I read that as "don't assume he'll be satisfied with just oral; if you aren't ready for full sex, he might get the wrong idea".

But that's my sad history coming to the fore. Obviously one should be able to draw the line anywhere. The qualifier "or to stave off advances" is what put me on that track I think.

PretzelTime Sat 02-Feb-13 21:24:20

I find the idea that girls can't enjoy non-penetrative sex with guys without being assumed to consent to PIV tragic. I don't now if it's realistic advice or not though.
If that's the case where do you draw the line with advice? Don't make out with a guy, he will assume you want PIV. Don't kiss a guy, he will assume you want to fuck him now. Don't look or show interest in a guy...etc

Topsy and Sieglinde - going to crib both of those if you don't mind!

DDs are 9 and 6 - what age did you start talking with them in so much detail?

DH would like to wait until they're 35 and lock them up in the meantime, but I fear that might be a bit unreasonable.

"Them" being your DDs / DCs of course!

mathanxiety Sun 03-Feb-13 01:33:02

I read it as 'don't do it as a compromise to make him shutup and stop nagging for penetrative sex'.

He's not entitled to any sexual favours from you, and if your relationship consists of him pressuring you and you fending him off by whatever means then end it.

sieglinde Sun 03-Feb-13 10:46:04

Pretzel, Horatia - of COURSE I don't mean that penetrative sex is the be-all and end-all. JUST the opposite. But lots of film/tv/books make it seem that way, so guys often push for it.

What I mean is exactly what pretzel said in her second rephrasing - don't service anyone you don't actually desire.

Or more simply, don't do anything you don't want to do, and as mathanxiety said.

In even simpler terms, don't suck him off to make him stop bugging you.

My dcs are 18 and 12. I probably filtered comments in couched in milder language form very early on, usually as comments on films/tv/drama/books; Buffy the Vampire Slayer was helpful... Then conversations ensued. They are still ongoing.

IMHO, you can't lock your dcs up until they are 35 - and if you did succeed, what would happen when they did finally turn 35?

Yes sieglinde, because there's so much focus on sex as PIV I think many girls, especially in my generation (I grew up in the 70's ! - so am ancient as the DC's keep telling me smile) well, we hadn't thought through all the other possible scenario's IYKWIM so had to make it up as we went along with mixed results.

marriedinwhite Sun 03-Feb-13 17:45:59

I've given up. DD will be 15 in the spring.

I am thankful that although she can be a bit deep and tells me far too much and understands far too much like "friends with benefits" a la ds bringing a girl home shock, and really enjoyed Chesil Beach and Atonement, and told me not to bother with 50 shades because the writing was irritatingly bad, she's reassuringly geeky and quiet and shy and a little bit awkward. I know, I know - it's always the quiet ones.

Thinks of ways to keep her in love with her Millets fleece lined cargo trousers although she really did like the stuff in Banana Republic yesterday (so did I) and we were in town and she felt underdressed on Bond Street and I thought, thank God, progress

JessMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 06-Feb-13 13:00:27

Read Kate Figes' latest instalment - Things Girls Should Know About Love (Part 1). There's clearly a lot to say on this topic, with some interesting points already covered on this thread. What else would you add to her list?

princessx Wed 06-Feb-13 15:38:49

DD is only 1 year old, but I would focus on comments like we will love you and support you no matter what.

My mum's strong message was don't have sex until you are married. While I didn't wait that long - got married age 30, I did wait until I was in a loving relationship.

It's important to get the message across that sex is wonderful, but best in a loving relationship

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 07-Feb-13 14:37:18

Another thing girls should know:

In spite of what the media is telling you, whether or not you are attractive to random porn-sick men is not the most interesting or important thing about you.

When publishers put sexualised pictures of teenage girls on the covers of books which are aimed at girls (as in the latest Anne of Green Gables book cover), they are subliminally giving you the message that the real function of a girl is to be sexy and everything else about her is secondary - so everything Anne does or thinks in the book, is really rather pointless, focus on being sexay.

You must try to resist these messages because they undermine your right to be considered a full human being, not just a pretty decoration. This is difficult because the messages are everywhere, but remember that they are being originated and disseminated by people who do not have your best interests at heart (and often, who are complete morons) and your best course of action is to be aware of the response you are supposed to have to them and to refuse to have that response.

Yes I agree with all that Fastidia - especially the "is not the most interesting or important thing about you"

Quite tricky to know how to share that message with our teens though ? I'm trying being interested in her thoughts and feelings as a start ? And only taking a passing interest in her appearance ?

mathanxiety Thu 07-Feb-13 19:15:40

I think what bothers me about articles like the Figes one is that you never, ever see corresponding articles aimed at boys.

mathanxiety Thu 07-Feb-13 19:17:41

Further to Fastidia's post in some ways -- are people (even those of good will) subliminally giving girls the message that they are the relationship people whereas boys are in another category?

Trills Thu 07-Feb-13 19:18:40

I am not convinced that there are any things girls should know that boys should not also know...

Other than "don't put anything in your vagina that you wouldn't put in your mouth" (and there is a male equivalent - "don't put your penis anywhere you wouldn't be willing to lick")

That's a cleanliness issue btw, not just advocating oral sex.

scottishmummy Fri 08-Feb-13 19:29:52

you're responsible for your own welfare,destiny dont depend upon anyone else
don't turn motherhood into a martyred state,it's just get on with it,it's you with a child
don't fall back on ready made out of self help book excuses,no I'm only a girl
don't be afraid to say no and mean not be afraid say yes and mean it
do laugh a lot,it's good for mental and physical health
do eat,sleep,and read well

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