support thread: bringing up girls

(88 Posts)
BlueFlyer Tue 03-Jul-12 16:24:13

I'm a mum of a daughter and I have started this thread for anybody who is bringing up girls. I know quite a few people have started threads before about younger girls and stereotypes, but I'd also like advice on raising self esteem, resilience and imagination in older girls.

I'd really appreciate any advice from people who have experience, and any book, activity, media or other recommendations.

tethersend Tue 03-Jul-12 20:26:46

<air kisses Hully>

"I think you have to work out who they are as people and then help them develop themselves and their interests/personalities."

You see, this should be obvious. Yet I have really had to bite my tongue and let DD go hell-for-leather on the pink and smile encouragingly like this --> grin when all she wants to wear are dresses which flare out when she turns around. Because to steer her away from them is as bad as forcing her to wear them.

Hullygully Tue 03-Jul-12 20:35:06

oh yeah, it's weird, they have to go through it. Dd wore the same pink dress every day for over a year (had to wash it at night on occasion. She used to eat the belt too.

Won't touch dresses/ skirts now. Altho she did wear a very short skirt the other day and I asked her if she was going out to earn a few quid. heh heh heh. Also, I always say, well I don't like it, dearest heart, but it isn't me wearing it. You wear what you want to wear. Drives em insane.

Hullygully Tue 03-Jul-12 20:36:08

And don't forget I had had ds wear tights and a tutu and sparkly hairslides for years. Inured.

MmeLindor. Tue 03-Jul-12 21:09:45

DD was the biggest massivest princessy Disneyfied girl until she was about 8yo. She went through a "I hate pink" phase, but has not (10yo) settled into liking all colours.

She says that she doesn't really want to be a tomboy, but doesn't want to be a girly girl either.

I think that you have to let them be interested in what they want to be interested in, without giving in to the impulse to steer them in a different direction.

HotheadPaisan Tue 03-Jul-12 21:18:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThePan Tue 03-Jul-12 21:18:10

Had a conversation with dd about 2 years ago (when 10) re tomboy/girly girls - she said exactly as Mme's did - 'I'm somewhere in between. Neither." She had Barbie, and dolls, and was a bit cool on pink. Now she doesn't own a dress, and wouldn't wear one. Likes her clothes, esp t-shirts.

I'm for letting the darlings decide - and besides which in later childhood the more you try to prevail th more there will be something to rebel against. So reverse psychology could be a go-er.grin

Hullygully Tue 03-Jul-12 21:20:03

yy hothead, just have loads of different stuff in a box and let him choose. We used to have a particulalry fetching Sleeping Beauty number I seem to rememember. It was a great loss to sartorial choice when Woolworths shut. sad

HotheadPaisan Tue 03-Jul-12 21:24:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MmeLindor. Tue 03-Jul-12 21:27:57

DS went through a phase of wearing DD's pink Tweetie Pie nightie to bed. Every night.

We let him and took lots of really cute photos of him with a buzz haircut in his favourite nightie, with which to blackmail him when he is a teen

BlueFlyer Tue 03-Jul-12 21:29:12

It was a shame about Woolworths. We had a great Princess Leia wig from Woolworths.

treadonthecracks Tue 03-Jul-12 21:31:42

I am joining this thread as I'm interested in the opinions expressed.

My DD, 7, is another girly girl, pink spinny dresses. No end in sight so far...

5madthings Tue 03-Jul-12 21:42:21

joins thread, ihave one dd, my youngest and 4 boys. i think we are parenting her the same as the boys tbh, but she is only 18mths so its early days! having 4 big brothers does mean we have a house full of 'boys' toys but then we also have a toy cooker, dolls, loads of dressing up stuff (my ds3 is a big fan of tutus and fairy dresses, which i was slated for on mnet on another thread!) so we have always been gender neutral with toys and just bought a wide variety for them to play with.

i have to say i am enjoying buying girls clothes, but dd also wears her brothers hand me downs, at the moment i decide to leggins with a skirt or a dress, whatever she wears is practical so she can run and climb, she is a BIG climber! it will be interesting as my dd gets older to see if she is tomboyish or if she goes the opposite way, having 4 big brothers i wonder how much they will influence her. she already likes playing cars, trains etc but equally loves the toy pushchair and doll, tbh she is just a typical toddler at the moment! totally adorable and a bit fiesty! smile

interstingly i worry more about parenting my boys, or at the moment i do, my eldest is almost 13 and i am very worried about the whole internet and porn etc, we have safety settings on our home pc but i am very aware that with fancy mobiles etc it WILL be accesed if not by him by his friends etc. i want him growing up to respect women, well everyone really! and at the moment he sees myself and dp as equals to each other and dp has always been hands on around the house and my boys are all expected to pitch in and help out etc.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 03-Jul-12 21:44:50

I've never really worried about 'gender stuff' either. I guess I grew up with a nice mix of dresses and hand-me-downs from my DBs; always knew I'd be a scientist and simply didn't care that hardly any girls did it at school. So why would I worry about DD - she's herself.

She's got some friends who are happy wallowing around in mud and others who like shopping and makeup - perfect, makes up for my lack of interest. She hasn't worn pale pink for years ... likes wearing black rubber actually. grin

BlueFlyer Tue 03-Jul-12 21:52:02

5madthings, I was thinking of starting a thread about bringing up boys as well, but thought it might be a bit much to start both threads at once. If nobody else does it first, I will start a thread about boys at some point, because I have a boy as well.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Tue 03-Jul-12 21:53:32

have glanced through the thread but noit taken too much in, will read a gain later in greater depth.

The only thing I find that really bothers me is that my dd aged 6 who has a very wide range of interests is classed as a "tomboy" many of her interests change on a daily basis and others are very consistant and those are the more gender nuetral ones, tennis, swimming and also football and drama, both not so.

she likes "boyish" clothes as she says and some feminin clothes "stylish" as she refers to them.

she has picked up on being a "tomboy" and often seeks clarification thats she is in fact a tomboy. I tell her she is not a tomboy she is her with an interest in many things make her the "person" she is and it is not good to need to justify your varied interests with comparison to the opposite sex. I tell her she female and strong and has freewill and that is all that matters.

Yet society needs to justify her uniquness from the stereotypical role and push her in the male mould by giving her a noncensical masculine justification when there are many little girls and woman like her, who are no less female and more male.

5madthings Tue 03-Jul-12 21:58:25

sounds good blueflyer smile its only recenlty ihave started to ahve concerns, as mine get older, the eldest two are 12 and 10 today! then 7 and 4 and then dd is 18mths.

i just think the internet is such a huge thing now in the lives of teens etc, am alreayd a mean mum as i wont let ds1 have a fb account yet! its a whole new world parenting a teen i think! i can cope with babies, toddlers and primary school age but as ds1 gets older i think the outside influences, peer groups etc come into force much more. cant fault ds1 he is great, doing brilliantly at school, well behaved, well mannered etc, but i just know that things WILL come up as he gets older, and its how to handle that natural curiosity about sex etc and yet i want him to know that what you see on the internet is NOT the same as rl life esp with regards to sex and porn etc. mind you he saw his sister being born, so hoping that has put him off for a while yet wink or at least made him think about the reality of what sex can produce!

sweetkitty Tue 03-Jul-12 22:01:01

I have 3DDs, DD1 almost 8 is very girly, pink and princesses, DD2 is a tomboy to the stage she actually wants to be a boy, she dresses in boys clothes down to underwear, loves dinosaurs and wants to be a builder she's 6 and fantastic, DD3 is almost 4 and so far quite girly more into mickey mouse and animals than princesses. Ive patented them the same, also have 2 yo DS who is the most stereotypical boy ever.

I grew up with a mad mother who thought men were better than women, to the extent that she believed its ok for a man to give you the odd slap if he gives you money, seriously the mark of a good man was bringing home the money. All women were good for was having babies and cleaning in here eyes. I'm such a disappointment to her going to uni and doing better than my brother.

I so want to break this mould. We don't talk about weight or appearance either. We say it's ok to wear boys clothes they're just clothes anyway.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Tue 03-Jul-12 22:15:41

argh i hate typing a very good post that then gets lost, grr.

I see the tomboy debate has been touched upon, I agree with tethers on no need to make the comparison.

I think next time dd asks me "Am I a tomboy?" or "do you think Im a tomboy mummy?" I may answer with "no sweetheart you are a feminist" grin. I think it will go down a treat at soft play when the other parents are chuckling sweetly at what a tomboy she is and she pipes up "no actually Im a feminist"

that way she may show an interest and cotton on to feminism far earlier than I ever did and that can only be a good thing.

Hullygully Tue 03-Jul-12 22:17:34

I don't think we've ever talked about "boys" or "girls" clothes or activities or being a "tomboy." Not cos I'm so cool, I just don't think it ever arose. Everyoen just did what they wanted.

The only time I ever remember talking about stuff was when ds wanted (age 7) to wear the hair slides to school and I said it was up to him but some people might make comments about "boy stuff" (because they are insane) so it was up to him if he wanted to deal with it or not.

Hullygully Tue 03-Jul-12 22:18:23


TheEnthusiasticTroll Tue 03-Jul-12 22:22:38

I think I have only in responce to what impression dd has been given from others, mostly mothers with boys I think who invite and include dd to parties and play dates that other girls in her class dont get a look in. But I see it differently than them, they see dd as a tomboy and i see dd a caring and nurturing child and I think the boys like this in her.

when she was in reception one little boy cried every day going into school and dd always with out fail took his hand and walked in with him often without saying anything. They often still play together at lunch time.

PissyDust Tue 03-Jul-12 22:24:59

Can I mark my place as a mother of 3 young girls please?

TheEnthusiasticTroll Tue 03-Jul-12 22:25:43

when I say I have,,,that was not in responce to I say you are a tomboy but your post above about boy and girl things.

my dd does when I think about it, make a distninction between the boyish things she likes and the girly things she likes, though she calls the more girly things stylish confused

Hullygully Tue 03-Jul-12 22:32:57

enthusiastic - I'm glad you cleared that up, I was imagining you shouting YOU ARE A TOMBOY...grin

TheEnthusiasticTroll Tue 03-Jul-12 22:34:30

an intersting point you make about the hair slides too hully and your ds, it seems possibly more accepted that girls can enjoy more masculin things and wear them well but slightly different for boys to do the same.

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