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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.

The perception thing - It's something I've noticed a lot since having DD. One in particular is pretending to hoover. My family just used to laugh when the boys pretended to hoover whereas with DD they'd say 'oh, look! She knows what to do with that' (yup, obviously by instinct rather than because she'd seen DH and I hoovering hmm. Morons) or' she's such a girl isn't she.

When DD is being bossy it's being bossy and because she's a girl, whent he boys are it's just them 'organising' everyone.

DD had very little hair til 2.6 and was often mistaken for a boy, if I bothered correcting people they would say 'oh yes I can see it now'. Now that she has a mop of curls everyone comments on how pretty they are <sigh>. It's very fine and she hates having it brushed to the point where she has little dreads forming sometimes. I'm considering letting them just go to dreads (I would but i have dreads and don't want turn her into some kind of mini-me)

DS2 really wants a skirt grin cos he likes the look of them. I would cheerfully go for it but know that he'll get comments when out at the park so I've made him some ali-babas as a compromise

another thing we are doing is knitting/sewing/clothes making - DS1 dead keen to have a go so they re all going learn if they want (actually - sewing a hem/button etc they will whether they want to or not, likewise the 'male' jobs)

GoodButNotOutstanding Wed 04-Jul-12 15:14:10

Librarians - my dd1 had very little hair and was constantly being mistaken for a boy too. I took to dressing her in pretty pink dresses til I realised quite how absurd that was, I think she was about 13/14 months when i worked out that it didn't matter whether people thought she was a girl or a boy and she should wear comfortable practical clothes so she could crawl and toddle around more easily. DD2 hates having her hair brushed too, is it acceptable to let toddlers have dreads or would i be opening myself up for a lot of judgement? Not that I really care who judges me but I like to be prepared for it happening.

GoodButNotOutstanding probably lots of judgment grin but check out some of these pics
I went on to knotty boy mainly because I remembered reading on there about a boy who really wanted dreads but didn't like the backcombing etc so his mum did them one at a time while he was asleep and now he's got lovely dreads and is a sought after child model. or these.
Sorry - I've gone a little OT.

GoodButNotOutstanding Wed 04-Jul-12 15:44:02

That last little girl is very cute. Is it a girl? I can't tell with the name of tea-pot confused. How do you do dreads? Can I just not brush her hair or do I have to do something to it?

With DD I could just not brush and the individual curls turn into mini dreads after a week or so (that's the longest I've let her go without dragging a brush through). With straight hair you backcomb and either twist and rip with wax or use a very small crochet hook (.6/.75) and use that to tighten them up (<-- what I did and it took 28 hourse in total to dread all my hair)

The second one is a girl i believe

msbuggywinkle Fri 13-Jul-12 16:38:52

I have three DDs (6,3 and baby). DD1 is totally 'pretty' obsessed, I think mainly due to her Nana's tendency to comment. DD1 also hates hair brushing and only bothers occasionally, her Nana will comment 'where has your pretty hair gone?' (I replied, 'on her head, where it always is') there are lots of similar instances.

We have been talking a lot about why we like people (as in, it has nothing to do with how they look) and I try to be a decent female role model (I work for my self part time, and have varied interests)...she just seems to be attaching so much importance to the word 'pretty' and it is worrying me!

TheMightyMojoceratops Fri 13-Jul-12 17:14:54

msbuggywinkle Have you seen Katie Makkai perform 'Pretty'?

msbuggywinkle Sat 14-Jul-12 08:32:15

Yes! I showed it to DD too as we are a swearing friendly household! It led to an interesting chat about plastic surgery which, happily, she thinks is bonkers.

RavenVonChaos Fri 11-Jan-13 18:54:43

As your daughters get older (early teens) please talk to them about masturbation, sexuality and sexual enjoyment.

No women's magazines in my house anymore.

Healthy eating, never dieting.

Whatever they chose from the library, always slip in an extra book about strong women or men who have battled against prejudice. We found a great picture book about Harvey Milk recently.

Have lots of fun! Teaching them to enjoy life and develop resilience will come in handy when the chips are down.

Horse riding has been great for my girls in developing strength, courage and risk taking behaviour. It's a great gender leveller.

Still struggling with it all tho!

Broodzilla Fri 11-Jan-13 18:57:01


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