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Parenting Girls

(16 Posts)
scrappydappydoo Wed 16-Jul-08 07:11:19

I've been thinking a lot lately about how I'm bringing up my girls - several things really how i want them to be happy, confident, independent, intelligent girls/women who could anything they put there minds to. I really worry about the sort of world they're growing up in that doesn't seem to value education or hard work. I worry that they'll go off the rails or hang out with the wrong crowd. I worry that I won't be able to relate to them (I don't have a close relationship with mum). They're only 2yrs and 5mths!
How am I going to do this??
(sorry been up since 4.30am with dd1 and every 2hrs in night with dd2 so i've a lot of time to over-think! blush)

maidamess Wed 16-Jul-08 07:47:13

I have a dd who is now 12 and I have made it my lifes mission to 'tell her how it is'.

For example, when we see gyrating women scantily dressed on pop videos, I don't want her to aspire to look or act like that. So we discuss why the women do it, how it makes others feel and what else they could do to be admired.

We talk a lot about friendships and what her friends have said to her and their possible motivations. I really want her to see its rarely going to be her fault if someone at school is 'offish' with her, they are probably having a hard time.

I don't know if this makes any sense....I thought long and hard about what bothered me when I was growing up, lack of confidence about my looks, what I needed to do to be attractive etc, blaming myself if someone was horrid to me. And I have tried to equip dd with tools so that she won't fret about these things, or at least can think about them logically.

She's a really switched on clever girl, and we talk loads. Talk talk talk, thats the key.

gagarin Wed 16-Jul-08 07:53:10

And also listen.

My dh says "why do they talk to you and not me?"

I say because I can sort of tell when there is something to be said and instead of saying "are you OK?" which leads to a flounce in a pre-teen I just sort of hang about tidying their sock drawer or go and watch Corrie with them (I hate soaps...) and in the end one of them says "mum..."

DuffyMoon Wed 16-Jul-08 09:00:48

Oh God....mine are 12 and 10....I have no confidence in my parenting abilities at all and am conviced they will go off the rails and it will all be my fault.....not much help to OP but hoping for some wise words of advise.......

cory Wed 16-Jul-08 09:05:50

Their best protection is going to be their relationship with you. Maidamess and Gagarin have said it already. Having fun with them while they're little is a good start.

As they grow up, let them know that you like them, that you enjoy them and that you believe that they are growing up into the sort of people who will make good decisions. The world was always full of dangers and temptations- but also of hard work and commitment and exciting possibilities.

Try not to think too much of the negatives; if you expect them to go to the bad that won't help their self-confidence to make the right and difficult choices in life.

Gateau Wed 16-Jul-08 09:05:54

I don;t have girls - I have a 15 month old DS but I have always thought that if I did I would TRY TO steer her in the direction of having an interest like horse-riding or similiar - basically try to get her involved in the great outdoors. Of course my good intentions might not work but I really would not want her to be a little prima donna who is having her nails and hair done at the beauticians at the tender age of six!
Call me old-fashioned but...

Iwantmybed Wed 16-Jul-08 09:08:10

This is a good thread, I panicked about this as soon as the sonographer said it's a girl. I was an awful teenager, promicious (sp?) drunk a lot and did some soft drugs. I want my daughter to have some fun growing up, but nothing like I did. I hope she grows into a happy confident woman.

DuffyMoon Wed 16-Jul-08 09:18:23

Oh Cory - I do try.....I suppose its not that I think they will go bad its the thought that it will be something I did that "makes" them bad......

Gateau Wed 16-Jul-08 09:22:24

Duffy - you'll drive yourself bonkers if you blame yourself for everything they do that's "Bad."
Why not turn it round and praise yourself for everything they've done that's good!!!

DuffyMoon Wed 16-Jul-08 09:29:55

yes....I am driving myself bonkers....I know it "my" problem not theirs.....trouble is the way I would view it is - everything they bdo that is "bad" is my inept parenting....everything they do that is "good" - well thats just luck really, no input from me.......I am a bit of a control freak so am having trouble dealing with them being independent from me as of course they should and must be.....

moyasmum Wed 16-Jul-08 09:33:18

I agree with everyone here that it is all in the relationship, keeping the communication going (even when they get to the grunting stage).
Also remember that the child you imagine you see in your little one is unlikely to fulfill all your aspirations. so ,for example, if education is very important to you and a stumbling block to your child,no matter how hard they try, see the trying and not ther failing.

I think with girls its all in the relationship ,which will continue to deeepen (and confuse)and mum and daughter both need (not too clingey though)
.Shoot me ,i only had brothers, but the parental relationship with them is all "means to an end"

scrappydappydoo Wed 16-Jul-08 11:47:14

Thanks - it feels like such a minefield -added with the fact I'm not a girlie girl (iykwim) I just want them to be productive members of society.
Can anyone recommend any good books? people are always saying read 'raising boys' for sons but I've heard the girls version isn't as good...

cory Wed 16-Jul-08 11:47:55

DuffyMoon on Wed 16-Jul-08 09:18:23
"Oh Cory - I do try.....I suppose its not that I think they will go bad its the thought that it will be something I did that "makes" them bad......"

They are still little, Duffy. As they grow up, it will become easier for you to see them as individuals in their own right, people who make their own choices, rather than waiting passively to be turned into something by your parenting. After all, you think of yourself as an individual, don't you? One day, they will be where you are now.

My dd is now 11 and I am already seeing the changes. My source of confidence is gradually shifting from belief in my own fantastic (not!) parenting to trust in her a as a person.

No doubt she will make mistakes like we all do, but I do believe that she is essentially a good and sensible person and that her important choices will be wise ones. And she knows that is my belief, and I think she will remember that and try to live up to it.

abouteve Wed 16-Jul-08 12:15:24

I agree communication is the key. Let them know that they can come to you with any problems.

I worried about bringing up my DD. I was a wild teen too and I expected to go through the same problems that my parents did. It hasn't happened yet. I have the opposite concerns, that DD is so sensible and focussed she will miss out on the fun side of being a teen. It's got to the stage where she is just like a best friend to me and we can discuss anything because she is so wise. Her rebellion may be against my liberal parenting! Think Edwina/Saffy relationship in ab fab.

She is only 14 so I'm hoping that she will branch out a bit in the next couple of years.

Strange how often children turn out so different to how you expect them to. Don't worry unnecessarily, you may be surprised.

gagarin Fri 18-Jul-08 06:51:01

Iwantmybed and abouteve - but you both turned out ok? And your teen experiences were fun at the time - or a least a learning experience?

IMO having done a few teen things is really helpful because at least you are open to the fact that it is possible your dd may be "experimenting" in her teens - and you will be able to chat about what her friends are up to without feeling total panic.

One of my friends dds came home from a party and said "guess what I was offered weed" and instead of saying "really - what did you decide to do? Did you try any?" the mum said she wasn't allowed to go to a party again that holidays in case it happened again! And the girl said "no thanks"! Punished for NOT doing drugs and TELLING her mum. HOw weird.

Elkat Sat 19-Jul-08 21:43:59

I think the key thing is to invest time in your girls. Let them know you want to spend time with them and enjoy being with them. Always keep the lines of communication open and make sure they always know you love them (even if you don't like what they do). That's what my mother did with me, and I am lucky that I have an excellent relationship with my mum and I am trying my hardest to replicate that with my two DDs (4 1/2 and 1 1/2). We regularly have girly days - sundays are our 'special' trips to the cinema (£1 day!) whilst daddy has a lie in. Or on other times, we all go shopping together, and my mum comes too. Now they're happy just going out, visiting toy shops and the like, but as they reach the difficult teenage years, it'll probably be bonding over clothes shopping or a manicure - just as my mum did with me. Having that time, when my mum was interested in just me, giving me time that I could talk about things, and she showed an interest in my friends and my life helped to keep the doors of communication open and even in those years, I was able to talk to her about most things. I still can. I think just knowing you have someone who is totally in your corner, backing you, as my mother was for me gives you the confidence to face the world and do what you want to do. Again, I hope that I am passing that on to my DDs. I am always telling them how well they've done, and how proud I am etc and always have 'special time' with my girls. My DD1 is starting to blossom into a very confident little girl (although she has been since a baby, so I think that is in part, her nature). But if I can do just half as good a job as my mum did, I will be happy.

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