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How to encourage dd to do things I don't want to do?

(11 Posts)
FiveCharactersOrLess Fri 11-Mar-16 08:01:37

disclaimer - this isn't all related to feminism but felt this was the most appropriate place, more so then just general parenting

I have a very 'stereotypical' life - heteronormative etc etc, which I can see is hugely down to how I was brought up and no small amount of misogyny involved but I've examined my life a lot as an adult and am happy with a lot of my current life choices, even if I disagree with some of the reasons behind them. (eg, am heterosexual and having spent a lot of time thinking about it, am happy with my sexuality even though it was pushed by my homophobic parents).

I have just one dd and how do I make an environment where she can have a full choice to do/be whatever she wants when I happen to be/want to do very 'norm' things - without making it very artificial/deliberately pushing her into 'alternatives'?

Eg; I work and do a lot of 'wifework' but I'm ok with that, DH does a lot 'unseen' such as hours selling stuff we're decluttering on ebay for example. But I want dd to know that's not because I'm expected to, it's a choice.

Or; I don't wear revealing/sexy/'feminine'-typical clothes and very rarely wear make-up because I'm not at all comfortable, physically, in them, I wear what makes me comfortable. But I want to get across to dd she could wear a minidress and a faceful of 'slap' everyday and it wouldn't have any bearing on her personality.

Or; I've taken a lower career path than I could have because I have anxiety and don't have aspirations for a big house etc so it suits me beautifully to have a small budget but low stress and more family time. But I want dd to know she has a choice, she doesn't have to sacrifice career for family and housework if she doesn't want to.

Hope all that makes sense, I don't want to lecture dd on any of this, ideally some of my choices would be at odds with each other so I could demonstrate the range of choices to dd but it so happens I'm very happy in my lifestyle but want to get across that's because of my choices, not because I'm doing what the patriarchy says.

FiveCharactersOrLess Fri 11-Mar-16 08:07:05

Should add I've been thinking about this because it's becoming apparent how little 'alternative' influences dd has and I'm not liking it. She can be as 'norm' as she likes but not just because everyone around her is iyswim. Eg, I've always been extremely open about accepting different sexualities, because I genuinely am, but she's recently starting squirming and going 'eww' at gay relationships being discussed on tv, which I roundly told her off for but that probably wasn't the most helpful reaction. I'm just worried she'll think my life is the 'correct' model rather than just one of the options available and no better than the rest.

FiveCharactersOrLess Fri 11-Mar-16 08:09:54

And I've tried to nurture role models where possible but again haven't collected large amounts of gay/lesbian/transgender/ethnic minority/womens lib/etc etc friends just to tick boxes so most of my friends are 'depressingly normal' (description from one of them).

BelaLugosisShed Fri 11-Mar-16 10:48:03

Having successfully ( I think) raised a daughter, I can only say that despite having a 'traditional' family set up, i.e me working p/t/ never having a career/ DH being the 'breadwinner' , DD , now 25 , has a very successsful career as a Maths teacher and has strong feminist leanings - I have always been a feminist and DH has feminust principles - we never enforced gender roles on her, when young she was always riding bikes/ climbing trees and getting generally filthy. She has as many male friends as female but has a tight knit group of women friends that have been there since the age of 14 or so, something I've never had.
I'm very much the loner / introvert and it' s definitely DH's influence that has given her confidence and fabulous self esteem. He has always been hands on with childcare and housework too which is hugely important imho. When she was at primary school I worked Saturdays so that was 'their day' and they would pick me up from work full of tales of where they had been etc.
I must also add that while I have no real interest in clothes and don't wear make up, she is the stereotypical fully groomed 'package' , but she also has friends, gay and straight, who aren't appearance focussed at all.

sadgirlsclub Fri 11-Mar-16 16:16:18

I mean she goes to school and goes online, right? Reads books? My upbringing was quite 'normal' but I'm gay, highly political, vegan, feminist, whatever. My friends and I at school talked and learned and tried stuff out together. The internet exposed us to new ideas as well. I honestly wouldn't worry about it. As long as you make it clear you only want her to be true to herself, it won't matter I think.

VestalVirgin Sun 13-Mar-16 19:25:34

Or; I don't wear revealing/sexy/'feminine'-typical clothes and very rarely wear make-up because I'm not at all comfortable, physically, in them, I wear what makes me comfortable. But I want to get across to dd she could wear a minidress and a faceful of 'slap' everyday and it wouldn't have any bearing on her personality.

Don't worry about that. If you allow her to watch TV; she will soon get the idea that the way you do it is wrong.

No, seriously, don't worry. We have the internet. There's no lack of exposure to alternative lifestyles.

MrsJayy Mon 14-Mar-16 17:43:00

Letting be who they are is easy Ime they are not an extension of us DDS would wander about looking like they fell put of bed grin just let her develop her own interests don't see it as a mum and dad job bit just a job at home that needs to be done. DDS are grown 1 is working other at college girls develop their own personality

chelle792 Mon 14-Mar-16 17:50:51

I find this question really interesting. Me and dh have very traditional roles by choice. It suits us. We wouldn't want to force this onto our kids but it's hard to know how not to

MrsJayy Mon 14-Mar-16 17:54:19

I was a sahm they understood dad was working shifts so I'd do the washing but also that their dad was capable of sticking a load in that sort of thing

Sadmother Fri 15-Apr-16 06:48:45

I think it will be very difficult to encourage your daughter to be different from you currently. You are her biggest influence and you say yourself that you; do a lot of wifework; are not comfortable with yourself physically; and have very low aspirations. I think these will impact your daughter negatively and it is vital that you work on yourself primarily to ensure a more positive outcome for her.

BeStrongAndCourageous Fri 15-Apr-16 07:45:12

I think we tend to vastly overestimate the impact we have as role models for our children.

My DM was a single mum who worked long hours in a professional role; was very independent (never even had a serious relationship) and was very politically active. I am a SAHM who has been with the same man since I was 25 - because I'm a different person to her, and the life she led wouldn't have suited me at all.

My mum always and continues to let me know that I am my own person, that my life is my own and I can do anything I want to - regardless of whether it's what she would have chosen to do. She has huge respect for me, as I do for her, and frequently tells me she's "in awe" of the woman I've become.

With my own DD, I make sure is aware that there is a huge world of possibilities out there, far beyond what she sees in her own home. She knows that boys can love and marry other boys, and girls can love and marry other girls (she's only 4 so I keep the language appropriate for her). She knows that just because in our house Daddy goes out to work and Mummy stays at home, that's not how it is for everyone, and we point to examples of that. She knows not every child has a mummy and a daddy, and it's OK as long as they have someone who loves them. She knows she can do anything she wants to so long as she's prepared to put the work in.

I think equipping them with the confidence to blaze their own trail in life is more important than feeling we have to lead a life that isn't true to ourselves just to give some disingenuous idea of a "good rolemodel".

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