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What advice would you give your daughters?

(38 Posts)
mnpeasantry Sun 15-Oct-17 22:31:09

I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can improve my DDs' experience of the world and would love to hear views from others.

I encourage them to play with toys aimed at both genders as well as non gendered toys.

I try not to place too much emphasis on how they look so they don't wrap their value up in being decorative

I seize on any stem interests and try to nurture them despite not being that way inclined myself

They are under 5 so for me more deeper discussions will come later to try to ensure they never feel they are any less capable than boys.

What do you do? Would love to make this world better for our girls and boys.

NataliaOsipova Sun 15-Oct-17 22:33:33

Choice (genuine choice) is about the most valuable thing you can have. Maximise yours.

PricklyBall Sun 15-Oct-17 22:53:44

Sounds like a great start - specially praising them for who they are and what they try hard to do, rather than what they look like.

Encourage them to do physical stuff - climb trees, throw balls around, get muddy. Let them do it in princess dresses if they want to - be relaxed about those princess dresses getting muddy and torn. Let them do the stuff that scares you, like climb that bit higher up the tree than you're quite comfortable with (obviously intervene if it's seriously scary, but give them space to explore their physical limits).

Encourage them to set and maintain their own boundaries. Think carefully about how you teach them to behave round others - are you encouraging them to think about others in a context of mutual respect or are you praising compliance? (I think this one is a really hard line to get right.)

Let them talk loudly! (Sounds like a small thing, but I still remember a primary teacher when I was about 7 or 8 saying I roared in class - I became very quiet after that for a while.)

Let them trust their instincts - if someone makes them uncomfortable, they are allowed to move away from that person.

oigetoffmycheese Sun 15-Oct-17 23:00:51

Value their opinion. Don’t encourage them to show affection just because it’s family etc. Teach them to speak up when they are not happy with a situation. Teach them that they can do anything they set their mind to...I could go on but you sound like you’re making a good start.

SentimentalLentil Sun 15-Oct-17 23:03:47

Oh my god yes about letting them talk loudly!

Collidascope Mon 16-Oct-17 09:33:07

It's for when they're older, but I remember from about 12 onwards being dragged in by teen magazines and utterly buying into this idea that I needed to look a certain way and buy certain make up and hair products. With hindsight, I wish my mum had gently critiqued it -pointed out that boys aren't expected to spend a fortune on cosmetics and clothes and hours doing their hair, etc. and that all this is actually a a way of keeping girls and women in their place. Athat age, I was aware of sexism but I just didn't have the insight to realise that these magazines, masquerading as friends, were just as sexist and damaging.

Collidascope Mon 16-Oct-17 09:37:31

Oh and yes about not encouraging them to show affection they don't feel. My mum was constantly telling me to smile and accusing me of looking unfriendly. Women are so expected to be nice and hide their own feelings to put everyone else at ease -which is clearly not good for boundaries.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 16-Oct-17 09:39:14

I will be encouraging my dd to screenshot everything and always be aware that anything she is putting online might be shared widely or be used in evidence against her.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 16-Oct-17 09:41:08

Think defensively. Be prepared for sexism and look for ways round it rather than letting it stop you doing what you want. (I have already told her about Xenia setting up her own law firm rather than putting up with sexism in an existing firm.)

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 16-Oct-17 09:42:09

'Don't buy women's magazines' is excellent advice.

theendisnotnigh Mon 16-Oct-17 09:42:50

Encourage her to play, explore and to make mistakes. Enable her to 'forgive' her own mistakes - that's how she'll learn and build resilience .
Talk with her, listen and both police and limit her online activities.

iver Mon 16-Oct-17 09:56:12

I will never say that a boy is being nasty to her "because he fancies her". If a boy is being nasty he is an arsehole and needs avoiding.

VeryPunny Mon 16-Oct-17 10:00:05

Always make sure you can be financially independent.

Who you marry will make the biggest difference to your quality of life.

Trust your gut instinct.

Don't be afraid to walk away.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 16-Oct-17 10:06:26

Obviously, always challenge and never perpetuate the 'girls can't' or 'girls should' stereotypes.

If there's something you personally aren't that good as then make it clear thats just you (or down to sexist education) not because you're a woman.

whoputthecatout Mon 16-Oct-17 10:42:23

When they get to 12 or so tell them not to give a shiny shit what boys say, want them to do or think of them. The downfall of many girls' aspirations is believing they are on this earth to get a boyfriend or please men.

Knusper Mon 16-Oct-17 11:11:14

For younger girls, limit their exposure to mainstream media and advertising. For older ones, keep a close eye on what they watch and read, encourage them to think critically.

You do have to stay within the boundaries that your parents set for you. You don't have to do what someone says just because they are an adult or more assertive than you - if it feels bad, trust your gut.

It's not wrong to enjoy fashion, make up etc. But it's no more important than any other hobby. You can choose to take it or leave it.

SelmaAndJubjub Mon 16-Oct-17 11:55:36

Don't be afraid to walk away

And don't be afraid to be rude. If it turns out you have mis-read a situation and the person meant no harm, you can always apologise - any decent person will understand and forgive you. Never, ever feel compelled to do something that makes you feel unsafe because you are worried the other person will think you are rude. Anyone who makes you feel bad for having boundaries is not to be trusted.

redsunstorm Mon 16-Oct-17 12:05:33

It's her right to politely but firmly say 'no thank you'. Obviously this is for situations when slightly older and in the right context/situation (but can be gradually introduced now amongst friends).She is entitled to live her life her own way without needing to please others.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 16-Oct-17 13:19:57

I seize on any stem interests and try to nurture them despite not being that way inclined myself

While obviously this is good, we have to ensure that we don't err on the side of giving the impression that stereotypically 'male' interests are necessarily more laudable than stereotypically 'female' ones. (This applies to raising boys just as much or more than girls too, of course).

mnpeasantry Mon 16-Oct-17 14:38:56

Thank you everyone. Great suggestions.

YY to not pushing affection. My DM is annoying at demanding affection and I'm trying to re-educate her about this. Boundaries are very important.

I am guilty of trying to quieten down my daughter. We try to do indoor / outdoor voices but might need to rethink this.

grasspigeons Mon 16-Oct-17 14:46:28

Find a good husband grin
But really, something about not having to be nice to dicks. I did a self defence course once run by the police and the trainer was really interesting. He talked about how women were so socially conditioned to be nice we couldn't even use the defences we did have. He wasn't victim blaming but acknowledged what society had done as was trying to help us. We all had to practice shouting 'fuck off arsehole' amongst other things

ErrolTheDragon Mon 16-Oct-17 18:06:00

I am guilty of trying to quieten down my daughter. We try to do indoor / outdoor voices but might need to rethink this.

There's nothing wrong with teaching consideration and manners - its just if you think you might have different standards for a boy that it's problematic.

Ttbb Mon 16-Oct-17 18:07:48

Don't listen to what other people say and learn to make up your own mind about how to live your life even if that means going against what most people consider acceptable.

newtlover Mon 16-Oct-17 18:12:41

give her accurate words to describe her body
YY to don't have women's magazines in the house
watch TV together and discuss what you see
be a role model, don't be too focussed on your own appearance
if you are a SAHM make sure she understands that your contribution to the family economy is just as valuable and valued as that of the wage earner
if you have a male DP, make sure he models respectful attitudes to women

poppl Mon 16-Oct-17 18:12:48

I don’t give a fuck about gendered toys. I kind of did in the beginning but she loves Barbie and there’s not a thing I can do about it.

She doesn’t take any shit though. Someone smacks her in the playground, she’ll stand up for herself. She’s no fool.

That’s what I’m giving her. Confidence and power. She is who she is and she shouldn’t care a damn what anyone else thinks.

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