As a mom of a daughter, I have frequently heard negative words about girls and especially teen girls by other adults attempting to make "small talk" over the years.
Frankly, it has rubbed me the wrong way. It always seemed like one of those weird hidden passive aggressive things that's hard to define but somehow feels insulting - kinda like a back handed compliment.
After all, wasn't I once a teenage girl? Isn't my daughter going to be one at some point? Essentially, isn't the "small-talk-girl-basher" insulting me and my girl?
Here are some of the nasty comments I have heard said about young women and girls over the years (quite often by women):
· "Girls are whiny; screamy; bitchy. They can't help it. They are just born that way."
· "Middle school girls are evil."
· "Girls don't know how to be real friends. They are bitches. Don't ever trust another girl."
· "She may be sweet now but you only have a few good years left before she becomes demonic and her head starts spinning in circles."
· "She is mean. She is pretty but she's a slut. She hooks up with different guys constantly."
· "Girl world is unfortunate and inevitable. All girls have the potential to be mean girls...especially to their mothers."
· "Good luck to you when your daughter either becomes tortured or the torturer when she hits middle school."
· "Say goodbye to your daughter from the ages of 13-18."
· "If she keeps eating like that, she is going to be big as a house."
I believe in the saying, "What we focus on grows." How can we expect our girls to be destined for future female badassery when we are focused on speaking this way about them?
Often presenting these opinions as indisputable facts...
When we listen to or say hateful statements about our girls, we are focused on lowering their self-esteem and setting them up to fail.
I want more for all our girls. For us. For our granddaughters.
I would like to take a stand and dispel this ridiculous myth about our middle school girls. I happen to know many lovely, kind, hilarious, spunky and incredibly awesome girls...of all ages.
Speaking unkind words about our girls or other mother's girls, or even listening without defending, spreads an anti-feminist message.
Our girls are beautiful and amazing and we want the best for them, don't we?
Don't we want them to "lean in" and take their leadership positions at the table consisting of equal rights and pay?
If we truly stand behind this future agenda for our girls, we must take action now to begin to empower and prepare them for those big pants they will be wearing. As mothers and fathers that want the world for our girls, we must end the girl bashing on our watch.
I think middle school girls get a bad rap due to it being a challenging time during the human experience. There is so much change all at once; changing school; changing body; changing friends; changing interests.
Does it make sense to speak ill of our girls and retract our support when they need us most - during such a crucial period of transition from girlhood to becoming a young woman?
It is time to change the climate in regard to this topic and who better to lead the charge than mothers; former girls that experienced this frustrating phenomenon not long ago ourselves.
Step 1: Take a stand and stop speaking about our girls in a negative way.
Step 2: Say at least 1 positive and empowering thing to your daughter daily. Ex: "You played your heart out in that game. It was awesome to watch you fight for your team."
Step 3: Anytime you hear negative comments about girls, defend and dispel the myth - if your daughter hears you doing this, double bonus! Ex: Your mother in law criticizes your daughter's outfit and you say, "Yup, the styles are definitely different for teenage girls than they were 60 years ago. Honey, you are beautiful inside and out."
If you are ready to build a deeply connected and rich relationship with your daughter supporting her the way you would have loved for yourself when you were her age and you don't know how to get started, stay tuned...I have just the thing to produce those results in your life.
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