Perspective on raising girls

I often talk to parents about how they raise their children, daughters mostly. Mine has been a little more difficult than my son. In terms of raising her I tend to think psychologically as I wanted her to be balanced, and well adjusted.

When my daughter was two I was very new to the study of children. I should have known when she cried the first three months of her life she would be a challenge. I should have known when she skipped over the crawling and went straight to running I was in for it, but I didn’t.

When she was two and getting in trouble one day I sat her in a chair and told her to stay, like a dog I suppose. I told her if she got out of the chair I would spank her. I don’t know why. Spanking serves no other purpose than to hurt my hand, but that’s what I said. This played itself out several times and the only thing it got me was a sore hand. She never cried because her butt was covered with a diaper, but she did have fun tormenting me.

As the years passed the same situation presented itself over and over again in different scenarios mostly in the form of us screaming at each other. I never quite understood why until now that she would do anything her father said but fight me tooth and nail over the smallest thing.

Never does she have conflict with her father. If he asked her to do anything she does without complaint, because she knows this will pit him against her mother. If she severs their bond then she can becomes the leader. This can be her tribe. Dad always sides with mom but as a young child she never stops trying.

It’s just recently I hear people referring to their families as a tribes. It is the most accurate statement that can be made about the family unit. We are tribes. Preindustrialization, and modern man both men and women had roles to play. Although in the fifties era,  the Beaver Cleavers showed great signs of the separation of men and women in the home. Men went to work, they were hunters of food, protectors of the home. They were builders. The foundation of the very tribe in which they belonged. Women were the gatherers, the ones that nurtured the children into their appropriate place within the tribe. Women supplied the essence of tribes very life. Everybody has a job and they were clearly defined.

In the case of a mother and daughter. A daughter is meant for these things. I believe genetically. She is born to nurture, to supply the very essence of leadership that will one day support and guide her own tribe. Without her no tribe can exist. Now that’s not to say that boys and men do not serve the same functions in their roles but it’s clearly another essay. Females no matter the age are meant to do great things and conflict arises when there are two making the same soup.

My daughter from birth genetically, I believe, is a leader. All girls are. She wants to lead to take control of the tribe. She fights for this. She wants to make the decisions, and tells me no when she doesn’t like mine. It creates conflict, fights, a struggle between her very nature to be a leader and her age. This explains a lot about why little girls like dolls. They are playing the role of leader. Preparing for the day when she posses her own tribe.

When my daughter was three or four she wanted to pick her own clothes to wear. She wanted to make decisions, chose what she wore, what she ate, what cup she drank out of. These were all critical decisions that prepare her for life ahead. I let her do all these things. It actually makes my life easier. Now her choice is clothing hasn’t always been the best but it covered the parts of her body that needed to be covered so it was fine with me Because it is her peers that will judge her new look with blatant truth, I do not have to be the bad guy. It is her peers that become my greatest ally. They judge harshly and allow me to play the role of nurturer instead of dictator. They hurt her feelings when they say her outfit is ugly, or she’s fat, stupid, etc. To resolve this I get to tell her she is an individual, beautiful, brilliant. I get to educate her on proper nutrition, fashion, the three R’s of education. She turns to me and I become the hero, the caretaker, the wise one. It works in my favor every time.

As my daughter got older she found new ways to assert her leadership. She got bossy with everybody. The kids on the playground, our son, nana, papa, but never dad. She would tell her brother he was sick and he needed to stay in bed and home from school. She would command him to eat his veggies. Don’t throw sand at the playground someone could get hurt. Don’t go up the slide that way it’s not safe. She was being a mother and rightfully so. She is born to do this genetically, nurture, care for, emotionally tend to. We praise our daughters for these traits. We encourage these traits. This is her way of learning how to prepare for the future. How to be a mother. She immolates us because genetically that is what she is supposed to be learning in these early years.

As my daughter moves into the teen years she is afford more freedom to make tougher choices, more responsibility. She recently had to research a new school and find out if its a fit for her. She made the final decision and it coincided with mine. It worked naturally the way it’s supposed to. We have fewer fights because we work together for the greater good. I encourage her to make mistakes, take risks. She need only hear about my experiences but learn her own lessons.

I know a women that has three girls the oldest the same age as mine. She tells them how to dress everyday How to wear their hair. In fact she does it for them. They make no choices. None. They are told what sports they can play. The mother rules every aspect of their life. They have no freedoms. They are servants to their mothers will. Now this is extreme, but look forward ten years and picture what I see….rebellion and lots of it. Their mother has told me great, fantastical stories of her own rebellion but had not learned a single lesson from it.

There is not need to cuddle your child. The dress them, feed them, or rule with a heavy hand. Children by design know their path and are willing to tell us if we would only listen.

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