When I found out our first baby was a girl, I was thrilled. After almost two years of girl life, I wasn’t ready for that to be over. I silently hoped our second little bundle was a girl as well. Nothing made me happier than finding out I was going to be a girl mom again. Sure, I’ve had scary thoughts of teenage life with these two sweeties, but nothing could damper my happiness of raising girls. WRONG! O how wrong I was!
It’s not the drama, the attitude, the whining and crying. It’s the other girls. Apparently, we now live in some alternative universe where “mean girls” start in pre-school. Now, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. I was prepared to counsel my girls through middle and high school bullying. BUT pre-school, are you F’ing kidding me? This isn’t going to be the post where I rant and rave about my daughter’s experiences with “mean girls”. This is the post where I make sure my daughter doesn’t turn into one.
#1. I’m taking a long ass look in the mirror. Our children mimic everything we do. Our words come out of their mouths. Our feelings get carried around with them until they form opinions of their own. That’s heavy shit you guys. I need to make sure as the “same sex” parent I’m modeling myself the way I should be. Am I going to be perfect, hell no! However, I need to be aware.
#2. Shut the F up! When you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything. I know, I know, easier said than done. Listen, everyone vents, everyone talks shit. Just talk you’re shit out of your kid’s ear-shot. Even when you think “they are busy” or “they can’t hear me”, they can. Whatever you have to say about Mrs. Jones can wait. Kids are sponges and they are absorbing everything you say and filtering it through their own life.
#3. Be a friend you would want. If nothing else, let your daughters see you with your girlfriends. Let them see you nurture another woman. Show your daughters that a good girlfriend is a sister you will have for life. Let your girls see that as women we should stick together and support each other. Show them that having a female community around you IS EVERYTHING.
#4. Take the time to show them the bigger picture. I’ve been doing this a lot lately. Keeping the lines of communication open. Teaching my daughter empathy at a young age. Showing her that “ugly” words come from an “ugly” feeling that has nothing to do with her. Talking to her about why people hurt other people’s feelings with words. Explaining that some kids don’t have as happy of a life, and maybe that’s why they treat others badly. Reassuring her that no matter what hurtful things are said, there is only one truth, the truth you feel about yourself.
I’m not sure any of this is working, but I’m giving it my best. To me, this isn’t childhood bullying, it’s G- damn baby bullying. I see little boys have a fist fight and then be best friends in five minutes. It makes me envious, but I’m in the business of raising women here. No time for envy. I’ll be raising women who love and support other women, and these women, they will be a force.