Thursday, June 30, 2011

So when will your daughter be allowed to...?

Sometimes I troll baby/parenting forums - The Bump and Babycentre, never commenting, just reading the most insane or drama filled threads. It's a habit I picked up during bouts of insomnia while I was pregnant.

I just came across this question this evening and it got me to thinking. Here's the post:

OK, so when will you allow your daughter to...

(If you have a son or sons, pretend you have at least one daughter)
1) Wear a bikini?
2) Wear light makeup (away from home)?
3) Wear full makeup?
4) Go on a date with a boy (where you drive, they meet there, or out with friends)?
5) Go on a "car date" with a boy (where they pick her up in their own car, one on one)?
6) Go to a "real" concert?
7) Spend the night at home unsupervised?

Alright, I get where the question is coming from but what's the deal with the daughter thing? Sure, I can see that questions 1-3 are going to be specific to girls in the majority of cases (but not all.. keep that in mind!), but questions 4-7 could easily apply to sons too, couldn't they? I mean don't parents of boys need to think about when it's appropriate for them to date, or stay home alone?

However, my righteous indignation on this is undercut by my self-awareness. I know that when I was pregnant and I had no idea if I was carrying a little boy or a girl, I thought a lot about the big lessons I'd share with a little girl, and the subtle ways I'd make sure she grew up confident in her body image, her intelligence, her sexuality, her place in the world. But I didn't think about these things in the case that I had a boy. I am so aware of all of the ways that girls and women are challenged by the world around them, but really had never given too much thought to those same issues as they relate to boys. And that's silly, because of course, growing up and living in the world is hard on everybody and most of the questions you have to tackle when you raise a girl, you're going to have to tackle when you raise a boy too. Especially if you want to raise confident, safe children who believe in equality and kindness and their own personal responsibility to themselves and others. Yikes.

So yeah, the lady who posted this obviously needs to think about why she thinks that these issues are only relevant to parents of girls. But I probably need to think about them too. I'll tell you this though, Ollie's not wearing a bikini until he tones that buddha belly!

Oh and hey.. if you have any thoughts about this I'd love to hear them... I've made it even easier to comment, and I'm super interested in what my readers have to say!

1 comment:

  1. These questions are often gender driven, but sometimes they are also birth order driven - with the oldest getting different answers then the youngest!


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