The Trouble With Raising A Daughter

This post started off like any other blog post of mine. I got an idea that seemed completely brilliant and inspired and set out to share my wisdom with the world. About halfway through, something changed. You see, this post was originally titled “How To Raise A Benevolent Child.” You are probably wondering what changed between then and now. I realized that although my daughter is so considerate of others and just the most super duper sweetheart that you will ever meet, I don’t know the first thing about how to raise my daughter. And that scares me.

I never used to think about how to raise my child. It was just something that came naturally to me: When she’s hungry, feed her. When she’s wet, change her. When she’s sad, comfort her. No one ever told me how I could make her be an excellent human being, let alone a tolerable one. I’m still learning as I go.

There are many things that parents of girls have to worry about, all of which seem trivial but make all the difference. For instance, you have to tell your daughter she’s beautiful but you have to balance it with… “and you’re really good at math?!” Really! People look at me like I’m from a foreign planet when my daughter twirls around in the grocery store while singing, “I’m a pretty princess!” at the top of her little lungs. I hold her close and tell her, “Yes, you are beautiful… and you’re really good at math!” This gets people to stop staring at me like I’ve committed some kind of cardinal sin by allowing my daughter to believe that she is a pretty princess, all because of the addition of something that others deem worthwhile (math).

My daughter likes to build things and to see how they are put together. Because of this, many of her favorite toys deal with building and construction. The kid loves blocks and LEGO bricks! For my birthday, we went to the local Toys R Us store to let our daughter spend her $3 gift certificate on a toy of her choice. She chose one of the new LEGO Friends playsets (Emma’s Design Studio, which is a fashion design studio set). Again, I was torn: a lot of moms don’t approve of the new LEGO Friends line, and even worse, am I being an awful mom for allowing her to choose the Design Studio over the science-based Inventor’s Workshop set?

Sometimes you just have to stop thinking things through so much and start supporting your child the best way that you can – by allowing her to grow into the woman that she is destined to become with as little interference from you as necessary. Sure, my daughter pretends that she’s a pretty pretty princess, but she also knows that she is smart, kind, and loved. Maybe she’ll become an architect one day, or maybe a fashion designer – no matter what, I will support and encourage her to help her realize her dreams. I’m likely not going to receive an award from my community for being the best feminist, but by golly, I will strive to be the best mom that any little girl could have.

What do you think the best/worst parts of raising a girl are? Has anyone ever judged your parenting style because your daughter wore too much pink / played princess / aspired to be more like Kate Middleton than Condolezza Rice?

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About Classic Mommy | Atlanta Mom Blogger

Atlanta Mom Blogger | Enjoys sweet tea and a good challenge | Dislikes dirty fingernails and whining | Mom to Danger | Wife to Dre | Family Travel Blogger
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2 Responses to The Trouble With Raising A Daughter

  1. Hello
    Nice post, thank-you.
    You are very brave sharing your story about Lego Friends (given the climate at the moment) 🙂
    I too am warming to the theme and appreciate the fact that Lego is trying to reach out to girls (and mothers too). Friends has its faults but overall I’m pretty impressed with the quality and variety of the sets – I mean try finding another “girls” toy where an Inventor’s workshop is a play option?
    My daughter (who likes doing her hair, doing her hair and beating the boys at sports) is a fan of the theme too.
    Thanks for your honesty and clarity.
    Cheers
    Inger

  2. Great post Autumn-I personally feel that at this age a child should be allowed to be a child. Boy or girl-let them play with whatever the hell they want to play with and develop into the person that they ARE ( like you said). If a little girl wants to play with GI Joes and Tonka trucks….what the hell is wrong with that??? If a boy wants to wear a tutu and play cinderalla, who cares? They are kids. Putting them into the box we want them to be in stifles their creativity. Giving a child structure but freedom within that structure to blossom into the person that they are ensures that they will find the path they are supposed to be on in life…so they will be happy adults. We as parents just need to let go and stop trying to control every little detail. I mean really? People are upset about pink girly legos??

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