Top 10 Things to Know When Raising Daughters
I grew up with a single brother. In retrospect, having a sibling of a different sex made things pretty easy for me and for my parents.
Now, as a mother, I can admit that in a million years I never imagined that I would be raising 4 females under one roof. (And please, save the “Your Poor Husband” woes because the hard truth is I have to deal with them more than anyone else does). So now that I am knee deep in hair scrunchies and emotional melodrama, I have some advice to pass on to those who are also raising a house full of estrogen producing offspring.
Today, I am sharing with you the Top 10 ‘need to know' things I have learned about raising girls.
1. Invest in toilet paper. Seriously! You might want to think about ordering in toilet paper by the truck load. The older they get, the more toilet paper they use and we easily, and I mean easily go through 25 – 30 rolls per week.
2. Have a good hiding place for toilet paper. (If the kids see your stock pile they won't be as careful about not using so much because they will think that you are almost out. I hide mine in the stow-and-go in my minivan.
3. Have plenty of mirrors around the house. We only have one bathroom, which poses plenty of problems. However, when the girls are all trying to get ready at the same time having plenty of mirrors around the house helps a lot.
4. Buy yourself a good set of headphones that block out noise. Girls talk. A lot. They talk about everything and anything. Sometimes they just talk to hear their own voice. Sometimes they talk to themselves. Head phones are a good way to drown out some of that talking.
5. Stay away from beauty and fashion magazines that depict pretty women as a certain size. As if Barbie isn't bad enough. I have had to stop purchasing magazines that glorify so called ‘perfectly sized women' because it really DOES make an impression on young girls.
6. Watch what you – meaning MOM – say about yourself. Asking things like, “Do these jeans make me look fat?” or, “Have I gained weight?” or saying “I cannot stand the way I look in this bathing suit!” sends a bad message to your daughters. And yes, they are listening to you. Studies have shown that girls learn a lot about their own self image from their mothers….so be careful about what you say.
7. Never accuse them of being over emotional, melodramatic, or resort to using phrases such as, “Are you about to get your period?” Truth is women are more emotional than men, and diminishing their feelings and making them feel silly for their feelings or blaming them on hormones, is a negative value to instill in your daughters. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING wrong with being emotional.
8. Avoid prissing them up all the time. The duality of femininity is one of the beautiful things about having a daughter. They can play the flute and play field hockey. They can wear bows in their hair and get down and dirty on the softball field. Raising them gender neutral will open up many, many more doors for them in the future.
9. Tell them you love them often. Daily. More than once. Even when they are acting like crazy people. Make sure they know they are loved.
10. Don't make them share clothes. If they want to, that's fine but if they are overly protective over their clothing then the best thing to do is honor that decision. (This avoids many fights!)
Bonus 11. Added tidbit here. Empower the daddy to take care of the girls. He may do things differently from you, but he can handle them just the same.
What advice do you have for raising girls?