I am sure there are many times when we talk with our children or joke around with them and say something that we didn’t really think about.  We so often flippantly say things without really thinking them through and realizing the impact it could have on our children.  I am so guilty of doing things like this often as I am a very big smart ass.  I will constantly tease my girls and say things that I don’t really mean and I know they know I am just messing around.  However…this one thing I have been saying to my girls needs to STOP, and I need to spread the word so other parents stop telling their girls the same thing.

HE IS ONLY MEAN TO YOU BECAUSE HE LIKES YOU” or “HE PULLS YOUR HAIR BECAUSE HE THINKS YOU ARE CUTE.”

I am sure most of us have said these things to our daughters when she complains about a little boy in class that is continually picking on her, pulling her pony tail, pushing her, or teasing her.  It is just an innocent statement from us parents, but the impact of those words are HUGE!!!!!

I saw an image on Facebook the other day and it has stuck with me since.

Me: So when you see the 4 year old boy pull the little girls hair…
Student: He likes her!

Me: Now they are around 11 or 12 and he grabs her arm and wrestles her to the ground even though she calls him a jerk and yells at him to leave her alone.
Student: That is just how boys are.

Me: Now they are 18 and he grabs her arm and-
Student: Oh, that’s not okay.
Me: Really? How would he know? How would she know? How would you know? You just told me that for the first 17 years of these children’s lives that you thought it was cute, sweet, and natural for a boy to grab a girl and be rough with her.
Student: Oh…

Let me explain, when we tell our girls those statements it is telling them that hurting is flirting. Even worse, that a boy that likes you can hurt you and it is okay.  It starts at a very young age teaching them that love equals abuse and in NO WAY do I want my girls to think that.  Love should equal kindness and respect, and it should never mean hurting another person.

Another thing these statements do is dismiss the bad behavior for the bully.  No matter what the intentions were, a bad behavior is a bad choice and should not be given an excuse.  When I have told my girls these statements all it does is show them that I don’t take it seriously and in the future if a boy hurts them worse…they might not come to me about it.  I would hate to lose that trust from them for later in life just because I blew off these behaviors now.  They need to know that I am their safe place and I will always go to battle for them!

Another thing it does is romanticize children’s friendships. It takes away the innocence of young children who need to learn that it is okay to be friends with any gender and being friends with the opposite gender should in no way mean that they “like” each other in a relationship kind of way.  Of course my girls have had crushes on little boys, but it needs to remain innocent and for me not to put adult notions on it.

This was a hard pill for me to swallow.  I hate thinking in any way that I am letting my girls down.  I want to raise strong independent loving girls.  I need them to know how to demand respect from boys and not settle for anything less than they deserve.  I am embarrassed and ashamed that I have said those statements to my girls, but I will never say it again!

easter

XO,

 

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17 Comments on The Worst Thing I Told My Daughters

  1. What a great post, and so very true! I have never thought about that kind of thing, it isn’t something we have had to deal with just yet, but I definitely will make sure that my girls know that it isn’t okay to be treated that way by boys, and men. Thanks for sharing this! #sharewithme

    • I had never thought of it that way either until I saw that interview on Facebook! It completely opened my eyes. I am so happy you came to visit!

  2. Carole…it is at times like these when I read what is in your mind that I am blown away and am so proud of you. Thank you for being open and honest. I love you!
    Your momma

  3. Carole, this message needs to be broadcast on every radio station, and I am not kidding! Why is it that parents do NOT teach their little boys to treat girls with love and respect? Sadly, the proof of this is that girls and women are abused, treated violently, and raped, and it continues to go on, and is thought of to be a very small problem. Very sad!

    • Thank you Tom. I don’t have little boys, but I know that if I did that would be one of the main areas I would concentrate on. It is a sad statistic in this world, and one that starts at a young age.

  4. A great post! But I have to say – – – not only for moms of girls but should be for moms of boys as well. May we teach boys to respect girls and never to be mean to gain the attention of another person. Glad to have stopped here this morning!

    • I had never thought of that either until I ran across that facebook interview. It was so powerful and I have immediately changed that!!

  5. What powerful and inspiring thoughts! Wow! You’ve given me much to think about. I haven’t had many opportunities to discuss boys’ behaviours – so this has given me much to consider when these discussions come up.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

  6. So true OMG!! I say this already to my two I am never saying it again I never thought of it like this and in this day and age we must think of it like this and what we are telling them its okay to rough up girls thats how men show their flirting and like for them NO NO NO I can’t believe I never thought of it like this before. Love this post. Thanks for sharing and putting it straight for me and hopefully everyone else out there with daughters. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    • I am so happy to hear this!! I had never thought of it that way either until I read that post on Facebook. Thanks for having me and as always…I love linking up with you!
      xx

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