Tag Archives: parenting girls

The Power of Women

IMG_20170625_155721

 

My eldest daughter of all four children is the one I worry about the most.

 

I know you can’t and certainly shouldn’t compare children. They’re all individuals. I know this. I can’t be the only parent who sometimes wonders how if you’ve parented all your children in the same way how come the end result is so different?

 

I’ve always admitted that my parenting style is one of  making it up as I go along  , it seems to work the majority of the time though.

 

Before eldest girl came my two sons.

 

They do fantastically academically , impeccably well behaved ( in school at any rate I’m not raising Topsy and Tim here!) they’re driven and motivated and *touch wood * at almost 17 and 15 they’ve never caused me too much bother or worry.

 

Eldest girl is a whole different kettle of fish. I learnt this when she was a baby. She has always been fiercely independent, very head strong and to be brutally frank , a bit of a pain in the arse . I wrote here why I don’t think that is particularly a bad thing.

 

I’ve asked her permission to write this as I really don’t want this to seem as though I am blogging about my child in a negative way. This isn’t negative. I did always want my blog to be a honest place though and it may seem I am always talking about how great it is to be a parent of teens ( and it really , really is in my experience so far ) There are challenges though.

 

Eldest girl has struggled with school this past year. She doesn’t seem to settle into it well. She’ll get into trouble for talking and rolling her eyes when a teacher tells her to hush. I’ll get emails about how she’s answered teachers back. I get irritable and annoyed with her when I hear this . I’d not stand for that kind of horrible bad manners at home, that she will display it to other people , well I really hate that.

 

I think I should take a bit of responsibility though. After all am I not the one who tells her to never let injustice pass her by? Who acknowledges that as a female my daughter will always have to shout louder to be heard, that she’ll have to fight to be allowed to take up space. If I then punish her for doing what she sees as standing up for herself, well I’m probably giving out mixed messages.

 

I wrote here about trying to teach her about picking her battles and that’s something we still need to work on.

 

I do worry she has little focus , that she has no real plans for the future , she’s 14 I don’t expect her to have her life mapped out I just think having something to aim for is healthy.

 

 

Last week we had a breakthrough.

 

My daughter is one of only 4 girls who have chosen to do computing as a GCSE next year. These girls were invited to go to a local company (CDL in Stockport) for the day. To have a look around, to chat to people who work there and to learn a bit more about a career in I.T ( oh my is it even still called I.T ? I am sooo old)

 

 

My daughter came home from this day inspired! Truly! She couldn’t shut up about her day and the people she’d met. She’d put together a plan and researched what GCSE grades she’d need and what her options were after school to pursue this career that has spoken to her so loudly.

 

The thing with my eldest daughter is that she, at 14 , has been coming up against inequality and sexism already for a very , very long time. From the boys who wouldn’t pass to her as a girl in the primary school football team. From teachers who have had her help others struggling with work when she’s finished early when the boys are given extension work. From certain family and ‘friends’ who pass comment about why can’t she dress like a proper girl. She is very much a hoody and trackies kind of girl and I really am quite jealous because she rocks it. I would look a fool. From the horrible words such as difficult and feisty and bossy that are never applied to her male counterparts exhibiting the same behaviour.

 

Yet last week she went to a company where they didn’t just tolerate females in a male dominated environment but they embraced it, they actively encouraged it . I think that could have been the first time (other than mum who obviously doesn’t count ) that she’d been told how valuable she was as a young woman. That her contribution to the world was welcomed, that there is a space for female voices where you don’t have to shout to be heard.

 

I’ve always said that I think the key to channelling my daughter’s spirit and passion is to surround her by inspirational , empowering women who can help her with learning how to choose battles and channel the kind of drive that makes me think of all my children she could no doubt change the world.

 

Last week she got a taste of that and I’m so grateful to CDL for sparking something in my daughter that has left her motivated and excited for the future.

 

 

Now ..just need to work on the eye rolling…..

 

 

 

my Facebook page is here

The Pramshed

<br /><br /><br />

<a href=”http://www.motherofteenagers.com&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”https://image.ibb.co/gWuOVF/Tweens_teens_beyonf_logo_June_24.jpg&#8221; alt=”Mother of Teenagers” /></a><br /><br /><br />

Daughter , I talk much nonsense but please listen to me on this one thing….

Today my eldest daughter turns 14

 

She has a fight and a zeal and a drive that terrifies me and makes me envious of her in equal parts.

 

She is fierce and strongminded and passionate as well as kind and compassionate- all I ever wanted my daughters to be .

 

I’m proud and in awe of her absolutely , I just wish I could get her to listen to me on just one tiny piece of advice.

 

 

Dear S ,

 

I know that I give you ‘mums little life tips’ very often. Possibly too often , but the thing about being an old lady such as me is that you’ve made lots of mistakes and learnt lots of ways in which you could have improved a situation or avoided a mess and I just want to help you maybe navigate some of those pitfalls without having to actually go through them.

 

Mum messed up so you don’t have to!

 

So if you listen to nothing else , just maybe listen to this one :

(Disclaimer – the sex , drugs , boys and rock and roll stuff ALL still counts , you know the basics of mum lecturing. This is an added extra NOT a replacement for the big ones)

 

This is my one pearl of wisdom for you though :

Choose your battles.

That’s it . Simple eh?

 

I admire your spirit S I do. I wish I could be like you in so many ways . There is such a raw determination in you and I know that eventually it’ll serve you well. It will aid the success I am certain awaits you.

 

There are times though that holding your tongue , taking a breath and thinking is the wiser choice than opening your mouth. I know you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking I’m giving out mixed signals here. Don’t I always tell you never to let injustice pass you by?  Never be a quiet bystander when you see something happening you know is inherently wrong .

 

I mean that too , honestly, don’t be the person who joins in with bullying. Don’t be the one who doesn’t challenge friends who use racist or sexist or homophobic language. Be the woman who builds other women up , not someone who gains enjoyment from pulling your fellow women down. Be a good human. Those there are the basics.

 

The bits that can be let go though , your brothers not bringing their pots out of their rooms or leaving the toilet seat up? You can leave those rows for me to have. Honestly I’m an old hand at this , don’t waste your precious energies on them. When you’re told off by your teacher but it wasn’t you talking. Don’t get into dialogue about it in front of the whole class , that won’t end well for you ! Hold your tongue and maybe talk to that teacher calmly afterwards. Don’t waste your clever comments under your breath on me when we’re disagreeing. All that gets you is your phone taken off you , you know this !

 

 

As a woman you will have big battles to fight.

You’ll likely have to fight to be heard.

Fight for your right to take up space.

Fight to be taken seriously as an intelligent woman.

Fight for your fellow women who don’t have their own voice.

 

 

These things are worth your fury and your rage and your fight. Unleashed and uninhibited. The full force of you S at an injustice , it doesn’t stand a chance.

 

Save yourself for the big things. Let me say here though I am in no way belittling your sense of what is big and what is insignificant. I can’t do that. Should I ever not take your concerns as seriously as you want , please do pull me up on it.Calmly . I hope I am never dismissive of your opinions but I know sometimes as a single mum of 4 children sometimes I’m not listening as intently as I should or I miss things and that must be frustrating. You know how we have our time just you and I every night though ? When small girl is in bed and the boys are playing the Stupid Football Game in their rooms. That’s my listening time , if I’ve annoyed or frustrated you by being distracted come to me then , let me know. Talk things through.

 

I have no doubt S that you have it in you to change the world. I’ve known it since you were a matter of months old. Changing the world takes energy though , lets ensure that we have enough in the bank . The boys smelly socks or an irritating person at school aren’t worth that precious spirit of yours.

 

Know this though, when you do have a battle to fight or an injustice to highlight. When you feel your voice needs to be heard and you need to stand up and be counted. When you’ve considered that actually this is a battle you’ve chosen needs fighting ,  I’ll be right there beside you, female solidarity at it’s finest. If that ends up being about the boys bathroom habits or you approaching school about the lack of girls sport  or if it’s you’re standing up for someone not being treated how they should or you needing to take on Theresa May ? Well if you’ve thought about it and find it worthy of your energy then S I am with you , without question.

 

Love Mum

xxxxx
 

Here’s my Facebook page 

Rhyming with Wine

 <br />

<a href=”http://www.aftertheplayground.com&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”https://i1.wp.com/i36.photobucket.com/albums/e14/Motherofteenagers/teen%20logo%20launch_zpsf7wwiqa5.jpg?w=750&#8243; alt=”After the Playground” data-recalc-dims=”1″ /></a><br />