Dear Parents of Girls
Whilst preparing the porridge for our three boys, I heard on the news on Radio 4 the latest pearl of parenting wisdom: don’t let girls play with Barbie dolls. Combing hair is passive. Your child will never be successful in the field of science and engineering if they partake in such frivolous past times.
You know my views on so called parenting ‘advice’, shared by so called respectable media outlets. And I wonder sometimes if it isn’t even worse for you than it is for me – is it just me or are more articles, more opinions more judgements directed at you, parents of girls? It sometimes reads as if your little girl has to forever justify her choices, her preferences, her sex in a way that I am not sure little boys do.
Sure, raising boys is not super easy, but that’s largely because raising kids is not super easy. But when it comes to the choices boys make, it all seems a little more straightforward. Such as…..
- If they want to wear pink, let them
- If they want to play with barbies, let them
- If they want to dress as a princess, let them
- If they want to play football, wear blue, wrestle with their mates, let them
- If they want to play Mums and Dads and Babies, let them
- If the love lego and machines and building stuff, let them play with these things
- If they want to cook and bake and sculpt with sugar craft, let them
- If they want to help clean, let them
- If they want to grow their hair long and style it, let them
- If they want to wear nail varnish or make up or jewellery, let them
- If they say when they grow up they want to be a parent, applaud them
- If they show an interest in a high powered career, support them
- If they declare they ‘hate’ a subject at school, whether that be art or maths or reading or science, gently show them how they can enjoy it. Gently support them in being better at it. But don’t worry about it too much
- If they judge people who make different choices, correct them
- If they feel judged when they make choices different to their peers, support them
- Try to avoid adverts, either on the TV, on billboards, in magazines and is shop displays – let them decide for themselves what they like, rather than be told what they should want
- Try to ignore unwelcome advice, especially unwelcome advice that worries you. That includes this blog post.
I hope this blog post does not worry you. I hope it does not patronise you. I hope you take it for what it is – a message of support from parent to parent.
You are doing a great job.
And your little girl and the choices she makes? She’s perfect.