As I look at my beautiful eight year old daughter the question that pops into my mind the most is “Am I preparing my daughter for today’s world?” Let’s face it girls today face many, many more situations then we ever did. I remember growing up and my biggest worry was if I was going to have a date on Friday night, or if this blemish would go away before I went to school in the morning.
With the social media explosion, the very skinny models, and the emphasis on looks how can you tell an eight year old that she is beautiful no matter what. The other day my daughter who is the most beautiful girl I have ever seen (and yes I am biased) looked at me and said mommy why am I taller than a lot of the girls in my class ? True she is the tallest, the other girls are tiny little things I just look at her and tell her that everyone is an individual, that although one girl may be tiny, there are other girls that tower over other girls, each girl is beautiful in her own way.
But just as I say that my mind goes back to that awkward stage when you are still a little girl and not quite a teenager yet and you have the weird things happening and feelings that you don’t know what to do with and how my mom never took the time to tell me what was going on. I didn’t even know what a period was until I came home from school horrified thinking something was wrong with me and my mother brought a belt (yes you heard me right) and an old fashioned pad and told me to put it on, and she walked out and nothing else was said.
My daughter walked in on me one day and asked me what was happening, and I stood there in shock but realized that I needed to sit her down and explain to her what she had just seen. I didn’t want to scare her so I just told her that one day soon she will be growing up and things will happen that may scare her but that it will be alright , she can come to me and ask me or tell me about anything and I promised her I would be open and honest with her, I didn’t want her to find out about things like I did, I want her to know exactly what is happening to her body and why.
She is in the midst of her first major crush on a boy the other day I picked her up from school and he was standing in the hallway with his mom, and my daughter blew a kiss at him and told him good bye…he turned beet red and walked away, his mom thought it was cute but my daughter was horrified and thought she did something wrong and started to cry. I told her that boys her age are not really into liking girls right now and that he was just a little shy and embarrassed that was all.
After I put her into bed that night and tucked her in and kissed her gently, I went to go tuck my son in and when I came back into her room I just stood there and looked at that beautiful little face and I just felt in adequate and I made it my mission that I was going to help my daughter become a confident and compassionate young woman.
All I can keep telling her is that she is beautiful and she can be anything that she wants to be, don’t let any one disrespect her, stand up for her beliefs, and be the best woman she can be. If I can instill those ideas in her then I know she can face the future and be OK……