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Thread: Raising a Girl-Child

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    I have been thinking about this issue ever since lei.talk wrote me a pm and asked about sharing my personal experiences about my childhood. Hmmm.... I really don't know what to say, because my childhood has been quite happy despite some quite serious crisis in the family which have conserned chronical illnesses. But our family has been very stable. My parents still seem to be very much in love even if they were married in quite young age and have been married nearly 40 years.

    I have always been a daddy's girl. For example I never let anyone else touch my hair but my dad, and thus he was the only one who was able to wash it

    Also before the school age my mom got very ill and during that time dad had to be both mom and dad, even though one of my aunts came to help into our house for some time. Perhaps also this brought me and my dad closer to each others. In good and bad I tend to turn to my dad instead of mom. I don't know how she feels about this, but I hope she accepts it.

    I have no idea if this is post is any use for the purpose of this thread :redface:

  2. #12
    Senior Member Blondie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lei.talk
    a long-time friend
    - noticing that i have no current projects
    or protégé, but not aware of why,

    and being very impressed
    with the way i raised my son
    - has asked me to help him raise his grand-daughter
    as a live-in project.

    i have a lot of experience with teen-aged girls
    (i hear snickering), but, it has been over twenty years
    since i have baby-sat female infants or children
    and that was limited to hours or days.

    from the female members, i request
    any information that you regard as relevant.

    from any one that has raised a girl-child,
    please, share your hard-acquired wisdom.

    not only will i appreciate your assistance,
    she will benefit from your knowledge.
    Do you want anymore suggestions, comments, or anything else? Is there anything you want to ask?
    http://tinypic.com/fuud54.jpg
    For the first time in my life a feeling of overpowering stinging melancholy seized me. Before, I had never experienced aught but a not unpleasing sadness. The bond of a common humanity now drew me irresistibly to gloom. A fraternal melancholy! For both I and Bartleby were sons of Adam. I remembered the bright silks and sparkling faces I had seen that day, in gala trim, swanlike sailing down the Mississippi of Broadway; and I contrasted them with the pallid copyist, and thought to myself, Ah, happiness courts the light, so we deem the world is gay; but misery hides aloof, so we deem that misery there is none. - Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blondie
    Do you want anymore suggestions, comments, or anything else?
    Is there anything you want to ask?
    yes! please!

    i have been up here
    only two days

    and have learned a half-dozen
    gender-specific requirements.

    for example,
    stroking those handi-wipes toward her os coccygis
    during the clean-up
    for a diaper-change

    to prevent bladder infections

    would have been useful information
    (considering the frequency of application!).

    that is not a problem
    with a boy-child.

    any other practical knowledge will be appreciated
    by every one that desires to raise a girl-child.

    why should each of us "re-invent the wheel"

    when we could share our knowledge and experience?

  4. #14
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    I apologize for being off the forum for some time. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago and I’ve been busy with her needs and those of my family. Mom seems to be doing better now although she was hospitalized after her 5th chemo treatment a couple of weeks ago. She’ll begin radiation therapy shortly. I feel she is going to be fine but any positive thoughts you fine folks want to send her way are greatly appreciated.

    ….just wanted to let everyone know why I haven’t been so active on here as of late.

    After perusing some of these posts, I have to agree that the involvement, attention, and love of parents can be most helpful to raising a female child. After living for several years in Germany, Austria, and Sweden as an American, I couldn’t help but notice the difference and confidence many European women had that I saw greatly lacking in my female friends at home. (I am generalizing here somewhat but for the most part I have found this to be true.) As a woman, I know that I personally feel bombarded with media images letting me how I “should” be, and since many of these images and ideals are unfortunately coming from my home country, I think there is an even worse scenario for women in the US. As a young girl these images can be very confusing. Even if the child is self-assured and content with the individual she is, how she looks, strong in her beliefs, etc., the world she inhabits sometimes doesn’t respect that. I think you need to always discuss these things with girls, how they feel about them, and give them the confidence to deal with it.

    I attended and graduated from high school (Gymnasium) in Texas. My best friend from that time was slightly overweight while we were in secondary school. She was continually teased about that although I felt she never did warrant any of those insults. She always kept to herself and was always kind to others. Her name was Shelley and I distinctly remember hearing whispers behind me in English class and some jerk calling her “Shellifant…Shellifant…Shellifant...” To this day, she is still traumatized from all of this. I can name several such incidents concerning friends I knew back then and often wonder if each one handled it in a similar way as Shelley has, which hasn’t really been too positive. Although Shelley is a successful engineer now, she has never had a stable relationship and her personal life is somewhat of a mess. She also is obsessed with her eating habits and suffers from some form eating disorder, although that has never been diagnosed to my knowledge. I think this all has to do with how she was treated when we were young. Her father was non-existent in her life and her mother was alone working to raise three girls by herself.

    The point I am trying to make is that it is important that you have strong parental involvement in raising a young girl. It is important to talk about anything and everything, especially her insecurities. I have to say that I do feel that as a whole the Europeans for the most part are doing this very well. Families are closer and more open to having conversations about the personal lives of their children. I was shocked while living in Sweden that most of my close friends would talk about private aspects of their relationships with their parents. This seems so much healthier than what is going on over here.

    I think something that can be confusing as a female is the role we play in today’s society. My friends who are stay at home moms feel guilty because they are not working and my friends with great careers are often depressed about not having a family and mourning that loss. As a young girl, I think sometimes it’s not clear about what you are suppose to do with your life. I know that I felt this way growing up. It is hard to be both of those things, so something has to give at some point. It is normal to go through a sort of “female identity crisis” at some point. It is part of discovering who you are and who you want to become.

    I think feeling complete security at home while growing up is the key. That way a girl will not seek continual love and attention from someone outside the home. Spend time with her on activities she loves. Talk to her about her interests and try to foster those. This is the best advice I can give. If I can think of anything else I'll post.

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    the stock-pile of disposable diapers
    that i found here, two weeks ago,
    are almost gone.

    before and after every nap,
    i have been changing her diaper
    - because they are soaked
    from the volume of goat's milk
    and powdered colostrum
    she is sucking out of these bottles.

    baby-products have improved considerably,
    since i used them with my son
    - nearly twenty years ago.

    i welcome any recommendations.

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    Words have wings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Falcon
    Although you may be betrayed many times by others,
    even including your own people,
    never betray yourself. Never.

    Because the ancestors are with us
    and a betrayal of self
    is also a betrayal of the ones who watch us
    and keep troth with us
    and with whom we are connected
    by unbreakable bonds.

    This means we are never alone,
    no matter how lonely we may feel.

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    Senior Member Blondie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lei.talk
    the stock-pile of disposable diapers
    that i found here, two weeks ago,
    are almost gone.

    before and after every nap,
    i have been changing her diaper
    - because they are soaked
    from the volume of goat's milk
    and powdered colostrum
    she is sucking out of these bottles.

    baby-products have improved considerably,
    since i used them with my son
    - nearly twenty years ago.

    i welcome any recommendations.
    As I'm sure you're already aware, make sure her bottom isn't red or inflamed. If it is, she may be developing or may have a diaper rash. If this is the case, there are many brands of diaper rash creams out there on the market.

    Do you have any questions for us?
    http://tinypic.com/fuud54.jpg
    For the first time in my life a feeling of overpowering stinging melancholy seized me. Before, I had never experienced aught but a not unpleasing sadness. The bond of a common humanity now drew me irresistibly to gloom. A fraternal melancholy! For both I and Bartleby were sons of Adam. I remembered the bright silks and sparkling faces I had seen that day, in gala trim, swanlike sailing down the Mississippi of Broadway; and I contrasted them with the pallid copyist, and thought to myself, Ah, happiness courts the light, so we deem the world is gay; but misery hides aloof, so we deem that misery there is none. - Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener

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    About girls I can't say I have a lot to offer, I never thought there were such great distinctions between boys and girls anyway, however, now I'm in my son's world, and completely unaware of what baby girls are like, or if there is a real difference. Still, all babies like to be talked to and read to. You will want to do things to stimulate her development (young children usually learn best through playing) and give her the right foods if she is old enough to eat solids, oily fish and eggs are both stimulating brain development and make a person smarter, especially babies.

    Small babies don't seem to need as much care as older babies. When my son was little and something was wrong, he would cry, and it would be because he wants something to eat, a diaper change, he was cold or tired. Now he is 17 months and so also cries for other things, like when I tell him no, or that he has to wait for something, and he throws himself on the floor. I have to follow him around and watch him contantly so that he doesn't get into anything. But he speaks now, and lets me know what he wants.

    Also, about babies and toddlers they pick up small things off the ground such as old food crumbs, or little plastic and eat them. If baby is on the floor I would reccomend you try to keep it spotless. All in all there is nothing especially mysterious or complicated about raising a child, if one is a good person, give both love and discipline, and try their best no doubt they will succeed.

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    Senior Member Blondie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordicPower88
    About girls I can't say I have a lot to offer, I never thought there were such great distinctions between boys and girls anyway, however, now I'm in my son's world, and completely unaware of what baby girls are like, or if there is a real difference. Still, all babies like to be talked to and read to. You will want to do things to stimulate her development (young children usually learn best through playing) and give her the right foods if she is old enough to eat solids, oily fish and eggs are both stimulating brain development and make a person smarter, especially babies.

    Small babies don't seem to need as much care as older babies. When my son was little and something was wrong, he would cry, and it would be because he wants something to eat, a diaper change, he was cold or tired. Now he is 17 months and so also cries for other things, like when I tell him no, or that he has to wait for something, and he throws himself on the floor. I have to follow him around and watch him contantly so that he doesn't get into anything. But he speaks now, and lets me know what he wants.

    Also, about babies and toddlers they pick up small things off the ground such as old food crumbs, or little plastic and eat them. If baby is on the floor I would reccomend you try to keep it spotless. All in all there is nothing especially mysterious or complicated about raising a child, if one is a good person, give both love and discipline, and try their best no doubt they will succeed.
    That's great advice. I couldn't have said it better myself.
    http://tinypic.com/fuud54.jpg
    For the first time in my life a feeling of overpowering stinging melancholy seized me. Before, I had never experienced aught but a not unpleasing sadness. The bond of a common humanity now drew me irresistibly to gloom. A fraternal melancholy! For both I and Bartleby were sons of Adam. I remembered the bright silks and sparkling faces I had seen that day, in gala trim, swanlike sailing down the Mississippi of Broadway; and I contrasted them with the pallid copyist, and thought to myself, Ah, happiness courts the light, so we deem the world is gay; but misery hides aloof, so we deem that misery there is none. - Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener

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    You raised a boy, I am sure you will be fine raising a girl. Honestly, there is not much differences in raising the two in the early years. I have known people who have all boys and say that they wouldn’t know what to do if they had a daughter. For me, having had one of each so far, and also having worked in Child Development centers, I don't see much difference. So much of child rearing is the same no matter what the gender. You may find that your little girl likes cars, and playing ball. Maybe she is moody, maybe she is calm. A lot of differences are due to personality and parenting, not gender. I have known people to claim that boys are more active and girls more passive. Truth? Stereotype? Try asking a family who has a very active girl and a very passive boy which is which. My daughter is the independent type who has never liked dolls. My son is the cuddler who adopted his sister's first doll (that she never played with) and he gave it a name. Have I treated them differently because of their gender? Nope. As parents, we tend to treat children differently based more on what their personality elicits from us. You are probably more anxious about raising a girl, in part because it has been so long since you raised your son. Relax! This is the easy part. Just wait until puberty! You have gotten a lot of good advice already from TNPers.

    When I had my first child, this was one of my favorite magazines to read: http://www.parenting.com/parenting/

    Anyhow, I was asked to offer some advice, because of a reply I posted on Skadi about how I am big fan of non-physical discipline techniques and how wonderfully behaved my children are. So, I will write primarily about discipline here. If there are any specific questions on just about anything regarding children, I can answer those also. (sorry for this long post to come….)

    Discipline is something that can be difficult for parents. One of the first things to consider is boundaries. Think about your boundaries and what limitations and freedoms are acceptable to you. If, as a parent, you have a clear idea, then it is easier to provide clear and consistent parenting to your child. One thing that is important to recognize is that children need to be able to develop independence and at the same time need to learn limits. Very young children are very curious about the world around them. Exploration is a natural part of their development. For this reason, it is important to safe guard their environment and make it child friendly. This goes beyond the obvious, such as putting outlet covers over outlets. This extends into things such as putting items that you do not want them touching out of their reach. My philosophy is that if they can reach it, it is fair game. It is unreasonable to expect a young child to refrain from touching something that is placed within their reach. Crawl around on your hands and knees and look at your environment from their perspective. That pretty, glittery glass object sitting on the coffee table is a prime example of something that should be moved out of reach until the young child is old enough to understand that it is breakable. If the environment is suited for them, they will be able to freely explore it and learn from it in a way that is safe and enjoyable.

    Secondly, make sure your rules are clear and consistent. If the rule is no milk or juice bottles in bed, because you want to prevent early tooth decay, then stick to it. Only offer water bottles to lay down with. By not sticking to your rules, you only teach the child that a little fussing will give them their way. No means no. No doesn't mean "cry and I'll say yes." Consistency is very important and sometimes very frustrating. Sometimes it can take several weeks before a young child will realize that no amount of crying will give them their way. Stick to it. Before setting a rule, make sure it is reasonable. For example, back to that pretty glass decoration on the coffee table. It is unreasonable to expect the young child not to touch it. Could you refrain from touching something that pretty? Do your adult guests refrain from touching it? Yet, some adults expect their young child to refrain from touching it. When considering if a rule is reasonable, think first about where the child is developmentally.

    When disciplining the child, try using positive parenting techniques such as redirection and time out. Redirection is simple. Your child wants to smear the bowl of spilled cereal all over the table, so you take the child away from the table and get them involved in a new activity. Maybe the child is playing with a toy that is absolutely driving you crazy. Same thing, get them interested in something new. You are redirecting their behavior to something that is acceptable. It is a form of distracting them. It also works. Time out is one of the most misused forms of discipline. Time out is a way for a child (and adult) to separate themselves from a situation and calm down or think about the situation in order to clear their head. Time out is not something that kids are sent to for unreasonable amount of times because they are "bad." Time out can be used with children as young as a year and half (18 months). The rule of thumb for a time out is one minute per the child's age (1 year = 1 minute, 2 years = 2 minutes, etc.). Use an egg timer or other device that allows the child to physically see the length of their time out. Sit them in a place that is free from toys or other distractions. Explain to them that for X minutes they need to sit and think about or calm down. Explain that they are not bad, and that it is a way to calm down. Show them the timer and set it. Tell them when it rings, then they can come out of time out. Then leave them alone there. If they cry and throw themselves down, ignore it as long as they are still in the general vicinity of "time out." There is no need to be so anal as to make them sit on one spot. If they follow you, or sly out of time out, sit them back in it and explain that leaving time out early will cause them more time. If needed, hold them in time out for the time period so they can learn to stay there. If there is no additional trouble, and they compliantly sit in time out when you walk away, leave them there until the buzzer has sounded and they get themselves out of time out. Some children will actually choose to stay longer in time out then their time. If the buzzer has sounded and you have not seen them emerge from time out after several seconds, go over and ask them if they are ready to come out. It may be that they need reassurance from you that they are allowed to come out. Sometimes they may not be ready themselves to come out and they will choose to sit there. Let them, explaining that whenever they are ready, they can come out. Coming out of time out is a great time to hug your child, and talk calmly about the situation.

    Discipline should always be immediate and specific to the situation. It also needs to be realistic. Don't threaten something that cannot be carried out. For example, never say that if they do not listen then they will not eat dinner. That is not something that you can realistically carry out, it is not immediate, and not related to the situation. Also, food should never be used as reward or punishment. This is one contributing factor to eating disorders later I life. Infants and toddlers learn to eat out of boredom, or for comfort. Discipline should be immediate. If you wait until later to discipline an action, then the child (or even you) have forgotten what even occurred. It needs to be specific and directly related to the action. For example, if the child is being destructive with a toy, take the toy away. If the child is turning over their sippy cup and spilling it all over, they are clearly finished, take it away.

    One of the most important aspects of raising children comes from modeling of behavior. It is how children develop language, proper displays of emotion, etc. It is important to always behave in a way that you would want your child to behave in. If you make a mistake, apologize for it. If you need the time out, take one and explain to your child that you need a time out from the situation. If you are angry, sad, happy, etc. say it. Explain to the child, "this makes me so happy when you….." "I am sad that you are crying." "I get angry when you…." It is okay for you to have feelings, and it is okay for them to have feelings. Being able to recognize and express their emotions is very important. Model good communication. Wait for them to finish speaking and ask them to wait for you to finish speaking. Get down on their level and use good eye contact. Getting on the level of the child is very good. It shows them that they are important. Don't ignore them when they speak, or don't be surprised if they ignore you also. Teach them patience, and about mommy or daddy time. If you are busy, it is okay to tell them that mommy or daddy is busy right now, and in XX minutes, I will come play with you and you can tell me what you want. Then stick to it! (Remember, clear and consistent). If they want a timer set, set one, or do it even without them asking.

    One of the best ways to foster independence in the young child is through giving them choices. Most young children are unable to handle more than two choices. An example of a good choice to offer a toddler would be to ask them at snack time if they want milk or juice. At first keep options simple. Another way is to encourage them to do things for themselves. At first they may need extra help and guidance with this. Let the older infant hold her own spoon while feeding her cereal, and you hold a second spoon with which to feed her. Help a toddler step into her big girl panties, and then encourage her to try and pull them up for herself.

    Messes….they happen! Kids are clumsy. Their motor skills are not as fine tuned as ours.
    "I do not know what horrified me most at that time: the economic misery of my companions, their moral and ethical coarseness, or the low level of their intellectual development." Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

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