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Thread: Raising a Girl-Child

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    Raising a Girl-Child

    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.

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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by lei.talk


    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,
    the she will benefit from your knowledge.
    Hmmm, I second that request, since I myself am in a somewhat
    similar situation.

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    Senior Member Blondie's Avatar
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    Well, I'm raising my daughter by myself. Right now she is 5 1/2 months old and will be 6 months on Nov. 21.

    Is there anything you both would like to know especially? I've also babysat female children from the ages of 1 and above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blondie
    Is there anything you both would like to know especially?
    i am sure that we have much to learn
    from your practical experience.

    instead for telling us every thing,
    all at once
    - pick out one thing, to start.

    some thing we will need to do every day
    or some thing you regard as very important.

    any of of your girl-specific knowledge
    will be a big help.

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    Senior Member Blondie's Avatar
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    That's so vague, I don't really know where to start, so that's why I asked. Hehe...

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    some members, out of modesty,
    sent "private messages" - instead of posting.

    some other members, to avoid confrontation,
    did the same.

    here is one such response:
    In my childhood, I suffered from low self esteem,
    and lacking attention from my father,
    I sought the attention of others.
    I don't have any girl children, but I know
    that the biggest problem
    that young girls suffer with is self esteem.

    It used to be that these issues would come about
    around the age of thirteen or fourteen,
    but in today's age,
    we are seeing girls as young as eight
    suffering with those issues.

    And there are a few misconceptions
    about how to handle this.
    Some parents
    take the route of constantly complimenting
    the girl child's looks and other superficial things.

    It helps a girl to recognize her value intellectually,
    as well as character-wise and creatively.

    You can help by emphasizing these last few things.
    The key is not blind praise,
    but recognizing who she is uniquely,
    what she is good at,
    and nurturing that within her.

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    Senior Member Blondie's Avatar
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    I can say that I was "Daddy's Little Girl" when I was much younger but since I was a teenager and beyond, my father and I hardly speak. After about the age of, let's say, 12-13 or so, we never fully communicated in the way my brothers and himself did. Fathers, stay close to your daughters. I wish mine did. So, I suppose my suggestions/comments are these: cherish any time you have with your children, regardless of their gender; cherish your children regardless of what else is happening in your life; teach them to do right; and most importantly, love them.

    For girls in particular, I would say to listen to them. Listen to their thoughts, feelings, and things that are happening in their life. Empower them. Teach them that they can be strong in the face of adversity, whatever that may be. My daughter's father is not "in the picture" on his own volition and I will teach her and try to empower her with tools which will show that she is worth more than she'll ever know and that she can succeed at anything, whether she wants to go to college, get married and have a family someday, or do both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blondie

    For girls in particular, I would say to listen to them. Listen to their thoughts, feelings, and things that are happening in their life. Empower them. Teach them that they can be strong in the face of adversity, whatever that may be. My daughter's father is not "in the picture" on his own volition and I will teach her and try to empower her with tools which will show that she is worth more than she'll ever know and that she can succeed at anything, whether she wants to go to college, get married and have a family someday, or do both.
    Souns like great advice. Of course, the primary responsibility for raising my goddaughter is with her parents (she's lucky enough to have her father around, although I've heard some worrying comments, from both parties involved, that this may not be case for much longer :frown: ). Still , I'd like to strike an appropiate balance between guiding her in what I believe is the right direction, and supporting her in whatever desicions she makes for herself.

    Of course, this is still many years in the future, since she is about three months old, and therefore her interests are at the moment more or less limited to eating, sleeping and pooping.

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    At first I thought of replying to lei-talk by PM, but then I gathered that sharing my thoughts would be much more constructive and educational for all of us.

    Well, I am not sure as to what to say to this as I was raised rather atypically.

    My parents split up while my mother was still pregnant and I was raised by my mother, but practically on my own.

    So, instead of a list of "do's" I'd rather provide you with a list of "don'ts".

    My father was never near, as long as I can remember, except for some occasional visits during which he thought he would compensate for his absense with expensive presents.

    During his rare, short visits, he would be constantly distracted on purpose by his new "wife" (the woman he left my mother for) who would call him up and chat with him about insignificant things, just to eat up his visiting time and distract him from myself. Luckily, he got what he deserved as he was in turn dumped by her for another man, who also happened to be his best friend

    Later on he would start dating different women every week, and upon each of his occasional visits, he would drag them with him and hence every week I'd meet a new "mommy"

    He finally got married for the third time when I was 12, and his new wife, at first, was far from kind to me.

    She would obviously be threatened by the fact that he had a child, and she would try anything to get me out of the way. But she was more clever than the last one. She would do it subtly, pretending that she actually loved me and cared for what's best for me.

    Thus, she would persuade him to cut down on my allowance so "I don't get spoiled"; to send me to a public school instead of private, because that would be "a learning experience for me"..and so on.. eyes:

    Some years later they had their first child. It was a boy. That was her greatest victory. Later on, "by accident", they also had a girl, thus she had covered all sides.

    He would record his message on the answering machine as follows: "The family of "surname": dad's name-wife's name-son's name-second daughter's name- is away right now. Please leave your message after the tone."eyes:

    When I was 15, we took our first vacation together. One night, I had a minor argument with his wife. When I woke up, I found the following note underneath my hotel room door:
    "If you don't apologize to my wife first thing in the morning, you can take the first boat out of here and never come back again".
    A 5000drachmas bill was attached to the note, barely enough money to pay for my return ticket.

    Years later, when they started having troubles and I took her side -because he cheated on her and hit her once-, she came to realize that I was not her enemy anymore, and we kind of made up with each other.

    He would still do his thing though. Despite the fact that he opposed his parents will to make him choose a proffesion he did not want, he would oppose to my will to go into Psychology instead of Business which was his plan for me.

    While I was getting straight A's on my field, he would constantly threaten me that he would quit paying my fees and send me get a job, because what I was doing "was useless" and "I'd never make enough money".. eyes:

    Luckily, I managed to complete my studies by working day to night in the university to get a scholarship/reduction of fees, which was also rather educational and good for me.

    Like any other extreme left-winger in his youth, he grew up to a money-driven, aggresive capitalist whose sole purpose in the world is to climb higher and higher and spend as much money as he can on glamorous items: cars, clothing, exotic trips, expensive restaurants. eyes:

    During my childhood, I was growing up with my mother who was depressed and too weak to handle the upbringing of a child. She was working day to night to get along, and she was getting minimum child support from my father while he was spending his money on fancy restaurants and gifts for his girlfriends. My mom was always a weakling thus she never demanded anything more of him.

    In my late childhood I was dumped at my grandparents (dad's side) because my mom "could not handle it anymore". I had a better time than before, where I was being taken care of babysitters, but still I had a lot of conflicts with them, let alone a huge generation gap that was the worse thing that could happen to a female child entering puberty.

    My early adolescent years were filled with anger and turmoil, but luckily I took it out on my musical tastes and clothing rather than drugs or anything else. I had my nose pierced when I was 15, wore army boots and torn jeans and I was coloring my hair all colors of the rainbow

    I had a lot of emotional problems, mainly when I started socializing. I'd been let down so many times, mistreated by various boyfriends and betrayed by best friends.

    I remember each night, before going to bed, I would think of each day's experiences and try to detangle and organize my thoughts and feelings. I would even make up imaginary dialogs or scenarios to cover all aspects of a situation.

    Being deserted and neglected, I practically had to bring my self up. I had no role models, no guidance and no support. I remember none of my parents ever coming to pick up my grades from school monthly, and they would pick them up all together in the end of the year.

    Going through so much trouble, I learned from life itself and through trial and error. I had to strengthen myself and become resilient as people have ended up junkies for much less things.

    I am proud of myself today, with all my errors, shortcomings and faults, as everything I am comes out of my own experience. I am myself and all by myself. I never regretted a choice, as all the errors and bad experiences I've had have contributed to my character.

    I don't hate my father..I never did. I just feel sorry for him. It took me years to realize that he's jealous of me. I learned to get by with very few things. He looks at me, independent and conscious of myself, and he knows I am happier in my small appartment, with my few friends and even fewer belongings, than he could ever be in his mansion with all his money, luxuries and endless circle of other parasitic high-society acquaintances -but not as much as one real friend. Whenever he was offering me money -when I was younger- I declined it. Now I decline the whole of his lifestyle. I prefer my poor neighbourhood and my "simple" friends. I prefer my simple clothes and a warm, cosy diner than pretentious fancy restaurants and designer clothes. I'd rather spend my money on something more substantial than that. I derive happiness from little things that do not depend on money, and I live each day at the fullest.

    Raising a female child is not easy, for sure. Not all girls after having undergone what I did, would have ended up as well off as I did.

    --Overall, I wish I had a father that cared less for appearances and more for substance. I would have been much happier if he would have been a poor, uneducated, yet happy and loving man. If his horizons were shorter, if he was less travelled and international, and yet he was more profound in emotions and caring about his loved ones. I learned from life experience that it is love and care for each other that brings up strong families, not money and social status.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lei.talk
    here is one such response:
    A first rate response it is too. There is much wisdom in those words. I'd also like to compliment everyone on this thread.
    A people which takes no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors
    will never achieve anything worthy to be remembered with pride by remote descendents.

    Lord Macauley

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