A recent research suggested that between the ages of 5-6, girls lose confidence and see themselves as less capable than boys. Here is a short clip from BBC Radio 4 with Laura Lund, head of primary schools at the West London Free School Trust. What shocked this experienced educator was the fact that the shift in perception happened at such an extremely young age. You can listen to the short interview by clicking on this link:
This was timely, in view that I recently posted two articles about loving our youngest child Georgins like crazy, giving her endless love and making sure that she knows she is so deeply loved. In my opinion, after having been a parent for over 30 years, you cannot “over-love” a child, i.e. you cannot give her/him too much love. Childhood is such a short time to shape the next 70-80 years of someone’s life, and love and kindness are the factors that makes the difference, more so than education and even opportunities.
Today, whilst driving a good friend to the airport, we talked about how sad it is that teenage pregnancy is on the rise in a country where it is still taboo to talk about sex and sexuality, and acknowledge that it happens amongst young people. Girls give their bodies not by choice in many of these tragic cases, whilst others give themselves in the hope of finding love.
My view is first of all, we have to teach boys to bear responsibility for their involvement with the gentler sex and to respect women. Because biologically, men and women have different strengths. As mothers, we have the responsibility to raise sons who respect women. And note, abuse is not about physical violence but mental cruelty and exploitation too. More often than not, this happens in well-t0-do families, too.
As mothers of daughters, we have to raise daughters not to accept less than being treated with utmost respect and kindness. Once, just once, I compromised – for what I believed to be for greater good, and because I believed I was strong enough – and who brought me back to my senses was my dad. Because it broke my 80-year-old dad’s heart to see his daughter being used callously. In that time, I stopped achieving, I stopped living, I stopped growing, I stopped being happy. My dad saw the death of my Inner Me. I was saved by the big love my dad has for me, the same love and strength that I see in my children’s father for our children, especially our daughters.
Girls have that vulnerability. It must be down to our evolutionary biology. We are wired differently, for the survival of our species through caring and nurturing others rather than fuelled by testosterone.
This is Georgina at around 5-6 years old. Some militant mothers in the past have commented, why are we stereotyping her in Princess outfits, frilly aprons, mermaid dresses? (She plays with toy cars too, by the way).
The reason is because her biology dictates that she is a girl. From a young age, we taught her to be proud of her XX chromosome and to cultivate a growth mindset. You are fine as you are, grow from here ❤
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