Author Topic: Girls  (Read 6635 times)

skdadl

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« on: January 29, 2010, 06:56:16 PM »
What nine-year-old girls think

I just saw this at the Star, and I'm sure there's a lot of text to this series that I haven't been following, but I was fascinated by the young faces and what they said, so here.

I haven't talked to a nine-year-old girl for a while.

steffie

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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2010, 03:23:00 AM »
I wish somebody had asked me what I thought/what made me happy/how would I create a world? when I was nine.

from the above link:
Quote
Girls like to shop; boys like to play games.
Let the beauty of what you love be what you do - Rumi

skdadl

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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2010, 05:31:50 AM »
Yes -- and they still seem to know, already at that age, that boys will earn more money than girls will.  :(

I thought that younger women were growing up freer of these assumptions than we were. I guess not.

They are lovely to watch though, aren't they? Someone should always be telling young people how beautiful they are, whatever they look like. They don't know that; they're thinking in terms of their peer-group's current styles, and they usually feel they're not measuring up.

steffie

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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2010, 07:54:21 AM »
Quote from: skdadl;181337
Someone should always be telling young people how beautiful they are, whatever they look like.

A danger in this practice is that they may start to feel that their value is tied to their appearance.  I used to get a lot of compliments in this area, re: being "pretty" - it made me feel after a while that they weren't seeing the real "ME", only the exterior.  

So, yes, tell them they are beautiful, but also make sure to praise their decisions and creations and actions.
Let the beauty of what you love be what you do - Rumi

RP.

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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2010, 08:52:12 AM »
My girl turns 9 next month.  This means her childhood is half over.

skdadl

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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2010, 09:45:17 AM »
To steffie: Yes, I didn't mean to sound predatory -- my comment does sort of read that way. I just remember how deeply kids of my generation already were convinced as teenagers that their worth was tied to their appearance. I was trying to think of some way to challenge the conventional standards, which I remember as so tyrannical, usually established by a strange mix of commercial images and peer judgements. When you get older, you look back at those standards and they seem so wrong. Youth itself is so lovely.

RP, I never had children, so that qualifies anything I can say in response. I remember being a child very clearly though. I was very close to my parents but especially my dad until I was about thirteen. Dad and I used to sit and have long conversations about just about everything -- I could tell that he really enjoyed having this little kid babbling away at him, so I babbled, eh?  ;)  And he taught me a lot, especially about being independent and not letting anyone put words in my mouth -- srsly, that was a discussion we had when I was maybe ten or eleven?

But there was always a part of me (after maybe five or six) that was thinking that adults did not know how smart I was. Now, obviously, I still needed more protection than I realized at the time, but I also still think that adults underestimate how much little kids pick up and figure out on their own. I mean, on the one hand, you're going to Sunday school and learning to be good and pure, but on the other, you're observing more and more the way the real world works, and at some point you start to think, this does not compute, eh?

And then I think it is such a common experience that junior high and high school in North America spirit teenagers off into a world where parents really can't follow much. The protection is still needed, but the kid's head is with her peers, and then probably, unfortunately, with the assault of commercial messages from all directions, even if parents have tried to armour their kids against that (and most don't).

I remember my teens as an intensely intense time. I learned so much so fast. My mind was certainly working overtime, but I have never felt better physically than when I was maybe sixteen-eighteen -- I can still remember the clothes I wore then, and I remember how wonderful they felt on my body. Splendour in the grass, glory in the flower -- every young person deserves that.

 

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