Last week, Atlanta hosted old school bubble gum pop, New Kids on the Block. Yes, I went and had a blast! The city also hosted new school bubble gum pop, One Direction. No, I did not go, would not if the tickets were free.
|Yes, I know I cut off part of One Direction's name, whatever!|
I don't recall NKOTB fans being as vicious as these One Direction followers. Case in point, I listen to a radio morning show that conducted an interview with One Direction months ago and again last week (seems like they have a concert here every 6 months). One member of this morning show is a 30-something, very attractive woman, who happened to catch the eye of one of the One Direction group members. To the point that they were messaging each other while he was on tour. This set One Direction followers ablaze! Their most recent interview prompted some very hateful and distasteful tweets. The morning show hosts could not even read them on air, as they were filled with f-bombs and the "c" word. These were all coming from tween and teenage girls. Many of the tweets talked about how they would love to kill these morning show hosts, the word "die" was thrown around so much. WTH? When did this happen? I don't ever recall being so filled with venom but then again there was no social media when I was their age.
This concerned me deeply because I have a 7 year old girl. I am sure you've all heard about cyber bullying. I have not experienced this and pray that we don't have to. However, it has caused me to want to prepare myself and my daughter.
Where do I start? How? I can say that I will keep her from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But that won't stop mean girls from posting things. Things that the entire world can see, an imprint that could potentially follow her.
My first instinct was to read up how to build her up and how she can build herself up. Here are 5 books I ran across on amazon.com:
- Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman
- Little Girls Can Be Mean by Michelle Anthony
- Stand up for yourself and your friends by Angela Martini
- A Smart Girl's Guide To Knowing What To Say by Patti Kelley Criswell
- The Feelings Book by Dr. Lynda Madison
What has happened to make girls so vicious towards other girls? Most recently, I read a post over at mish mash mama, where she urged us, as women, to get rid of competition. Women, we know how we are. We stray off of our paths, glancing over at somebody else, saying why this, why that. I know, cause I am guilty. But is this where it starts with our girls? You know kids watch everything we do, we are their example. Hummingbird imitates me so much it's scary! But for real, is this why our girls have vicious tendencies?
Or does it stem from their fathers not being present in their lives? I said "present". Just because the parents are still married, living in the same house, doesn't mean that daddy is present. We all know the impact a dad can have on a daughter's life. Ask me. My parents are still married, have been for the past 40 years. My papa was/is a rolling stone, which means, among other things, he wasn't very "present" in my life growing up. I know that this has impacted my adult relationships. I am free from that now but it was a lot of hard work and acknowledging that I was bitter about it.
I'm not saying we raise a bunch of male bashing chicks but girls that hang out with each other, that help each other, that say nice things to each, that call out other girls when they are wrong, that are real with each other, that aren't afraid to stand up for what's right, to help define what's right, to cry when they need to, to laugh because they need to, to not be afraid of being smart, creative, beautiful, to not hide away because of their body shape, that talk about how they feel, that express themselves, that don't purposely hurt others, that live, laugh, love.
Still takes a village, ya'll. As that village, let's come to grips with our emotions. I know I need to stop whining about this, about that and get on with living. The world isn't perfect but I am not gonna let that stop me from living. Yes, life is full of disappointments but I gotta learn from somewhere. I have never proclaimed to be the perfect mom, neither am I striving to be. I am working to be the mom that God has called me to be to Hummingbird and Yogli. That may look different from the type of mom you've been called to be and that's ok. With our differences, we can learn from each other. I would love to sit here and say whatever hurdle life throws at me, that I dodge it, that I know exactly what to do. I don't always know what to do. Ask my husband. Ask my family. Ask my friends. That's why it still takes a village.
To get us started, I developed this Girl Inspired printable and make it available to you.
**my disclaimer: this is my first time offering a printable, so let me know if you are not able to access or print.
I printed one for Hummingbird, framed it and put it on a shelf in her room. I want her to know that these are things she can do to feel good about herself, boosting up that self worth.
I know that many mamas will say "what about our boys?" I am right there with you, I have one, a teenage version. Boys are a whole other battle, which needs more attention as well.
Would love to grow this into a movement, a movement all over the blogsphere, blogverse. Ya'll with me? Talk to me about how you keep your girl(s) grounded, how do you encourage them, how do you set them straight, what mama wisdom do you share with them?