Parenting girls……

by Rod Smith

The Mercury / Friday 

Adolescent boys can be very unkind to girls.

I have heard many sad stories.

I implore you to teach your sons to value all people and your daughters to expose poor behavior.

If you are a parent to girls:

• Listen for what your daughters are NOT saying. What they are not telling you will reveal reams about their experience. No – I am not trying to be obscure.

• Affirm your daughters when they advocate for those they consider victims and ask if they need someone to advocate for them.

• When girls are victimized they may not immediately inform but believe they have to tough it out. Like learning to cross the street, you may have to assure your daughters that it is safe to speak even though it may be scary.

• Encourage your daughters to show up, stand up, and speak up and that doing so is essential and not selfish. Literally applaud them when they do.

• Repeatedly assure your daughters that you are the only parent they will ever need, that it is safe for them to test everything about life by testing it with you.

• Know that the most powerful means to teaching anything is by modeling it yourself – your words will be hollow and meaningless if you do not display what you teach.

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