I often think about how to teach my daughters to be assertive. In our culture, girls and women are often given the message that they should always be agreeable and nice rather than speaking their mind. I want to raise daughters who will be strong, independent, and confident, as well as being nice people. Daughters who will not afraid to voice an opinion, go against the grain, and stick up for themselves when necessary.
After school today she insisted on getting back into her Halloween costume so she could be "a beautiful ballerina." I love it.
So far this little one seems to have no trouble expressing her feelings about things.
Yesterday at her school Halloween party, I saw a boy push Miss a few times. She came over to me after it happened the first time and seemed quite intimidated. I admit, my immediate instinct when I first saw it was to go and tell the boy to please not push. Instead, I talked to her about how she could tell the boy to please not push her.
This morning, after a week of no tears and great school experiences, she was a bit upset about going to school again. I thought it might have something to do with that boy, so I reminded her of what we had talked about yesterday and how to handle it if another kid pushed or hit her. She then mentioned that the boy had pulled her hair yesterday as well. When I dropped her off at school I informed her teacher of my concerns about what had happened. She was very responsive and reassured me about the issue.
When I picked Miss up, I experienced a major proud mommy moment. Miss's teacher told me that Miss had turned to the boy who had pushed her and pulled her hair yesterday and said, completely on her own, "I didn't like it when you pulled my hair." Simple and direct. The boy apologized. I am so incredibly proud of her!
As a mother of daughters, it is so important to me that they learn to stick up for themselves. To not be afraid to voice disagreement with something they think is wrong or to tell someone to stop it if they are being treated badly. Right now it's pushing and hair pulling. Later on they might have to be assertive if faced with bullying, "mean girl" behaviors, or overly zealous attentions from hormone-crazed boys. When they are older, I will teach them some good ways to knock down the hormone-crazed boys (literally and figuratively) if necessary. Their dad can teach them some good wrestling moves.
But for today, I'm pretty darn proud of "I didn't like it when you pulled my hair." That's my girl.