Today’s post comes in part due to several things I’ve read lately. There have been a lot of posts about how to raise our boys to be men. A lot. On the other hand, I have seen very little about how to teach our girls to be women. I think part of this is due to all the recent news about the Steubenville rape trial and the other part because sometimes as women, I think we’re not sure how. There are so many things conflicting with what we want our precious girls to know. Despite what society tells me, though, these are the things I want Emma to learn and that we plan on teaching her in hopes that she will carry it with her.
Be nice to others. I think so often times, we give boys slack for being “mean” when I think girls are the real meanies. Why? Well, let’s look at this situation. Chris and Joe get in an argument, throw some punches, and call it even. Tomorrow they can be best friends again. Shew, 5 minutes later they’re best friends again. Now, take girls. Jane and Susie get in an argument and Jane pretends to “forgive” Susie and then bad mouths her to the whole school. Does Susie address it? Nope. She just does the same thing to Jane and all the while, they’re still “best friends”. Girls are down right evil sometimes. I have a friend whose sweet daughter was in girl scouts with girls in a grade above her. They told her they were having a dress up sleepover and she was so excited to go since she was usually the odd one out. Imagine her horror when she arrived to the party and not one girl was dressed up. No, they all stood on the front porch pointing and laughing at her. When the mom drove home and gave herself time to calm down, she called the other mom to explain why her daughter wasn’t attending. Her response? “Kids will be kids.” Seriously? Kids will be flippin’ kids? Since when did bullying become a part of being a kid? That’s just nasty and mean and will NOT be tolerated in the Linkous house. There will punishment for our actions and we will fight to never use the fact that Emma is a “kid” or “teenager” to excuse the way she treats others. We truly do need to follow the golden rule and treat others how we wish to be treated- no matter how we’re being treated.
Don’t let others make your decisions. I want to teach Emma to make decisions for herself. I know that each person is created to be their own person and some people are leaders while others are followers. I know Emma may grow up with a tendency to follow others. I can understand that but I don’t her to allow others to decide what she does and who she is. I want Emma to understand that at the end of the day, she is responsible for her decisions. No one else can be blamed when it comes to choices she made. No one. I want her to understand this right off the bat because I think when you understand the cards you have in the game, you’re more likely to consider your decisions more carefully. Does it mean she’ll always make the right decision? Probably not but this is a start.
No means no. I want her to understand beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s ok to say no. To be honest, JR and I will be teaching her to say no until her wedding night. If she enters a situation where she starts to cross that line and then says no, guess what? It still means no. So often times girls are convinced that they are somewhat to blame. They dressed a certain way. The acted like they “wanted it”. Well, I say and we will teach that no means no, no matter what she did or how she dressed. I don’t want her to ever hold back from standing her ground and speaking up. I pray this situation never happens but if so, I want to teach Emma how to handle the worst of situations in hopes that she’ll never be there.
Be the best person you can be. The absolute best. At the end of the day, you will be held accountable for how you’ve lived and I don’t want her looking back and wishing she had done differently. I want her to live a life with as few regrets as possible. She will have regrets as we all do, but when you focus on living this life it makes you consider your choices much closer. You’re more likely to make wise decisions when you can picture the grand scheme of things.
Forgive. This is not the tendency for most females. In fact we’re told to pay back. To do all things but what we’re suppose to do. When you don’t forgive, the only person who remains punished is you. You become the victim to your own self and held captive there. The reality is that you cannot hold onto what someone else has done. The most freeing thing you can do is forgive, even if the person hasn’t asked your forgiveness. Forgiveness, at the end of the day, is more about your healing than someone else’s healing. We will challenge Emma to always forgive. It doesn’t mean that you won’t remember but it means that you can find place in your heart to forgive because there is nothing we’ve done or will do that God hasn’t already forgiven. He sets the model.
What are you teaching your daughters? What things are the most important things for you?