How do you raise a daughter?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by nbs2, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. nbs2 macrumors 68030


    Mar 31, 2004
    A geographical oddity
    I'm a member of a parenting forum (well, really a mothers forum with the occasional father), and someone mentioned how difficult it is to raise girls today with the proliferation of the unhealthy images portrayed by Brats (or Bratz or something like that) and some of the newer Barbie dolls. Coupled the the sexualization of childrens' clothing, how do you raise a daughter with a healthy image regarding herself and sexuality. It seems like we went from women being forced to be objects for men's fancy to women wanting to be objects for men's fancy.

    Most facinating is how sexuality is being used for economic leverage - "If you disassociate sex from non-market feelings - pleasure, desire, intimacy - and associate it instead with consumable superficialities, you'll not only keep the rabble in line, you'll have them lined up at the mall."

    As a side note, for the Australians, how would you say the Syndey Morning Herald leans? I found an interesting article there (the quote is at the end of the article).
  2. atszyman macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2003
    The Dallas 'burbs
    It's really not that hard (at least the first two years haven't been so far). The best you can do is to try to instill some values in them that are similar to your own regarding the over-sexualization of society.

    Since until 18 they are living by the rules you set and with more than a little input as to what they can/can't wear, where they can/can't go and what they can/can't watch.

    The best you can hope for is to raise them with a good self image and work ethic so that they realize that they don't have to use sexuality as a means to get what they want.

    I've already done the research, unfortunately, convents are voluntary only, you cannot forcibly enroll your daughter in one against her will, much to the dismay of many fathers out there..
  3. obeygiant macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    totally cool
    she needs as much love and attention from daddy as possible.
  4. thewhitehart macrumors 6502a


    Jul 9, 2005
    The town without George Bailey
    Talk to your daughter. Get interested in her life from an early age, be attentive to all questions no matter how superficial or unimportant they seem. Read to her, too. They can never be too young. Make her a reflection of the person you are as far as your values go.

    Yes, it sounds like something NBC would tell you on a "The More You Know" commercial, but it's said for a reason. The best thing a parent can do is take an active interest in their child's life.
  5. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    Hear hear!!!

    (Says the partially absentee father)
  6. TequilaBoobs macrumors 6502a


    Nov 12, 2006
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I agree with the above.

    As an additional note, try not to fall into the "what they don't know can't hurt them" camp and make your home into an oasis from reality. It's very important to set guidelines on what can be watched, read, worn, listened to, etc. On the other hand, don't try to turn your home into one from the 40's with no sign of commercialism. If you do that, you'll turn it all into something that's desirable because it's unattainable, and she'll learn all about it as soon as she get to school/day care/play groups/etc. By watching shows together (obviously, not everything should be seen), by getting some toys and talking about them, by reading and discussing books, you can instill your values without turning things into forbidden pleasures.

    I grew up in a home where the channels were changed every time someone kissed. Look what happened to me. ;) I think censorship in general is much worse than experiencing things alongside your kids.

    Of course, it'll be a few months before you need to worry about this.
  8. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    How would I raise a daughter? I tend to find a cherry picker works best, but in confined spaces a hydraulic jack can be useful.

    Seriously, I think thewhitehart hit the nail on the head.
  9. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    have her watch the South Park episode with paris hilton.


    if she knows its NOT ok, then she can make fun of those girls with you!
  10. Leareth macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2004
    Don't try to raise her as a 'daughter' but as an individual.
    Get out of the city in to nature often and get her interested in books.
    I would get rid of cable in the house cause its just mind numbing garbage and the focus should be on her life and school work .
    Try to get her to meet and interact with all sorts of diverse positive people that way when she gets older it will be hard for to become prejudiced on say so. - Kind of hard to think of gay people as bad when they make the best cookies and make the best looking dolls- < true stories.
    If she has an interest ge ther involved in sports or dance, ones that teach self-discipline , less likely she will have image issues when she is in her teens .
    Oh and the obvious one is do as you say: don't tell her say no to drugs while your buddy is passed out in the sofa and you ar lighting up one.
  11. topgun072003 macrumors 6502


    Sep 11, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    if you have good values...instill those in her at an early age.
  12. scem0 macrumors 604


    Jul 16, 2002
    back in NYC!
    it depends how heavy she is ;).

    No, in all seriousness, I'd encourage my child, regardless of gender, to think for themselves. To avoid illogical conformity.

  13. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    I know she's not quite old enough, but I think it's great that you'rea already thinking and planning ahead. =)

    I like that. I think a lot of the body image and self-image issues that surround women and young women might not be as prevalent if gender roles and stereotyping weren't as rigid.

    I'm not a parent so these are just issues I've thought about and discussed in various classes...

    Some points to consider:
    -When boys are complimented, it's often skill-based, "That's a nice castle you built." But when girls are complimented, it's often appearance-based, "What a pretty dress you're wearing," or "You look so pretty." Change that. ;)
    -Part of genderizing is taught through playing-- encourage and provide toys of all kinds (not just dolls, or pink-colored toys-- why not give her a fire truck, etc.). Especially if she shows interest in things that aren't traditionally "girly."
    -Be good examples. If a young girl only sees mom doing housework, it instills the idea that women are responsible for house-stuff and not men. Etc.
  14. pivo6 macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2002
    The best advice I can give is to be involved with your child's life. Know what motivates them, makes them happy or sad etc. It's worked so far for me and my family.

    BTW, I don't think it's any harder to raise a daughter over a son, although I have 3 daughters and 0 sons and have no proof.;)
  15. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3


    Feb 7, 2002
    are you calling nbs's daughter ugly?
  16. Grey Beard macrumors 65816

    Grey Beard

    Sep 10, 2005
    The Antipodes.
  17. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603


    Aug 20, 2005
    Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
    When my time comes I'll be coming back to this thread for some sound advise.

  18. Legolamb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 27, 2006
    North of where I'd like to be
    You have to walk the walk as well as talk it when it comes to values. I was amazed at how many of my daughter’s friends were talking about dieting and getting on the age 6. :confused: At that age, it's not TV, it's home.
    Limit shopping; share sports; do fun things together and make things; instead of banning everything, make going to movies and watching TV into discussion opportunities; read and discuss books and newspapers; be honest about everything, including your mistakes.

    I thought I was doing fine until my daughter hit 14. Just remember that grandchildren are the Lord’s way of thanking you for not killing your own.
  19. macmama macrumors regular


    Nov 26, 2006
    New Jersey
    Fear not, nbs2. Just the fact that you're *aware* of the insipid and insidious sides of the toy industry (Bratz, much of the Disney Princess franchise, etc.) puts you ahead of the game with your little one.

    I often find myself remembering that I grew up with the impossibly-proportioned Barbies too, and I gave them all wicked mohawks. I turned out a happy (albeit raving) feminist, so all's not lost on this generation...
  20. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I don't have kids yet, but I'd think that the best way to raise a daughter to "not dress like a slut" is to make her proud of her intelligence rather than her looks. Cute kids are always complimented on their looks and are usually dressed up a bit more often, while brainy kids that aren't good looking are always told how important school is and to work hard and be successful, and so they value their intelligence.

    If you have a daughter that you know is beautiful (even objectively speaking ;) ), don't put too much emphasis on her looks, or at least have people compliment her on how smart she is. Hell, just put more emphasis on brains and personality and less emphasis on her appearance, and I think she'll be fine.

    That, and give her love and attention.

    And keep her away from Mkrishnan.
  21. scem0 macrumors 604


    Jul 16, 2002
    back in NYC!
    and I tore my sister's barbie's apart and preferred to play with a small, plastic fox and I turned out to be a flaming homosexual.

    Oh, that's another thing. Never discourage your daughter from anything because she'll be labeled weird. If your daughter prefers hotwheels, then let her play with hotwheels. If she grows up and decides she wants relationships with women and not men, support her in that. If she likes barbies then support her in that.

  22. Hoef macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2004
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    I have a 14 month old daughter and will look for additional nuggets of wisdom here myself
  23. neut macrumors 68000


    Nov 27, 2001
    here (for now)
    No matter what you do ... she'll turn out like her parents. :)

    If you want to change that change youselves.

    My daughter is almost 10 now ... she has always hated barbies, bratz, and rarely wears a dress (though, sometimes she likes to ... is for fun). She loves animals, books, friends, and school. She's just like her mother and I. She's also shy ... but that's something we've tried to work on ourselves so she won't be as shy as we were as kinds. She's already much more outgoing than we were at her age. :)

    Encourage her to do what she does best. It's not always correct to raise a 'tomboy' ... some girls are just naturally girly. And that's ok. :) But discouraging commercial influence is a great way to make sure she doesn't learn to become a sexual object. Throwing away your TV is a good place to start. Or at least teach her what the commercial world's interest is in her is. ;)

    Love her with all your heart. Protect her from outside manipulation in a sane manner. Teach her everything you can (especially how to seek knowledge herself). Feed her well (we are what we eat ... organic foods when possible and filtered water). Talk to her like she's a real person ... don't treat her like a kid/respect her opinion.

    And above all ...keep her away from McDonald's, Walmart and the mall!!! ... and teach her why those places are not good for anyone!

    peace | neut
  24. MrSmith macrumors 68040


    Nov 27, 2003
    As a father of 2 daughters (5 and 3) and a son I can't say I disagree with anything above. I would add that if your thoughts are going to run according to your original post you are going to find it tough. Forget the politics and the shape of future commercialism/society. Instead, concentrate on giving your child a lot of hugs and attention. And, most importantly, have fun!

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