Monday, June 28, 2010

Saving our Girls

There is a rising epidemic in our culture.

Have you noticed it?

The length of childhood, for little girls especially, is rapidly decreasing. It is a sad phenomenon. When I was a child, I can remember playing with my dolls until I was 14 or 15 years old. There was no shame in it, no push for me to grow up. Sadly, this does not seem to be the case today. Everywhere I look I see little girls dressing older, talking older, and acting older. In my opinion this should not be. We are taking something very special from our daughters when we don’t allow them to enjoy a lengthy childhood.

Childhood, this marvelous girlhood, only happens one time. We need to protect it and cherish it for our little girls. I want this for my daughter, but the cultural pressure suffocating these dear ones, pushing them to look and to act grown up is overwhelming. However, we as mommies, can push back. Here are some of the ways that we can protect childhood for our daughters.

Let’s limit media – the obvious is TV, but also magazines (let us be careful as moms what magazines we are reading), music, internet, video games, and even some books. They may seem harmless at first, but our children are so impressionable. Is this what we really want impressed on them?

Let’s allow our little girls to look like little girls, pretty bows, frilly shirts, twirly skirts, braids, pig tails and the like help to preserve this girlhood period a bit longer. While it is fun for our daughters to play dress up and experiment with our makeup, let’s keep it for play for now and put the dress up clothes back in the closet and the makeup back in our drawer when play time is over.

While we are raising these little ones to one day be homemakers, and that is the majority of the reason for this site, we do not have to push them into being little women just yet. They can learn a lot from us by our modeling, rather than formally training them in every task. Let them be little and practice in their toy room with their baby dolls, strollers, kitchen sets, and ironing boards. There will be plenty of time for our daughters to do it for real later.

I also strongly believe that allowing our little girls special time with their daddy keeps them little longer. Being accepted and loved and cherished by their daddy, keeps them from longing for that affection outside the home. Essentially it keeps her little longer. Along with that, little girls also need fun interaction with their mommy. Let’s show them our silly, soft side. Get on the floor and be crazy, create zoo animals out of play dough at the kitchen table, craft with glue and scissors and messy, but oh so delightful, glitter, put puzzles together, read and snuggle on the couch. Allow her be a child in her own home.

I think that a long, sunny childhood is an amazing preparation for adulthood, and it is one of the most beautiful gifts we can give to our girls. We cannot slow down the clock, but we can make the most of the minutes that God blesses us with.

How do you keep your little girl little?

1 comment:

  1. This is a marvellous post. I enjoyed reading it. I can see the difference in the length of childhood from 15 years ago and now. I still played with Barbie Dolls at 12 years old and my friends thought I was childish! But now I see kids aged 6 and younger complaining that they are too old for dolls! You are right, we really must make an effort to keep our little girls little for longer.