The Forgotten Years of Girlhood


I know it’s been a while since I have posted about wellbeing. I have been in a fundraising frenzy unexpectantly, which has seen another $600 added to the A Path To Follow tally and one tired mum and wife.  More about that in another post shortly.

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For today I wanted to share this article, an extract from Australian Psychologist and Parenting Expert, Steve Biddulph. Having three boys I was interested to see if there was anything in it for me? In actual fact there was. I could relate most of the article to the ongoing development I am seeing in my boys.  Yet, I was also perplexed by the last sentence and how it would leave the reader whose child has just turned 14.  Is it too late for them? So, apart from the article’s last line, I think there is something in it for all of us; parents of boys or girls.

Below I have posted a couple of quotes from the article (with my commentary) that I thought to have real connection to our children’s development.

“it’s not surprising that some parents just throw their hands up and say “what can you do?”. Except that you can do an awful lot. Protecting our kids – boys and girls – from the hyenas has always been the job of parents”

If there is one statement I have repeatedly made to parents in line of work, it is to never stop trying (AND I’m generally not talking about you, but the parent who has had a real struggle to even be here and to keep the care of their children). But the message remains true for each and every one of us. Sure, it’s much easier for a parent of a teen if you implemented good routines with your children early, but even starting late is better than not starting at all! In this day, there are so many free and cost effective means of parenting support, that all of us are provided sufficient opportunities to get it at least a little bit right, a lot of the time.

“Thats the thing we have most misunderstood about teenagers – especially the early teens – we shouldn’t just leave them alone. Your daughter is putting together the kind of woman she wants to be. That will include a fair slice of you, unbelievable as that might seem, so it helps if you aren’t a frantic anxious overburdened mess. The great paradox of parenthood is kids can only be as calm as their parents, while we are so worried about them we become frantic! But if you can slow down, ease off on commitments, simplify life, and be available for long soulful talks with her when the chance occurs, it will make these years go so much better”

I guess I have always been a proponent of letting your adolescent have the freedon to explore and form their identity and knew this meant the parental role would change, perhaps even assumed it would lessen some.  This article has reminded me how important it is to stay ever present in your children’s lives, no matter the age.  There’s a big difference between my child going to his first party and me knowing where, with whom and the transport modes he’s using, then me just knowing he’s going to a party FULLSTOP.

Your daughter has a spark, somewhere inside her, and its up to you and her to find it and give it wings.

Some of us know are lucky enough to know what drives us and we can call on that motivation to achieve lots of things in life. Some of us are even luckier to know this motivation instrinsically from early in life. Others of us walk through life using any external motivation that we can drum up at the time to propel us forward. Then there are those of us who are still struggling to just discover something, anything to push us forward. For me, to hear the words that all of our children HAVE that spark has given me renewed hope, but also reminds me that it is our responsibility, as parents, to direct, guide and nurture that search our children embark on to find that SPARK. Here’s to turning a can of coke into some internally driven spark to drive our boy into a wonderful future…

http://www.essentialkids.com.au/older-kids/development-for-older-kids/the-forgotten-years-of-girlhood-20130618-2ofcy.html

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