Raising girls is not for the wimp. I've been at it for 23 years now. Oh my word! How did I make it 23 years with most of my sanity intact…. I said most.
Two girls – almost 7 years apart. I've been doing this girl thing for a while and I love being a girl mom, but it's not all pretty and pink.
Girls are precious and hormonal; they are funny and temperamental; and loving and sassy. Girls can also be darling & lovely and mean & manipulative. Yes, I said it — mean and manipulative. I know this not only because I'm raising girl, but because I am one — okay, I'm using this term loosely, but you get the point.
I've watched my girls traverse the landmines of junior high. I've cried when they were left out of the group and I've thought (and said) some mean things about girls who've been mean to my girls.
It's all so competitive and there's an attitude of ‘if I can make her look bad, that makes me look good.' And it doesn't stop at junior high. I don't know if it ever stops.
Recently, I began wondering where girls learn this behavior. I didn't have to look very far — just in the mirror. I taught my girls to be competitive, to envy and to be not-very-nice. I like to think I'm a much different person these days and in Christ, I am, but I still struggle with all that self stuff.
As a Mom, I said all the right things — ‘we're supposed to love our enemies' and ‘remember girls, love one another as Christ as loved you.' I SAID them, but I didn't truly live them. My girls watched, like all children do, and they saw me gossip about the lady down the street, they heard me make comments about people — comments that were far from kind and they listened as I announced “well, if that were me….” in a tone that lets all know I would have done it RIGHT.
I've labeled people, judged people, and disliked people based solely on their appearance without ever taking the time to see their heart.
I've made being the BEST important, when it's much more important to LOVE others.
I taught my girls that being RIGHT is important — sometimes it's the most important thing. And that's wrong.
And I'm not alone in this defeat.
What are we teaching our girls?
What do our actions say? Do your words line up with the way you live?
Are we loving people right where they are — even when it's in a pit of sin? To love a person doesn't mean you condone the sin, it means you love the person.
Are we judging people based on the outward appearance? on where they live? what they drive? how well they are educated?
What are you teaching your girls or (if you don't have any girls) other girls?
Great post, Mary! I only have boys, but I think the same thing definitely applies. We all, male or female, need to work on accepting other people as they are without our judgments of how they need to be.
Ouch. My head hurts after being smacked with this post.
I am seeing with my own two eyes how mean girls can be. I’m trying to say the right things, too. Trying to build up my girl so she can handle the junk thrown at her while she’s at school. Trying to remind her of kind words to say and scriptures to hold in her heart when what I want to tell her sometimes is to RIP THEIR HAIR OUT. It’s hard. And we haven’t even hit the “mean years” yet.
Spending a LOT of time on my knees right now. Probably need to get one of those gardening knee cushions so I don’t develop bruises b/c I guarantee there will be even more knee time in the future!
Mary, girlfriend you are keeping it real! Your transparency is refreshing. I love you!!!
This same thing goes for boys as well. I have 4 boys and 1 girl. When your son says something really, really nasty. You think where did that come from? Many times to find the answer all you have to do is look in the mirror.
Over the last 2 1/2 years I have been learning that raising a girl is very different from raising boys. Many things are still the same. They all tend to do as we do and not as we say.
I think God is STILL healing me from highschool wounds. It’s vicious 🙁
Thought provoking post girlfriend.
“I’ve made being the BEST important, when it’s much more important to LOVE others.”
Isn’t this attitude so cultural? The best seems to always get everyones attention so it must be worth the effort says the world. But we have HIS attention before we do a thing!!!
My toes hurt…you stepped on them. Thank you. Great reminder!
Hi All — thanks for the comments. I’m working on the follow up post for this… Mean all Grown Up.
That was great! Wow! God led me to these posts tonight! I have a 10 and 16yr old daughter… Can’t wait to read the rest!