4/19/10 - Parenting Hackles

I’ve read a couple of articles this week that have my parenting hackles way up.

One article is about raising daughters and how to handle the issues of body image. I think what has me so upset about it is the fact that the article does not even recognize that boys have extreme body image issues as well. And as a mother raising a son and a daughter I’ve got it from both sides. With both kids it’s a double whammy. Because I’ve got to figure out how to help them foster their own positive body image as well as how to support the people, regardless of gender, that they have in their lives. They both have to learn how to see people as they want to be seen – as the kind, compassionate, creative, intelligent, amazing people they are.

One article is about bullying. And this is an issue that is a tremendously loaded for me. I survived an abusive relationship while in high school and vowed to never again allow another human being treat me as anything less than what I felt I deserved. And that is also a very high priority for me to teach my children. Which is why this article pisses me off so much. Because essentially it’s saying that you should expect your child, regardless of age or gender, to be able to handle it themselves and that you should “praise them for suffering well.” If that fails to remedy the situation, then you could intercede on their behalf. I’m sorry, but are you frigging kidding me?!? There is no part of that that is acceptable to me. I will not accept my children facing bullies alone. And I sure as hell won’t accept teaching them to suffer well. I’m raising people, not martyrs here.

The root of both issues is self confidence. On every imaginable level. Honestly I don’t think I know anyone who has utter confidence on every level. So I’m setting a tall order for myself to be able to impart that to my children. But if I could just help them to see themselves as I do, I think we’ll be heading in the right direction.

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