Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Give them roots & wings

" ... we have to give girls strong roots when they are young and allow them to spread their wings as they grow up. " - Lawrence Cohen, Ph.D
In our house, with a middle schooler, we have recently had to deal with and work on middle school things... mainly friendships. Out of respect to all involved, I had made the decision not to talk about it on here... a decision that still stands.

However, and I don't know why this surprised me but it did, a couple of you recently have shared very similar {unsolicited} stories with me about your daughter and have asked for advice, because like me, you felt caught between a rock and a hard place. I passed along advice and suggestions shared with me by many who had been there, done that.

And then, I started to think... Dang! We must all be going through this crap in one way or another... whether you are an old neighbor of mine from years ago or someone I see practically every week. If you have a daughter in middle school, or one very close, welcome to Junior High two point OOOOHHHHHH... your very own junior high years revisited... only much worse.  

Like you, I want to give our children the foundation for an independent and responsible life with sound decision making skills, regardless of how popular those decisions are. Since I am no longer thirteen with thirteen year old emotions and hormones, and I have never been the parent of a teenager before, I have had to depend on the guidance of parents and others that have already been down this road and have successfully made it through to the other side.

I have also repeatedly referred to a fabulous series on PBS.org called Understanding and Raising Girls as a guide for what to do when (insert crappy situation here) happens in my daughter's life. The articles on PBS.org are short and succinct, and I wanted to share a few so that you, too, could find some tidbits of advice when you need it.

The Myth of the BFF by Rachel Simmons (her website is very informative and relevant)

What? Your daughter isn't quite there yet? Start arming yourself with information now . I am not exaggerating or being an alarmist. It will happen.  When is the only variable. Good luck!
"Our job as parents is to help girls be true to themselves and relationships and learn how to express their thoughts and feelings honestly and respectfully." - Lynn Mikel Brown, Ed.D., Author, Girlfighting


  1. Rachel's remark about a girls value being defined in terms of the # of friends jumped out at me. Take Facebook for example.....it's all about the #. My girls have not accepted friend requests from people that they don't really talk to because they know the request was simply to add to the number. I hate that they fell inadequate because they don't have 500 friends!

  2. I can't speak for her directly, but with my daughter's case, she LOVES having as many friends - real or virtual - as she can get her hands on! The more the merrier and the more social she can be!

  3. Queen Bees and Wanna B's....great book that also discusses how technology affects our girls.