Girl Power

No Perfect Parent

I recently read an article entitled 10 Things Your Daughter Should Know by the Time She’s 10. These 10 simple girl power commandments-if you will- will help your daughter navigate through life. The 10 girl power commandments for little girls are as follows:

1. How adored she is. No matter what you disagree on and even though sometimes you may yell, she should know she is the center of your universe — always.
2. How to cook. She should be able to prepare small snacks such as eggs, pasta, toast, sandwiches etc. My daughter loves to cook and letting them experiment enforces this life skill.
3. Body changes are coming and what to expect. She needs to know that along with these hormonal changes will come some emotional changes as well.
4. The harm of drugs. Unfortunately, no matter where you live, drugs are a threat to your child and it starts as early as 10 in some cases. Explain to them in no uncertain terms that no drugs are safe to try even once.
5. At this age, it’s important for them to know something about the facts of life. I know it’s a tough conversation to have, but you surely don’t want them getting their info on the playground at school.
6. They should be aware how there are people all over the world and even in their own community who may not be as fortunate as they are. They should know that helping someone in need is a gratifying feeling and that the help they give may be the boost that person needs to turn their day around.
7. Money doesn’t grow on trees.
8. Appearance is important. She should know that personal grooming and appropriate clothing for different events are something that will be necessary throughout her life.
9. Everyone won’t always be nice. Teach her to be confident enough to hold her own, but aware of trouble makers and not afraid to report issues that seem dangerous, like extreme bullying or threats.
10. Life is not easy. There will be challenges she will face that will seem cruel and impossible. It will take her faith, her family and her perseverance to get through some of the things that life throws at her.

As I was reading this article I just began to cry. I thought I was losing it. There was nothing sad about this article. I realized that this article reminded me so much of my father. A little background about me is my father dies in January of 2012. We were extremely close and this was one of the worst events of my life. It was also my first encounter with depression. But I digress…the article made me realize how much a male presence is in a little girl’s life. My mom and I are very close- probably best friends and she taught me these same lessons very early on in life, but it was my dad’s word and actions that stuck with me. There is so much reality TV and chaos in the world that somethings have become taboo. A lot of women have begun to use the excuse I didn’t have a father or my father wasn’t there to excuse their behavior in life and we have lost the importance of this statement. The truth is father figures are very important in a small girl’s life. I didn’t realize this until my father passed way and all the memories came flooding back. My mother has loved and provided for me always but there is just something about a father-daughter relationship. Most of my self-esteem and confidence came simply from the fact of knowing there was a man out there that would love me unconditional. These 10 things, though they may seem very minute and common sense, may be the very 10 things that save someone’s little girl from a lifetime of hurt.

Self-esteem: The Conductor of Emotions

Who's Taking Care of You?

Self-esteem is a very important aspect of everyone’s life. It is such a vital part of a person existence, yet at the same time too much or too little of it can be detrimental. Self-esteem is often used as a controlling tool. People prey on those who have low self-esteem because it is easy. Having low self-esteem, especially for children, also makes a person an easy target for bullying. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and I thought to myself this is a perfect time to talk about self-esteem. People who fall victim to domestic violence, as well as those that inflict domestic violence, offer suffer from low self-esteem. When a person has low self-esteem it is easy to convince them that the treatment they are receiving is their own fault. At the same token, as the old saying goes ‘hurt people hurt people’. With that being said people who do not feel good about themselves sometimes lash out at others in the form of release. It is never ok to hit someone, domestically or not. As humans we all have emotions and sometimes these emotions outweigh the logic of our brains. It is very easy when feeing cornered or hurt to lash out. We, especially in the African-American community support violence. I know when I was growing up I was always taught if someone hits you….hit them back. I was also taught you never let the other person get the first lick in in a fight. This way of thinking, though it did give me a thick skin, did two things to my way of life. One it limited my thinking. There was no need to think about things. When I felt corned just strike first. Two it perpetuated the use of violence. This is why people need the tools and resources such as counselors or anger management, or sometimes even grief support to help them through life. With these tools in place the instances of violence just might become less.