On headlines and hopes for my teen daughter

On headlines and hopes for my teen daughter

In the years I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve said several times that headlines can be great opportunities for starting conversations with our kids, and I’ve used them for blog topics. At the same time, I’ve really, really tried to be respectful. I acknowledge that everyone has their own unique perspective of the world, approach to parenting, and values for their family.

I love that, despite what I’m sure are tremendous differences, members of the Between Us Parents community are linked by the desire to want to do what’s best for our children. I want this space to be where people come together, and more often than not it is.

Because of that, I’ve really struggled with what to do with the headlines lately surrounding the upcoming election. I know that there are readers here who span the spectrum of political beliefs.

I’ve debated whether I have an obligation to say something, I’ve worried I would offend, and I’ve feared causing dissension, the opposite of my goal in this space.

And beyond the debate about policy, the national discussion has been about respect for others, consent, and what it means to be a leader. All of those are topics I know that people cover with their children.

At the end of the day, I started writing to share my experiences as a parent and to share what I hope to teach her. So I thought I’d share what those hopes look like for me today.

As a parent, I want my teen daughter to be safe.

I pray that she is never assaulted or violated, as I and so very many millions of women have been.

I do not want my child to hear anyone say he/she can grab her, any part of her, ever.

I hope that my teen is treated and treats others with basic human decency and yes, I even hope for more than that. I hope for kindness.

I want my daughter to know that everyone deserves respect. Period. End of story. That applies to all individuals, regardless of their gender, race, socio-economic position, job, or fame.

Ideally, my chid will stand up for what and who she believes in, even when it is difficult, and surround herself with others who do the same.

My goal is to give my daughter the strength to call out unacceptable behavior, the ability to reject misogyny and racism and mistreatment when she sees it, the courage to stand up to bullies, and the knowledge that doing all of that matters.

I desperately wish for a world in which she can achieve anything she wishes, and that her gender will not hold her back.

I am ridiculously grateful for the men in my life who make it clear that she has value, and hope she find many more throughout her life.

I want her and her classmates to have good leaders, mentors, and teachers who inspire them to try harder, reach higher, achieve more, and do their best.

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Prior Post: I've been missing a key piece of the kindness puzzle: kindness to self

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