The other day I was watching Good Morning America and they were talking about girl bullies in Kindergarten, that’s right, I said KINDERGARTEN. As a mother of a 2 year old girl, this immediately got my attention.
I listened to the mother of a Kindergarten girl talk about how hurt her child was when other Kindergarten girls were mean to her and wouldn’t include her. Then I heard a child (female) psychologist say that in a way our encouragement of girls to be whatever they want to be, i.e. president, CEO, fashion designer, engineer, has created this problem, because young girls don’t know how to balance this power.
We can empower our girls, without teaching them to be mean to others. To me this is just another excuse for parents not teaching our children, regardless of gender, kindness. It’s even more evidence that my generation as parents are failing our children. Our kids are growing up in an instant gratification world; want to watch a movie, here let me download it. Want that toy? Let order it on Amazon for next day delivery. Why should our kids be kind when we’ve given them no reason to do so? We’ve gotten away from a reward/consequences outlook to parenting and exchanged it for a reward/reward outlook.
Now, I’m not a perfect mother. I am totally guilty of going over the top for our only child on Christmas and her birthday. But I consider it my parental duty to teach my child to be strong and kind.
We can teach our kids to fight for what they want, we can teach them not to quit, and we can instill the knowledge that they can do or be anything they put their minds too, as well as teaching them how to be kind to others. We don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.