Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Girl's Life

Hannah had her first ever ballet class today. We've been talking about it for weeks and preparing by purchasing a leotard, tights and ballet shoes and finding ballet books at the library.

She had a wonderful time at class. Parents weren't allowed inside so I couldn't see what she was doing but she ran out with a huge smile on her face. I'm slightly tempted to ask the teacher to take my phone and video her so I can see what it's all about. Especially since I am certain that she will clam up the minute it comes time for their end of season recital in front of an audience.

After snack and getting dressed we headed out to the car. Or at least tried to. As we were leaving the room, Hannah noticed all of the other girls' pink backpacks...Dora, Hello Kitty, princesses. I had packed her things in her brothers' Skip Hop dog backpack that he is currently not using.

Well, Hannah didn't like that one bit. Full on hissy fit all the way to the car on the icy sidewalk wanting to go back and take one. After trying to explain that they belonged to the other girls and that I would be more than happy to buy her a pink backpack I came to realize what was just beginning.

The competitive and want-to-be world of girls. The expression "just wait until she is in high school" kept going through my mind.

The timing was quite ironic after having just read this article the day before about a 7 year old girl who told her mom she was fat.

The past almost 3 years have been easy-peasy. I buy something for Hannah and she loves it, plays with it or wears it. But I think we're about to enter the stage of comparison. Good for motivation and learning, potentially bad for my wallet and her self image.

So how do you create an environment for your daughter where she is 100% happy with herself no matter what she has and what she looks like?

I don't think anyone has the answer and I think its completely unavoidable but by filling her with positiveness and taking words out of our vocabulary like fat, skinny and ugly I think we can steer her in the right direction, especially now during this most impressionable age.


  1. Not possible.

    Mine's now 10 - grew up without self-image issues, confident in her abilities and intellect, accepting of her short-comings and willing to work to overcome where necessary... now occasionally comes home in tears because of teasing due to her lack of concern over what she wears / carries / eats / studies, and lack of "discernment" over who she plays with / sits next to / trades phone #'s with, etc.

    Bottom line, there are too many forces beyond your control, and it's Quixotic to shoot for raising a 100% happy child. Better to strive for a resilient child.

  2. Thanks Marty. This is a wonderful perspective. Hopefully Hannah will be as self confident as your daughter. Glad to know that it is possible :)