cahn: (Default)
[personal profile] cahn
I've noticed that I'm spending a lot of time teaching my daughter (7) stuff that I'm simultaneously reading about as Stuff Women Internalize That Can Cause Problems — not making waves, not kicking up a fuss about things, trying to accommodate other people, giving a lot of attention to other people's feelings, being deferential and respectful to people in authority.

On the other hand, with E it's on the level of "not making waves" = "not literally screaming loudly because you bumped your leg mildly in a way that your two-year-old sibling just did and didn't even make any noise," and "being deferential and respectful" at 7-year-old diva stage corresponds to "don't yell 'Don't say that!' to everything Mom says, and in general give Mom the courtesy of not yelling given that Mom doesn't yell at you." So… I think I am okay here. But I find myself talking a lot about how it's totally okay to scream and/or be super non-deferential and impolite if someone is trying to get you to do something that you're uncomfortable with. And I still worry: am I finding the right balance? Am I going too far in one way or another? Where's the line?

(I'm trying to raise the boy and girl more-or-less identically, but this is actually a difference — while I try very hard to make sure that I don't teach E anything about being polite and accommodating that I wouldn't also teach A, I probably will not lean so hard with him on the "but if someone harasses you, you can totally go off on them!" because I expect A to have a lot more in the way of examples for that. I mean, I think it's still important for him to know that as a little kid! But more and more I suspect I will de-stress or even work against that view as he grows up, whereas it will probably get more important to me to stress that for my daughter. I think. Who knows. This parenting thing is hard.)

Date: 2017-04-29 01:47 am (UTC)
elsane: clouds, brilliance, and the illusion of wings. (Default)
From: [personal profile] elsane
Ow, so complicated, and no easy answers. Oddly enough, this reminds me about advising women in my very male-dominated field -- to what extent do you teach them to act like their male peers, and to what extent do you acknowledge that women are perceived differently and thus need to act differently? The question of how to thread that needle is so omnipresent.

My parenting gender dilemmas at the moment are all about the femme baby clothing we have either inherited or been given; I know this is like playing Tetris on level one and saying "ughhh so hard" while you're grappling with level 12!

Date: 2017-04-29 03:34 pm (UTC)
umadoshi: (riceball love (snowgarden))
From: [personal profile] umadoshi
Parenting sounds SO complicated and tricky. I admire the heck out of you for doing it so thoughtfully.

Date: 2017-04-29 04:41 pm (UTC)
thistleingrey: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thistleingrey
I try to bind things to a context and, where possible, an alternative: not "Don't sing in public" but "Let's not sing on the bus--could you wait till we're off?" I dunno. Agreed that it is hard to balance. Sometimes there is no good alternative!

(K)

Date: 2017-05-01 03:39 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oh yes, this feels like the constant refrain in the back of my head. D was 3 when her preschool teacher told us how great it was that she stood up for herself since girls need to do more of that -- and ever since then we've been working on teaching her to be kind and friendly while realizing that this just wouldn't be as big a deal if she was a boy. But since she's a girl and wants to be friends with other girls, she has to conform to the girl standard for being nice, which is significantly more demanding than the boy standard.

(K again)

Date: 2017-05-01 04:58 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Though in fairness it's possible that at age 6 the boy and girl standards are equally high when a kid is specifically trying to make friends with a group of girls; the girl posse will only accept boys as full-fledged members in unusual circumstances, if at all.

Re: (K again)

Date: 2017-05-01 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yes, generally the kids who are 7 and up segregate by gender. There are plenty of exceptions, but if you'd looked outside at the 7-10-year-olds at snack today you'd have seen a few boys sitting together, a bunch of kids running around, and a big circle of girls sitting together. The school only encourages it insofar as gender is acknowledged in group work, either by allowing same-gender kids to work together, or by specifically forcing them to mix. It's also reinforced by all-girl sleepover birthday parties, which are not uncommon. (Parents insist on inclusiveness at birthday parties, except for the gender thing.)

Gender segregation is much less rigid in the K-1 class and among the oldest students. (D groups socially with the 7-10-year-olds because of her class placement.)

I don't think the kids overlap in extracurriculars too much, but of course mixed-gender friendships are most easily encouraged outside of school.

Re: (K again)

Date: 2017-05-01 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yeah, we were told that there was gender mixing before D started at her school too, and I can't compare to other schools since we don't have that experience, but I would say that mixing is still the exception rather than the rule. I think both gender and age mixing happened more back when the school was small and unbalanced -- I will ask about that.

In contrast to our TIP experience, when I did math activities at school, we had gender mixing because I was the only girl, so who else was I going to hang out with? I think TIP was the first time I had a chance to do math with other girls, and I was both excited to hang out with you and the others, and intimidated by some of the boys, who I thought were older and ahead of me mathematically (though in retrospect I bet that was only some of them). I had also just spent the previous few months training with the state mathcounts team, which was me and three boys all of whom did better than me, and I think that reinforced my feeling that I couldn't keep up with boys (that feeling did dissipate, but it was definitely there that summer).

For what it's worth, I haven't hung on to any friendships from when I was seven, except for the ones that are maintained by my mother, and those are still hardly ever acknowledged.

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