My alarm went off at 6:30am this morning. After months of waking up when the kids wake up, it still hurts my heart a bit. I’ve seen memes promising wine for those mothers tasked with waking angry teenagers for school, … Continue reading
I’ve worked in youth ministry for more than a decade now. I’ve come to know countless teenage hearts, but their depth still amazes me. Their burdens are overwhelming. Teen problems are real and painful. But teens are often too afraid … Continue reading
This might be a controversial opinion, but I happen to think my parents did a stellar job raising me. I think I’ve become a pretty level-headed, rational, kind adult, and I like to think that my parents had a lot … Continue reading
I don’t think I realized how much a gift it was to stay at home and raise your children until I had the chance to do it myself. My mother stayed at home with my siblings and me while my … Continue reading
All girls need solid role models in their lives. The modern media doesn’t always provide good examples of true femininity, and many girls are unsure what the world expects from them, as well as what they should expect from themselves. … Continue reading
All mothers want their sons to grow up to be good men, but many boys just don’t know what that means. Real masculinity, true strength, and faithfulness are all admirable qualities in men. Movies, TV, and social media seem to … Continue reading
I was a bit of a tomboy growing up. I hated wearing skirts, and preferred to shop in the boys department for clothing. I played sports, and enjoyed spending afternoons riding bikes, climbing trees, and exploring the woods by our house. My favorite color was blue, and I hated pink. Sure, I liked playing with dolls, but I was not your typical girly girl (that came later).
Now that I have a girl of my own, I wonder what she’ll be like as she gets older. Right now, she wears a lot of pink and her closet is filled dresses. She has lots of dolls, and she spends an inordinate amount of time hugging and kissing them. But what if she’s a tomboy when she grows up? Here are 5 ways I plan to validate my daughter’s femininity if she grows up to be a tomboy.
1. Dresses and dolls don’t make you a woman. Femininity cannot be reduced to how you like to dress or spend your free time. If your daughter doesn’t like to wear dresses, you don’t need to force her except for very rare occasions (like weddings). Remind her often that her femininity is more than skin deep, and let her express herself as she sees fit (as long as it’s modest and reasonable).
2. It’s okay if your daughter doesn’t fully fit the “tomboy” mold. She might hate pink but love dolls. She might hate princesses but love dresses. Don’t force your daughter into a mold. She might have certain tendencies that could earn her the “tomboy” label, but you don’t want to pressure her to fit every facet of the stereotype. Stereotypes might have some basis in truth, but people are so much more complicated than any cookie cutter mold could be.
3. It’s fine for your daughter to have mostly guy friends, but encourage her to choose a few women to be role models of true femininity in her life. Your daughter might enjoy the company of guys over girls, but encourage her to choose a few girls or women to befriend. They don’t need to be the same age as her, but as your daughter gets older, having good female role models will be especially important!
4. Give her the space to change her mind. Or not. Some girls will grow out of their tomboy tendencies as they get older, while other habits will be here to stay. There’s no way to predict what will survive childhood and adolescence and carry into adulthood. Don’t make a big deal about changing preferences, and be sure to regularly remind your daughter that your love for her is unconditional.
5. Teach her that femininity comes from the inside, not the outside, and is rooted in relationship. Even tomboys will often be drawn to communion with others (think sisterhood) and will be more inclined to nurture and empathize with others (think motherhood). Even the most stereotypical tomboy is still a woman. She might enjoy playing rough and getting dirty with the boys, but she will still want to share herself with others. Let her share herself with you. Let your daughter be herself. As she grows up and figures out who she is, she’ll be in a better position to share herself with you.
I had my first “boyfriend” in sixth grade, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Shocker: We broke up by early March. Like many teens, I moved from one guy to the next, hoping one would heal my broken heart. These … Continue reading
Do you remember how old you were when you chose to assume your family’s faith as your own? I was a Junior in high school. My husband was in college when he experienced his “re-version” (a conversion-like experience for those … Continue reading
I was still pregnant the first time someone asked if I was done having kids since we had a boy already and a girl on the way. I’ve had people assume this several times since then, and it still gets … Continue reading