Five Lessons to Teach Your Girls About Boys

October 1, 2012 in boys,lessons for moms,mentor moms

Oh moms. What a treasure I have for you today. It strikes at the heart of mentoring for me because two kind blogging friends from Mothering From Scratch (where I was a MOMtor a few weeks back) are addressing an issue I haven’t encountered yet. Bask in their wisdom ladies.  Put away any fears. And then store these tips somewhere for when you need them.

by Melinda Means and Kathy Helgemo
Imagine being a fly on the wall in a room filled with teenage boys. We’ve had this experience many times in our homes, minivans and dugouts. Their conversations are at times sweet or horrifying, but always enlightening — especially when they start talking about girls.

As moms to both teenage boys and girls, we’ve received quite an education. The bottom line is this: In the midst of raging male hormones, your girl earn respect from the boys in her life.
Lesson #1: Virtue deserves protection.Please. For as long as you can. We understand that there are limitations to our influence eventually, but let’s fight hard to keep her covered. Don’t let her be like one of my (Kathy) son’s girlfriends who came over to “meet his family” for dinner. By the end of the meal I knew what color bra she was wearing.

Boys are assaulted with images left and right of scantily clad girls and women. Our daughters’ can wield their femininity as a weapon against their own virtue. As moms, we need to make our daughter’s smile the first thing boys notice about her appearance — not her blossoming body.

It’s important to cultivate this mindset from the time they are preschoolers. Our culture will constantly oversexualize them. When my (Melinda) daughter was little, she begged for Bratz dolls. I wouldn’t buy them — or anything similar to them — because I didn’t want to encourage or idealize the image that they projected.

Lesson #2: Men and fathers are valuable. How are we relating to the men in our lives? If we primarily communicate negativity and a dismissive attitude, we undermine her respect for men. Her view of them becomes tainted and expectations become lowered. She’s more likely to accept behavior and treatment from them that is unacceptable.

Lesson #3: Teach them that they are worth being pursued.Trust us when we say that our teenage daughters are not wallflowers. But we’re trying to teach them that there’s a difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness. Boy-catching type behavior isn’t viewed positively among our sons. They may be flattered by the attention, but they’re not impressed by it.We don’t want our daughters to become the subject of boy conversations about those girls who seem desperate. We’ve overhead this kind of chatter. It’s not pretty.

Lesson #4: High standards command respect. As they get older, our daughters often fight our rules and protection. I (Melinda) have experienced this recently as my daughters’ friends — including boys — have started driving. I’ve embarrassed her more than once with my interrogations. (It’s great practice for the grilling of potential boyfriends.) Our high standards command respect for her company. Too much freedom tells boys her parents don’t care. Our daughters will thank us later that we didn’t hand them over to just anyone.

Lesson #5: You enjoy their company. Our time and willingness to make sacrifices to be with them, speaks volumes. If our daughters feel valued and appreciated in our households, they’re less likely to look for validation and attention outside of it.

Okay, moms, class is over. But, remember, the real work begins once you get home.

mentor momsKathy and Melinda met on a Little League baseball field. The coach — Melinda’s kids’ pediatrician — also happened to be Kathy’s husband. They discovered their shared passion for writing, as well as a common desire to serve and encourage other mothers.

Kathy(the redhead)mothers four kids ranging in age from late teens to early elementary years. Melinda (the brunette) is mother to an adorable middle-school-aged son and a beautiful and entertaining teenage daughter.
They blog at http://motheringfromscratch.com.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Blond Duck October 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Was her bra sticking out?

These are definitely lessons I wish my parents had taught me. I was always a goody goody anyway, but I wouldn’t have dated some losers!

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Mothering From Scratch October 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm

{Kathy} No, it wasn’t sticking out…..Her shirt was just about 2 buttons shy of being appropriate. It shouldn’t surprise us though. For example female Hollister employees are encouraged to unbutton their blouses to this level while working. I was told this by a manager at our local store when I inquired about why all the young ladies around me were revealing way more than anyone needed to see. Ugh.

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thedoseofreality October 1, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Great post. So helpful! Love all of the lessons on this list. :)-Ashley

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Mothering From Scratch October 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm

{Kathy} Thanks Ashley!! I’m glad you enjoyed them!!!

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amanda October 1, 2012 at 7:17 pm

We need supportive and encouraging words like these. Sometimes I feel like I am walking around in a toilet water kinda world! Thank you!

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pruningprincesses October 7, 2012 at 10:06 am

Hi Amanda dear, thanks for commenting on the blog. I feel extra love when I know friends are reading even though they are close by.

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Mothering From Scratch October 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm

{Melinda} You are welcome! I agree, Amanda, this is a “toilet water” world. So it’s important for moms who are trying to “keep it clean” to support each other! It always helps to know you’re not fighting the battle alone. 🙂

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Jenny @ Creatively Blooming October 2, 2012 at 3:53 pm

My daughter is only two, but I am saving this for future reference. I love it! Even at the age of two, I find some of the shows that are geared toward the toddler/preschool age are crossing the line.

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pruningprincesses October 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Jenny, I completely agree. My daughters are 8 and 10 and I never let them watch what most of their friends would watch (High school musical, iCarly, Wizards of Waverly). Those shows were fine, if you were in middle school when it is more natural to think about friendship groups and boyfriends.

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Joy October 3, 2012 at 2:17 am

Love this! It is so refreshing to be reinforced in our desire to raise not just “good” kids but Godly kids (a son and a daughter)! My husband and I refuse to buy certain toys or shop at certain clothing stores as well! It makes me crazy when I see a little girl wearing short shorts or skimpy dress! Our desire is to raise children of good character and that it isn’t just something we want but that THEY want…I know this won’t be the case ALL the time but hopefully in the long run! :o)

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pruningprincesses October 3, 2012 at 10:24 am

Thanks for taking the time to read the blog, Joy. There will always be a battle to protect our children, and then later to teach them how to navigate the world. My goal of strong character is the same as yours. I think we will be on our knees daily! At least we know we are not alone.

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Tanya October 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Visiting from sits! I have a fourteen year old son and sixteen year old daughter. My daughter is wise beyond her years, for that I am blessed. I am still trying to teach my son to respect girls. He is in a phase right now where the most important thing is being cool. I just keep reminding him that that is NOT the most important thing. Thanks for the tips!

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pruningprincesses October 6, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Hi Tanya. Thanks for visiting. I think teaching boys to respect girls is equally as hard as teaching girls to demand respect. Culture has skewed things. Praying for you as you teach your son. Laura

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karen October 6, 2012 at 8:49 pm

OH I REALLY LOVE THIS…as a mom to a young boy, I worry about him when he gets older. I want him to be a good man and find a woman who loves and respects herself. I teach him values, but how do I protect and teach him when society give him improper images.

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pruningprincesses October 6, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Hi Karen. Thank you for stopping by. I don’t have boys so I don’t know what I would advice. I imagine you can protect him to a certain point, but then what? I will email the writers and see if they will respond. They are raising boys.

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karen October 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm

oooops meant to say I was visiting from Saturday Sharefest

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Belinda October 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm

We incorporate an ongoing modesty message with the “private parts should be private” message. I’m enjoying this age where they still think boy-girl affection is GROSS!

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TN Lizzie November 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm

The girl who needed 2 more buttons is like a styrofoam cup. I am working to raise my girls to be Waterford Crystal. Thank you for this post!

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pruningprincesses November 14, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Love your analogy! I imagine the boy gets to marry them will learn they are much more precious than Crystal. Thanks for visiting.

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