The Girls Club girls chat long lately. They are all ten, now comfortable with each other, and full of relationship issues they don’t know how to solve. They interrupt each other and don’t listen well and are so eager to share their own story that they forget to offer each other advice. Still, it is good and safe and precious.
We are reading Nancy Rue’s The Buddy Book. Two weeks ago we studied the chapter entitled “Raising Good Parents.” And we stumbled on a lesson they have referenced many times since. After seeing how powerful it was, I want to share it because talking about potential issues proactively is easier than talking about real issues in the middle of them.
The Lesson: Teach your girl how to ask about an issue you have said “no” to.
Sometimes those precious girls of ours have thought carefully through an issue and they have good reasons why they should be allowed to get their ears pierced, be allowed to stay home alone for an hour, have a friend sleep over, or move their bedtime to 9:30. Sometimes their good reasons will trump your good reasons. Sometimes they won’t. But being able to have the conversation will save much stewing and is great practice for the adult world. Plus this proactive establishment of expectation is powerful.
Tips for Daughters disagreeing about a “No” response.
1) Parents are not mind readers. If you want to move your bedtime to a later time you have to let them know. In the right way.
2) Speak in a mature way to your parents. (Parents to help your daughter understand this one, role play both a mature and an immature response. Remember to use tone and body language. Let her play the part of the mom!)
Daughter: It is so dumb that you wont let me stay up an hour later. I am not a baby any more. What do you think is going to happen if I stay up? I’ll turn into a pumpkin? For Pete’s sake, I am 11 years old and shouldn’t have to go to bed when you say.
Probable Mom response: If I treat you like a baby it is because you sometimes act like one. I don’t like your disrespectful tone.
Probable mom response: You have some good points. I will consider this, talk to your father, and let you now soon.
6) You are more likely to gain freedoms if you never do things behind your parents’ backs.
The ideas on this list are summarized from chapter 2 of Nancy Rue’s The Buddy Book.