Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Raising a Little Girl

My intentions for this post were to showcase the most precious children's clothing that I have seen in a long time, but instead, I wrote this. I hope you don't mind! 

Tilley-Gray, as I'm sure you all know, is the light of my life. Right now, she is tender and precious and protected. Grayson and I make all of her decisions, and although I know this won't be the case forever, for now, I'm holding on tight.
 It's a huge responsibility to raise any child, but I feel like little girls  pose an extra responsibility. Little girls that I see around town are growing up so fast. Their role models are different than mine were growing up.  My role model when I was little was always my mom,  and it's still the same today. My hope is that I will be a great role model for Tilley-Gray, but she will most likely love the latest craze in pop idol or teenage movie star, just like I did.
 I read an article last year when I was pregnant that I just now found again through Joanna Goddard's blog, Cup of Joe. It's an article written by Lisa Bloom that encourages us to ask little girls about ideas and books instead of immediately complementing their looks. It  is something that I encourage you all to read, parent or not.  Joanna wrote a great post on it here, and it may just change your view as well. 
We live in such a fast, socially crazed, materialistic world. ABC News reported that nearly half of all three- to six-year-old girls worry about being fat.
Does that not break your heart? 
Like most mothers, I want her to have beautiful clothes and all of the dress-up, girly things all little girls love, but my hope is that we can raise her where she is  a confident little girl, with or without those things.
My hope for Tilley-Gray is that she is pure and sweet and kind and brave and loves herself for exactly who she is. My hope is that she is aware of those around her, those who have different ideals, religions, races, and lifestyles. I hope she is always accepting of others but is always strong in her own convictions. 

What are your thoughts on this? Do you speak to little girls and little boys the same? Do the little girls in your life worry about how they look as much as this article reports? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


  1. Love your post, Lindsey. Being now that I have a girl and a boy, I can confidently say it's a different ball game. I worry so much more about Saylor than I do Baker. I talk to her differently, try to protect her more and find myself telling her how proud I am, how beautiful she is, how smart she is all the time. Baker is only 2 months old, so I know that will change, but I feel I need to protect Saylor so much more. The worldly influence on little girls seems so huge. I know all we want as mommies is for them to grow up knowing how much they are loved and to learn to be a kind and generous, person who knows who they are. Hope you are doing well! Would love to see you next time we are at the beach! oxo

  2. I couldn't agree more. My little girl is almost three and I cringe every single time anyone talks about how she looks. I'm overprotective of her childhood. She will have all the time in the world to paint her nails and go through my make up in her teens. But right now we're all about teaching manners, teaching respect and gratitude and grace.

    Thank you for the lovely post. I don't feel as alone :)

  3. We have 4 girls and 1 boy. They are my life. They bring me such joy and if I am being honest intense fear. I trust God with all my heart. I just really struggle with technology . It has been the demise of childhood innocence. I know that sounds harsh ( ESP. Writing On a blog, Ha!) It has literally taken my breath away to see what my girls have experienced because of the Internet . ( Facebook, you tube , tumble, even texting?) my advice to parents is protect your children's innocence as long and as much as you can.i wouldn't trade being a mom for the world.

  4. Thanks for such a great post. I look at my 8 month old daughter and just want to bottle her pure joy, confidence, and sense of wonder and adventure. I would do anything for her to carry these qualities through her life - especially those scary teen years.

    I found that article very interesting... but I do want my daughter to know she is beautiful. And that beauty is two-fold. Being articulate, gracious, loving, having interests, and being true to yourself shows itself as beauty to the world. Showing concern for your appearance and grooming translates into respecting and loving yourself.

    Most of all I want her to feel loved. I want to instill in her that no matter how hard it seems that she has a village behind her. I pray that this will help her navigate those difficult periods and decisions. I want the constant refrain in the back of her head to sing "I am loved!"

  5. Lindsey this is SUCH a great post! We're expecting a little girl in October, so I definitely connected with this. Tilley-Gray is so cute and I'm sure she loves having you as her mommy :)

  6. I loved that post by Joanna...I'm going to read it again actually. I have a 15 month old and could not agree more that there are huge (and different) challenges than raising boys. It's good to have some thought and perspective. Especially as a first time mom!

  7. I love this. I have a 1 year old daughter and it is true we do talk to girls differently and comment on their physical appearance more than boys. Great words!

  8. I work with children and after reading that post from Cup of Jo, I definitely changed how I interact with them. I have noticed that when I tell a little boy he's smart, he says "yes" or nods his head, but little girls tend to say "no" or look embarrassed. Now I make a special effort to tell all my little girls that they are very smart and should be proud to say so.

    Very well written post, and definitely good things to think about!

  9. You pulled on my heart strings. I loved this post. The last line, "I hope she is accepting of others, but is always strong in her own convictions." I pray this for my little girl! What an amazing thing! Thanks for the encouragement :)

  10. I think regardless about how you bring them up it is their personalities that will show through I the end regardlessof whether they are boys or girls. I do agree with you on how sad the fat issue is I think that's how we help them as parents to have our values. Great post.

  11. Thank you for posting this! We just found out this week we are pregnant with a girl (our first!), so this could not have been more timely!

  12. Lisa's article impacted me deeply. I don't want to speak to my girl so often about how adorable she is but it comes out without prompting. I am working to change my language. I have two girls, 8 and 10, and they are precious and still love being little girls. They know about appropriate little girl dressing and so far we have managed to keep them happy in age-appropriate clothing. Though they have moved from twirly pink dresses to bright colored athletic apparel as their clothing of choice.