Hello! Mariah here. I am excited to be apart of the My Good Nanny family, as the social media intern! This is my first blog post, so I thought long and hard about what to write about. The topic that really hit home for me came from all the times I worked as a babysitter when I was younger. There was one girl in particular who I grew really close to, her name was Maddie. She was obsessed with the color pink, loved to dress up as a princess, and always wanted to play Mommy with her doll. She was also very smart for her age and loved to read and learn in any way she could! I thought of how I saw people talk to her while we were out playing, and it made me think of an article Lisa Bloom wrote for HuffPost titled, “How To Talk To Little Girls.” Then I knew what I wanted to write about.
Whenever I took Maddie to the park, adults would come up to her and tell her
how pretty her princess dress was or how cute her braided hair looked. Maddie loved to
talk about her princess dress, but she also loved to talk about the game she had created
or the fact that when she grew up she wanted to be an astronaut-princess-veterinarianactress 🙂
When I was a little girl, my father would always say, “Hey pretty girl!” when I
walked into the room. I loved it! Luckily, he also read books with me and asked for my
opinion on them. He also taught me to play catch and ride a bike, but what if “hey pretty
girl” was all I ever heard? In her HuffPost article, Lisa Bloom brought up some saddening statistics about our little girls. She says, “In my book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World, 15 to 18 percent of girls under 12 now wear mascara, eyeliner and lipstick regularly; eating disorders are up and self-esteem is down; and 25
percent of young American women would rather win America’s Next Top Model than
the Nobel Peace Prize.” By only commenting on a young girls appearance, we are teaching her that her looks are what matter most. What about her love of books? Her imagination? Her dreams and aspirations? I try to challenge myself (and it really takes an active effort!) to approach young girls and boys in the same way. I try to engage in a real conversation about something of substance with a young girl. I try to ask questions like, “What’s that picture you’re drawing?” or “Why is that horse purple and that one green?” or “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
It doesn’t mean that we can never compliment our daughters or the girls we care
for. I loved hearing, “Hey pretty girl!” when I saw my Dad, and Maddie loved to talk
about her princess dress! It means that we must also be sure to engage their minds and
their other interests. It also means the reverse for boys. We may compliment their athletic abilities and their masculine traits, but we must also engage their minds and other
interests. There is nothing wrong with telling a little boy his picture is pretty or he is
handsome. Imagine the affect this little difference make on our children, and subsequently, our future.
Thanks for reading my first blog post! Please share your thoughts and comments below.