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How to talk to little girls...

(49 Posts)
Aka Thu 18-Jul-13 08:37:02

how to talk to little girls

annodomini Thu 18-Jul-13 09:01:46

Aka. I like this. My GD2, now aged 10, would enjoy discussing a book and this is a far better way to really get to know the child. I suggest that it would also be a good conversation opener with a boy. It would probably surprise him because strangers often expect boys to prefer to talk about sports - most likely football - but it would do no harm to know that people expect them to be readers. Keep off the subject of computer games if you don't want to be bored rigid.

dorsetpennt Thu 18-Jul-13 09:07:14

I have a daughter and now I have to DGDs age 4 and 20 months. I also have a son. If my children looked nice as children, and now my GDs, I remark upon it - as I do for anyone of either sex. The trouble is not remarking upon how nice a girl looks but how her mother has dressed her. My d-in-l dresses her 2 girls like little girls, in the mode for the day but not as mini-adults. Also not always in pink. I know little girls whose whole bedrooms are in various shades of pinks. I've seen pre-teens dressed like teens. They didn't buy the clothes their mothers have - almost wishing their childhood away. It starts at home I'm afraid, we can't always blame the media.

wisewoman Thu 18-Jul-13 09:27:37

We can't always blame the home either. I know little girls whose parents would not choose pink for them(in fact actively discourage it) but the girls always want pink! Despite parents' principles there seems to be some inherent attraction towards pink by SOME little girls. In terms of toys I have loads of boys toys - train sets, cars etc for my grandchildren as but the girls ignore them and play with dolls. I am fascinated by this as girls have been encouraged to play with cars etc.

gracesmum Thu 18-Jul-13 09:46:58

I remember DD2 aged about 4 with her Grandpa who, aiming to pay her a compliment , said " I like your dress." She looked at him solemnly and replied "I like your trousers, Grandpa"

Lilygran Thu 18-Jul-13 10:15:37

I liked construction toys when I was a child. I would have loved Lego if it had been invented. I did like dolls' houses and made furnishings and later made small dolls and outfits. My DS played with Action Man ( a DOLL) and loved dressing up. The dressing-up box contained a variety of cast-offs and for a long time, a very gaudy evening skirt was the favourite item (cloak, tent, saddle-bag...) They loved the Wendy House at nursery, too, and the play kitchen. When did the polarisation of children's tastes happen? My DS and DDiL fight against it but peer pressure is quite strong. One DGS who would tell you pink was his favourite colour before he went to school, found out that he couldn't like pink because it's a girls' colour. Some parents, somewhere, are doing this to their children and their children and shops and manufacturers and the media are doing it to mine! sad

Aka Thu 18-Jul-13 11:39:37

I think the whole point is that we should stop judging little girls (and woman) on how they look. Reading the article made me realise that I am guilty of greeting my granddaughters by commenting how nice they look (true). I'm going to stop doing that as, to be frank at 2 & 3, they couldn't care less.

Elegran Thu 18-Jul-13 12:35:14

My granddaughter was a pink addict until she turned ten recently and started to prefer stronger, darker colours. EVERYTHING had to be pink, the more viciously sugary the better.

However she has never been obsessed with girlyness. She reads anything she can get hold of, does very well at school, and goes camping. She likes her steaks underdone to the point of oozing blood, and she is quite capable of getting the better of her brother (four years older) in a scrap.

Being told that they look nice from time to time does not harm a girl, it is not learnng that they are valued for anything else except looking nice that restricts their life options. It can backfire in later years, too, when looks fade and they have nothing else to be proud of.

gillybob Thu 18-Jul-13 12:50:48

I think it is important to tell children they are pretty, handsome, cute or whatever as it helps build their self esteem. I was never told I was cute or pretty when I was small (probably because I wasn't) and have very low self esteem and confidence as an adult because of it. It is beyond stupid sometimes as I simply cannot except a compliment of any kind without poo pooing it as ridiculous.

whenim64 Thu 18-Jul-13 13:10:22

I think it's equally important NOT to say certain things to girls. If I hear one more parent demonstrate their admiration of their babies, toddlers, small or teenage girls, by exclaiming 'ooh, sexy!' I'll blow a gasket. I know it's usually said unthinkingly, but why? sad

wisewoman Thu 18-Jul-13 13:11:34

I agree gillybob I always tell all my DGC that they are beautiful, boys and girls, because I think they all are!! I was never complimented as a child and I delight in telling DGC how wonderful they are (as I did with their parents)

feetlebaum Thu 18-Jul-13 14:03:11

My last girlfriend (1980s) was a fanatic for pink - she even bought a pink leather suit, with skirt AND trousers... and she was in her thirties...
She was often known as 'Pinkie'.

Ella46 Thu 18-Jul-13 15:36:14

I always ask my gd if she's been a good girl, and what has she done etc.?
Then I tell her she looks gorgeous, because she does..............even in a nappy!

Faye Thu 18-Jul-13 18:04:16

I agree that children should be told they are beautiful. My eldest daughter would greet her grandfather with "hello gorgeous." Dad was far from looking his best as he was at the time eighty three and in the final stages of cancer. He mentioned to me one day how when D1 called him gorgeous it always made him feel good.

My youngest daughter was also obsessed with the colour pink. She also liked climbing trees, playing with farm sets and fishing, she had her own fishing rod. I also read to her and encouraged her to read, but it didn't matter how many books I bought her and how many times I took her to the library she never became interested in books. My eldest two children and I read all the time.

Deedaa Thu 18-Jul-13 20:13:54

Looking back I don't think any one ever commented on my looks in a positive way, but I seem to have survived. I always tell my grandsons how gorgeous they are and the older one frequently comments on my clothes - when he can tear himself away from his transformers!

My daughter spent the years between eight and fifteen training as a gymnast and was way more interested in what people thought of her strength and amplitude. Whether she was pretty or not was a very poor second. A pretty face is no help in improving your vaulting smile

YankeeGran Thu 18-Jul-13 21:54:57

Let's face it. Looks ARE important - for boys as well as girls. So I think it's fine to tell children how gorgeous they are; but more importantly, it's important to compliment them on their achievements, recognising how hard they have worked! Let's reward effort rather than looks!

Gorki Thu 18-Jul-13 22:44:30

My six year DGD was called helpful and kind on her school report and we keep on praising her for this as I feel these qualities are far more important than looks and even academic achievements. She does like to look good but I try to play this down.

gillybob Thu 18-Jul-13 22:55:21

I totally agree Gorki being "labelled" as helpful and kind is so lovely, and if she is pretty too well that should be a bonus and you have no reason to "play this down" . smile
My granddaughter has been a member of The circle of friends in her school for almost 2 years now. This is a small group chosen by teachers to "befriend" more vulnerable children on a one to one basis. My GD is partnered with a little boy who is in a wheel chair and shares her love of animals and nature. He does not have outside playtime and she gives up 2-3 outside playtimes a week to spend with her new friend.

I am so proud that the teacher and head wrote on her report that she was very compassionate, helpful and kind. smile

Gorki Thu 18-Jul-13 23:05:15

That's lovely gillybob and what a good idea of the school. I think my granddaughter is naturally caring because her twin is autistic and she is always looking out for him even though he is in a different class. I think young children are naturally caring so where does it go wrong and why ?

HUNTERF Fri 19-Jul-13 16:55:29

My oldest granddaughter and saw me putting some screen wash fluid in the car and then started pointing to things like the battery and asking what that was for.
I am not sure how much you should tell them at that age.


Ella46 Fri 19-Jul-13 17:00:42

gillybob She sounds a lovely little girl, you must all be very proud of her.

Ana Fri 19-Jul-13 17:15:27

Frank, you should tell her what she wants to know! She's obviously old enough to be interested.

Elegran Fri 19-Jul-13 17:16:47

Tell them as much as they want to know in words that you think they will understand, Frank If they ask a question, then they are ready for an answer. Make it a fairly short answer, of course, not a two-hour lecture. If they still want more they will ask another question.

annodomini Fri 19-Jul-13 18:14:44

It's only an engine, Frank, not the birds and the bees!

janeainsworth Fri 19-Jul-13 18:43:28

Anno I wish there was a 'like' button!
Frank I remember asking lots of things and being fobbed off when I was little.... like why did graph paper have big squares and little squares (when I was about 7) and how could the people on Listen with Mother possibly fit into the wireless(when I was about 4)??
I'm sure my dad, to whom these questions were addressed, could have thought of an answer if he had really tried!