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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tips for raising a daughter Pinky style.

Lulu and Pablo

Lulu sent me this ‘selfie’ yesterday. Delighted that Lulu’s idea of taking her own photo doesn’t include a manipulated, burgeoning cleavage, an overdone makeup job, sexy bed hair and a porn-star pout down the camera lens, I immediately forwarded it to her Grandparents. It was a shout out to them, 

“Look! Look at what Pinky your daughter produced. How gorgeous is your granddaughter, eh? eh?”

How did it happen? How did I manage to produce such a vibrant, self-assured daughter? I was reading an article the other day about ten things you should do to ensure your daughter grows up to be a well-balanced, confident and adjusted teen. I’m sure the fact that she grew up with four older brothers has gone a long way into shaping her personality. 

Let’s check the ten points and decide how well I do as a mother eh Lulu?

Encourage assertiveness.

Well that was easy Lulu. With four older brothers if you weren’t assertive you would have starved to death. They could hear the sound of a packet of Tim Tams being opened from 300 metres away and it was always survival of the fittest as to who could shove and elbow their way to the last remaining biscuit.

Be specific in your compliments.

Lulu, you have a fit athletic figure from all the physical activity you do but that does not mean you should bare it quite so much when you go out. Specifically when you wear those frayed excuses for denim shorts and minuscule midriff numbers.
Make your praise match reality. 

Lulu, you do have the academic ability to achieve your life long goal of becoming a veterinarian, working in a zoo and creating the world’s first meerkat circus show; but this will only become a reality if you put in some serious study time in this vital final year of school. For this reason I am grounding you every weekend so that you do the required study instead of staying up until four in the morning when you sleep over at your girlfriend’s places and attend prohibited parties. Is that real enough?
Help her understand why she sometimes gets left out.

When you kids were all very young we would arrive home from shopping and sometimes all four lads would be busting to go to the toilet. Not able to wait until I opened the door they would relieve themselves on the Azalea plant outside the front door (that Azalea plant bloomed so often I could have put it in a gardening competition). You my poor little Lulu would be jiggling up and down in frustration wondering why life was so unfair. This will recur often in your life when you notice the male queue moves a lot faster than the females’ at the Portaloo.

Encourage competence.

As the fiercely competitive baby sister of five brothers, you independently wangled your way into your first part time job by neglecting to mention you were only fourteen years old. You’re still working there and are a qualified barista at sixteen years of age. While most kids applied for work experience in their parents/friend’s companies, you scored a gig at Australia Zoo which is 1400 kilometres away. With any more encouragement you might be scary.

Encourage her to play sport if she wants to.

With vicarious intentions I sent you to ballet lessons when you were four which you hated with a vengeance and promptly abandoned. Rebounding, dribbling like a wild cat, stealing the ball and learning offensive and defensive plays from your towering brothers whilst shooting hoops in the driveway, created an aggressive regional basketball representative and sports captain at primary school. Two broken arms and a broken foot didn’t put you off sport either. This has all culminated in me having to pay $5000 for a trip to the U.K for you to play in a netball junket later this year. I’ve encouraged plenty. Find out exactly how Lulu broke her foot on this hilarious post… Read this

Don’t make assumptions about her strengths and weaknesses.

Believe me I had no idea about your fortitude and ability to shop for six hours straight when we went on a girl’s trip to Sydney and visited Bondi Junction. Your grey eyes lit up with an avaricious gleam as soon as we entered the ostentatious mall and by the end of the day I felt like dropping dead on the spot with exhaustion. You gleefully spent a considerable amount of your earnings on shoes, clothing and other materialistic paraphernalia. However, my darling daughter, you did display a weakness on the way home … a big ole soft spot. We called into your fave restaurant ‘McDonald’s of the Golden Arches’ at Wynyard Station before we hobbled back to the hotel. Noticing a homeless man sitting dejectedly in one of the booths you snuck up and placed a fifty dollar note in front of him, then bounced out the door with a smile and a Pollyanna wave.

Encourage a healthy body image.

Okay Lulu, if you are still reading this; chocolate biscuits and a swig of coke is not a substantial breakfast and a Big Mac with extra bacon is not a well-balanced meal. One day when your knees cave in and you can’t play sport any more you will rue your bad eating habits.

Prepare her for sexism.

Where do I start…

Hagar and Padraic (veterans of the underage drinking stakes) sometimes happen to turn up at the same parties that you may or may not have attended without our precise knowledge. There have been reported instances of your brothers gallantly tipping out your illicit vodka cruiser on to the grass and scaring off prospective boyfriends with harsh verbal warnings. Like brothers in arms they maintain a code of silence regarding their own misconduct but will dob you, their little sister in, at the drop of a hat. What’s good for some is not good for others methinks. Read this enlightening post if you have a daughter…here

You do turn their male chauvinism on its head in manipulative ways though by demanding a hefty monetary fee for hanging out their washing and various other ‘womanly’ tasks they’re too lazy to do.

Point out positive female role models.

I prefer to point out negative female role models like… well me. Don’t make the same mistakes I made Lulu or you too could end up as a needy, attention-seeking woman who develops an addiction to writing a non-lucrative blog hoping someone, anyone will read it and like it on Facebook.

Reference: Chris Woolston: