I am mum of two daughters, one of them is entering the teen age, the second one is still a sweet clingy toddler, grinning with a few milk teeth missing. A lot of parental experiences are already behind me but I feel that the most interesting ones are still ahead of me. I am lucky (yes, I am not afraid to say it) that my both daughters are of strong character, which means increased effort, increased watchfulness and increased engagement, which they both demand with the intensity that sometimes gives me a headache. There is also increased satisfaction when I observe them in action.
My older daughter, Tośka, has recently prepared a school presentation about responsible fashion. I know from the teacher’s account that at the end of it she shouted a bit histerically “We must cut down on buying clothes!”, “People! We don’t need so many goods!”, “Think about the natural environment and rubbish in the oceans!”. The presentation must have made an impression because on the same day one of mums called me with congratulations. She said that all the afternoon her daughter had been telling with flushed cheeks about what she had learned during the presentation.
I am rather not “a subversive mother” (I repress, I know…) but I don’t deny that I am happy when the 7-year-old asks me: “Mum, why didn’t the princess get out of the tower on her own? She could have cut her hair and descended using it rather than wait for rescue”. I remember my sincere astonishment when after reading “Little Red Riding Hood” I heard irritation in her question: “Was this girl stupid or what?”, “Why do you think so”, I asked…
“Mum! How is it possible to confuse grandma with the wolf??? Don’t read such stupid stories any more!”. So I stopped… Now we are reading books about girls “who take matters into their own hands”, as Anielka has defined it.
Dear Mums! Let’s also take matters into our own hands! Let’s stop repeating to our daughters that they should be good. That they should be quiet. That they shouldn’t make themselves dirty. That an activity or behaviour is inappropriate for girls.
And instead of buying them a T-shirt with the words “Just Smile” or “Princess”, let’s go bravely to the boys’ department and let’s choose a T-shirt with the words “Think outside the box”. It doesn’t matter that it is not pink.