Wednesday, March 21, 2012

An "Anne of Green Gables" Daughter

I am reading "Anne of Green Gables" and just love it.  I have always loved the movies, and the book is obviously wonderful too.  Who can help but love the heroine, Anne, and her imagination?

What I love about Anne, and the other girls in the book, is that they stay young for so long.  They are 14 years old and still playing.  They aren't hung up on boys, or dating.  They can't even "wear their hair up" until they are 17.  People were in the business of keeping little girls LITTLE back then.

Nowadays, our poor daughters are thrown to the sexual wolves at an earlier and earlier age.  Have you seen the Halloween costumes for 8-year old girls?  Girls are stopping their make-believe play and chasing boys earlier and earlier.  Puberty is also coming earlier to many girls.  These changes are not without consequences.  They have resulted in higher teen-pregnancy rates, STD's, etc.

I only have one daughter and at the moment, she is three and just growing into that big, beautiful imagination of hers.  I want her to stay young, and playful as long as possible.  She has the rest of her life to be grown up!  But how do I do it?  I can't pretend to have all the answers.  I have some ideas, but I want yours as well.

I would say most importantly, turn off the TV and go outside.
 Encourage imaginative play.
 Look at the toys your daughter plays with.  Do they encourage sexualization? (I personally hated the Bratz dolls for this very reason)
 Encourage your daughter to just focus on having good girl friends.
 Don't even tease about "boyfriends".  Don't turn every friend of the opposite sex she has, into a potential relationship in her mind.
Let her be little.  Don't dress her like a mini-adult.
 Read "Anne of Green Gables" aloud when she is old enough.
Focus on other ways to be "grown-up" other than having a boyfriend or doing teenager things, such as cooking meals, learning to sew, helping plan the family vacation, etc.

That's all I got...what about you?  How do you try to keep your daughters little?

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