When we raise our children we want them to explore every avenue available to them, we want them to cultivate every corner of their imagination (After all even Einstein said that Imagination was more important than knowledge).
I've always loved the saying "Parenting isn't for cowards", because it's so true. Sometimes we have to stand up and be the bad guy... All parents want their children happy, especially when our children seem to have come across something in this world that awakens their senses... We want to encourage them to chase their hearts desire. I don't want to squash dreams! I want to encourage them!!
I love my little girl, I love her so much, I want to always encourage her to be the best that she can be, and encourage her to do whatever she wants in life. I always tell her that she can be and do anything she put her mind to. She is truly my angel.
I was so very Wrong because then...Then I gave birth to a girl. Raising a girl after 4 boys... It's like being a brand new parent again.
Whatever do I mean by that? Well apparently all of the rules have changed, I went from easy going, to "Do not look at my daughter, do not talk to my daughter and do not even think about dating my daughter!!!" Am I getting a little ahead of myself? Yes, perhaps. But I've found myself on the defensive side of Parenting.
Though I'm easy going, I'm very strict about some things. My boys weren't allowed to go to a friends house unless I had met the parents and approved, if they had a girl over They were never allowed To close the door and be completely Alone together in their bedroom and my boys were never allowed to just walk out of the house, I had to know where they were at all times. There were other rules but these were the main ones.
Then came Hannah... I think to myself "she wont be having a boy over, much less in her room with the door opened!!" Shes 8, and these things are already on my mind.
Where was I? Oh yes... Back to "Encouraging our children to explore and chase their desires"
To date... Between the 4 boys, they've belonged to city soccer teams, Basketball teams, Had flute lessons, Had piano lessons, played football, joined boy scouts, Been passionate about art, had hamsters, joined a choir, played the guitar, became good at leather work and so on and so on.
Hannah has been no different. She is active and enjoys, or has enjoyed so many different conquests... Painting, crocheting, sewing, baking, dance... To name a few.
But then she started watching ..."Toddlers and Tiaras"
That was a big mistake.
Since she has started watching it, Hannah has it in her mind that she wants to be in a beauty pageant.
I have told her no, I have told her that those little girls are basing their whole self esteems on just their looks and that she is so much more than a pretty face. I tell my daughter that she is intelligent and that she has such an amazing and beautiful heart. I want her to always know her self worth, and a persons self worth isn't, EVER... about others judging our beauty.
I thought that was the end of that.
However, Hannah investigated more, in her own little time, and she started to memorize the different Titles that can be won, and she started showing me that she learned how to walk and pose like the girls on the show. Now anyone with a little girl knows, that they like to parade around, they like to dress up and they often do. And when they do, they like an audience, so I am always cheering Hannah on with her new dance or cheerleading routine, or some other song she made up. Hannah's cousin or her brother are sometimes involved and it's fun! But this was different... Her little hips were popping and she was spinning and giving seductive looks and huge smiles, spinning around and walking the other way. I think it's funny when the kids get theatrical, but this was different. Much different. Then Hannah said to me "Mom research and find out when the next pageant is in Texas"
STOP THE PLANET.
This is so not going to happen. I know in my own heart and mind that the idea of beauty pageants just turns my stomach. If you're older and an adult and you want to show off your own body, well more power to you! If you have it! Rock it! But this is my little girl, and I find it so sad when mom's push their little girls with high energy drinks and threats. These little girls are completely exploited by society, their own parents and the whole beauty pageant world. It's wrong. It's very wrong and my little girl will not have a part in it.
I am having "That talk" tonight with her, last night I wanted to have it, but it got late, and today was the first day back to school, so things have been hectic. I will tell her tonight though, that not only is she no longer allowed to watch a TV show that exploits little girls (I honestly thought it was more of a curiosity thing at first), but she will not be participating in any beauty pageants. Her feelings will be hurt, and she will not understand why her mommy won't let her do something she wants to do, especially after I have never told her no about anything she wanted to explore.
One day she will understand.
One day, when she has her own little girl.
Before I close I want to add that I had many of you email me, saying that I needed to be careful and that you were worried that I would get hurt. The thing is ladies, if we are to find a partner, if we are to date and get to know someone, we have to put our hearts out there, finding a terrific man is all about taking the risk of being hurt. But if we don't take that risk, we will never find a fantastic man! Thank you for caring about me! It's like I have about 50 other moms looking out for me :)
Much love to you all,