Raising a little girl is fraught with perilous choices. Is Disney bad? Should I let her see Frozen? Should I be alarmed when my 2.5-year-old proclaims "I'm a princess!"? The pressure to raise the "right" kind of girl is palpable. Teach her to code! Put her in soccer! God forbid you let her wear a tiara.
So what's a mom to do? Faced with messages from all sides on what I should and shouldn't be doing to raise the right kind of girl, I've made the only decision I feel capable of making -- to raise her to be a little bit of everything.
Our goal is to raise a well-balanced child who dreams big. We are nourishing our little toddler like a plant, feeding her with our love, attention, and grilled cheese sandwiches (that's a whole other blog post), in hopes that she will grow up strong and confident, no matter what path she chooses to follow:
If her current obsession with Disney's Frozen is anything to go by, then we just might have tiara-wearing princess-wannabe on our hands. And that's ok, because she's already so much more than just a tiny princess.
Education is important to us. We know that from an early age children can learn the beginnings of mathematics, science and art. A conscious effort is being made to engage her with educational toys such as shape sorters and puzzles. We read counting books, as well as counting every day items ("how many squirrels eating garbage from the trash can?"). Every trip outside is an opportunity to teach her about something different. A new color, a new plant, a new animal, and signs of the changing seasons.
Being physically active is a big priority for our family -- both because we want to be fit and healthy, and also for the many other benefits one gains from playing sports or taking dance classes. Being part of a team. Discipline. Hard work. The long, hard slog it takes to be really good at a physical skill mirrors how hard it is to achieve anything in life. So we take her to ballet, to soccer, to gymnastics. We teach her how to catch and kick a ball, how to do a forward roll. A proud moment: when she started to exclaim "try again!" when she didn't get it right the first time.
A Basket Case
We're all a bit nutty, there's no denying it. We would love for our daughter to feel free to be silly, be quirky, to be a little crazy at times. To embrace what makes her unique and be proud to stand out from a crowd. Above all we want her beautiful personality to continue to burn brightly as she discovers her purpose in life.
And a Criminal
Well... maybe not. We're all for risk-taking, but would prefer if no laws were broken in the pursuit of happiness!
What type of person do you want your child to grow into? Let us know in the comments below! And for more original content, check out the Mommy Nearest Mobile App, free for iPhone and Android
Originally authored by Christine Knight of Brunch with my Baby in the Mommy Nearest Magazine