Friday night I attended an awards ceremony/talent show at a local Boys and Girls Club. It was great, the kids were all very courageous in getting up in front of a packed room. The staff presenting awards were great.
It wasn't until the person in charge of the computer room came up to present awards for best girl and boy for that room that I did a double take and got a little mad. He started describing the boy, who I am sure exhibits all of these qualities, as intelligent, focused, blah blah. Then the girl, as caring, always focusing on others needs before her own, blah blah blah. Now she may be this, but I am a little concerned with how it was worded. Perhaps instead she is intelligent and always willing to take her computer time to help others be able to complete their task on the computer. A natural teacher, and computer guru. Wouldn't that have sounded better?
I have been immersing myself in articles about girls, how they learn, boys, how they learn, differences, lack of differences, how girls are treated differently, how boys are not given enough credit for being traits we consider to be girl traits, you get the picture I hope.
I have been catching myself telling my daughters things, and then changing my mind and rewording what I say. I definitely focus on their looks (in their mind) too much. I can't help but call them beautiful all the time, because they are, but what does that say about all the other brilliant things they do? I have been making an effort to change what I think and say so that I focus more on what they do, how well they do it, and how totally awesome they are.
I am not perfect, and it is difficult to change something that society is not yet fully behind. I slip. I do however, notice when I slip now and try to not do it again. It will take time, I speak to my children the way I was spoken to, but somehow that is just not enough for my brilliant, go-get-'m, kick ass, totally awesome girls.