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Tue Jan 24, 2012, 09:59 AM

mothers of daughters....

i want to tell a story of my son. and his first GF. we often talk about the boys/mens conditioning. i would like to address girls/womens conditioning.

this has been a more interesting learning experience for myself than my son. i am very pragmatic and not emotionally involved. he is. he had a first GF over spring and summer and they broke up in august. i have discussed it some on du. he was heart broken. i would often talk to him during the relationship, since there was clear signs of using, and manipulating. but, he didnt want to see it and it was his to do. ah, the drama and traumas of youth, i recognize that, though as a teen i was not really a part of that life. but, it goes on.

every couple weeks things flare up again for us to deal with. my son wanting to understand and closure, not getting he cannot "make" someone express. the girl, telling others that it was a first BF and she was glad she broke up and son still heartbroken over it, makes her ego feel good. and of course, all the friends feeding the drama, on both sides.

but, the lesson for me, watching it from a distance, is how we shape and mold for the future, with new experiences.

i dont and never have, played games or used manipulation with kids, hubby, or anyone. i am pretty open, saying it the way i see it, in honesty and ya, love, so most are pretty receptive and life is easy for them. they know where i stand. i can be trusted. this is what my boys learned. this is all they really saw in life and how they perceive the rest of the world in their inexperience. how they see females.

i have raised both boys to listen, think what is being said, recognize what they are feeling and have the ability to express. (ya, boys/men cant do this, but they can). again, it is something they grew up with and know how easy it is, and how we are all capable.

that being said, what i want to talk about is our girls. so much of their conditioning today, and how it effects not only who they are and what they need, but how it effects the other gender. and the importance and need our daughters have in being taught, to recognize how they too, are being conditioned.

when we put so much emphasis of a girls self worth on her looks, there is the NEED to have their looks validated to feel like a worthwhile human being.

when our culture teaches our girls that it is innate, biological that we use manipulation on men because they have the strength so our counter is manipulation and games.

neither of these are healthy, or a part of who we are. but they are two things that become all of who we are. and this is why it is so important that we not only pump up our girls confidence, but we also teach them a responsibility in their behaviors.

the end results i am seeing with my son, that i work on today, is seeing my son start seeing girls like so many men have learned to see women. that hurt us all. i spent so many years teaching them how wrong it is, how unhealthy it is, how damaging it is, but what my son pulls from this relationship reinforces those cultural norms

the last couple months we have talked about his experience and i have told him, he did not protect his heart. he trusted too soon. (i think boys do this more readily, honestly. again, another contradiction from what we are told). he allowed himself to be vulnerable and open, when he had no basis to do this.

so, what am i teaching my son? the very thing males are taught from the youngest of age. dont be vulnerable, allow emotion to be a part, express and share.

it is a very tough tightrope to walk.

mothers, of daughters, has a job to do, also.

(this is messy, sloppy, and just looking for thoughts. i dont have a need to point a finger at either gender, in their youth, as they begin their journey in all this. just putting it out.)

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 11:12 AM

1. Society teaches women that their power is their looks.

We can teach our kids many things, but at some point they pull away, and their parents' influence starts to matter less, and the opinions of their peers, as well as the messages from society, start to matter more.

Holding a grudge not against an individual, but against an entire sex (all men are x, all women are y) because of some experience with one individual is another thing that is reinforced by society.

We all have to do the best we can with our own children, but it is adults who are sending all these messages.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 11:50 AM

4. true that and i really shake kids off hip. i have no desire to be it for the boys.

one of the things they have always appreciated is, the fact i was so independent even as a child, i want them to have the same. and they do. they are doing it well.

this was an example of what i see. that i am talking more as a whole. not about son and i.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:06 PM

5. Yep...

I have no doubt that thoughtful people will do their best not to instill damaging values in their children, but once those kids start prioritizing their peers' opinions and values, then all bets are off. At some point they have to make their own mistakes, and all you can do is be there for them afterward.

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 11:16 AM

2. For both young men and young women,

the beginnings of forming relationships are always difficult. And mothers seem to bear the brunt of dealing with the resulting and recurring traumas. Thinking back to those situations in my own life, my mother's advice was always good and wise. Still, I continued to have to learn lessons for myself. Maybe that's all part of the growing independence of adolescents. Poor moms...they want to help, but can't always.

If it helps, those wise words from my mother finally sank in and helped inform my development and led to fewer and fewer mistakes in relationship building.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 11:48 AM

3. this is not really about my son and i. or my part in it. it is an example

about issues parents should deal with both genders. understanding conditioning of both. a womans group that mainly discuss male conditioning and the effects on women, i think, should also think about the flip side of the coin, for balance.

that is all

my son will muddle through. and has had a lot of lessons. and still goes on and on and on, lol.... i have talked to principal and otehrs about son talking about everything. they say i am lucky. i say, you arent sittin and listening. but i joke. i wouldnt have it any other way. well.....

teasing.

but really, that isnt the point of my thread. i wanted to look at the other side of stuff. not really about son and i.

on edit... and thanks for coming into the forum and giving your views. that was fun seeing you name.

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 11:05 AM

6. Interesting to think about.

I don't have any children, but my younger sister and I grew up in the same house with the same parents and turned out completely opposite.

She was always more than willing and able to play the female manipulation game to get what she wanted.

I have never, ever felt right about that and don't do it, at all. It clashes with my value system.

I would watch my sister play her manipulation games with my dad, even, and end up twisting him around to get what she wanted (material objects, permission to do things I was never allowed to do, etc.) It made me so mad that she would resort to that to get her way. (It also made me angry that she got stuff I never got. They bought her a car when she was in high school, for example. I didn't get a car until I was 19 or 20 and could buy it myself.)

I hate when women play the manipulation game... it makes me mad because I feel like it gives "all women" a bad rap. Some men end up assuming that being manipulative is just a hardwired "female thing" and all women behave that way. But I don't. Grrrr.

(I guess my point was, it isn't all about how the parents raise the kids? 'Cause we had the same parents and turned out really different.)

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 11:31 AM

7. same house, same parents.... did they call her on it? did they discuss it with her?

did they tell her it was wrong and why for not only the person she played games with, but herself?

i know as a parent, both sons being so different, i address the issues that will in the future cause them harm or others. your parents not only did not do anything to teach her otherwise, they enabled, encouraged and rewarded. this is exactly what i am saying.

lol

and not to slight your parents. it is the very definition of what the feminine female is, so there is a sense of pride in it for a parent.

but they allowed it.

thank you, though. for getting what my posts was about instead of thinking it is about my son and i or what he is experiencing. it is exactly this, what you brought up, that i am addressing.

and i was like you. and i did well, being like you. i probably came off with much much more, not going into games. and that is what women dont get. it may seem on the surface there is a pay off.... but really, a women is paying out.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:23 PM

12. Well honestly...

... my parents definitely discouraged that kind of behavior and tried to teach us that resorting to feminine "tricks" was bad. My mother actively discouraged things she thought were "too female" in a bad way, like cheerleading (she thought it was blatant sexism and didn't want me or my sister to have any part of it). If she thought we were too preoccupied with clothes and appearance, we would get a talking to about how our looks weren't what was important about us.

I wasn't even allowed to have a Barbie doll (mom thought she was a poor role model) or an EZ Bake oven (because a woman's place is NOT in the kitchen, thank you very much).

I think mom went a little overboard with the anti-female stuff (it took me a while to recover from that and learn that "female" doesn't always equal "bad") but I also know she was doing the best she knew how to do when she raised me. So I don't have any hard feelings or anything like that.

On the other hand, my sister was a HANDFUL and a half, and I think they basically just gave up trying to "control" her. There was also apparently some active fear my dad had that if he didn't give her whatever she wanted she might kill herself.

It was complicated.

(By the way, my grandma gave me an EZ bake oven for Christmas eventually -- much to my mom's horror but she let me keep it -- and I had so much fun with that thing. Anyone remember the light bulb inside that cooked stuff? I ended up using it to cook tater tots because we couldn't afford the refill cake mixes and stuff... it was still fun.)

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:32 PM

13. then i take back ALL that i assumed. thanks for the post. still like the conversation

and glad your parents were aware. mine, not so much in expressing. but, certainly by their example and who they were/are.

btw... on edit... if you want to share, how is your sister, and her life now?

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 03:35 PM

14. Happily married, a pack of children, good job as a nurse...

...she settled down in her late 20's and seems to be doing great.

I was not upset by your assumptions, your questions were good ones. I never mind people asking questions and I also enjoy the conversation.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 11:34 AM

8. Yep, definitely not the parents...

kids watch tv and movies, read books, listen to music, and interact with peers... there's hell of a lot of influence that comes from outside the home.

And I agree about the manipulation being wrong. I don't think it makes all women look bad any more than women who don't play those games make all women look good... but I know many people use the worst examples of both sexes to tar all members of that sex with the same brush, and that does suck.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 11:52 AM

9. what do you mean, lol, it isnt about the parent. they rewarded the girls manipulation.

and tv? we can excuse what we point our finger at men about expecting them to learn, regardless. they are continually being taught to objectify, yet we spend so much time telling them they ought to educate themselves and get beyond that.

i expect no less from our girls.

tv? the parent should be having conversation. i see this crap on tv and you can damn well bet it has brought up conversation between me and my niece, with sons sitting there. so they HEAR me tell a girl, bullshit on the conditioning of playing guys. it is crap, dont do it. it is wrong. my boys are going to hear me address and discuss these issues with girls just as i address the issues with the boys.

i say respectfully, but totally disagreeing with you.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 11:58 AM

10. They weren't actively and consciously teaching or condoning the behavior.

Therefore, I think it's a stretch to blame them, that's all.

I would like for all parents to take a more active role in these things, but as we all know all too well, society is drenched in this stuff. Most don't even notice it, it just is. It's the water we fish grow up swimming in, so I don't think it's realistic to expect many people to even notice these things, at this point. And even many who do notice aren't sure it's all that wrong, or all that bad, or whatever. Many people just go along to get along, and consider this to be a small battle if it's a battle at all, and not worth fighting.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 12:20 PM

11. hence, my post.... MAMAs with daughters, PLEASE....

i hear ya.

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