It's no surprise, since most adults have been in this mode since middle school, that humans gravitate towards those who are like us. The teen movie industry thrives on 'group's: case in point, Glee, or The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Evaluating other parents in a playground setting, with rambunctious kids can be hard, but mostly easy. How? Off-the-cuff, I'm usually my true self -- aren't you?
This picture shows one outfit that generates comments at parks: a large neon orange hair bow and matching shirt. Ignore the apron; it's just for drips ;-) What if the comments were different? What would one say to a little girl??
|Snack habit: popsicles|
and Abigail's eye-catching bow
How to Talk to Little Girls suggests that for many of us -- women and men, moms and dads, teens, and anyone who could influence a little girl -- we need to reframe our conversations. Amen.
I wanted to squeal, “Maya, you’re so cute! Look at you! Turn around and model that pretty ruffled gown, you gorgeous thing!”
But I didn’t. I squelched myself. As I always bite my tongue when I meet little girls, restraining myself from my first impulse, which is to tell them how darn cute/ pretty/ beautiful/ well-dressed/ well-manicured/ well-coiffed they are...
Try this the next time you meet a little girl. She may be surprised and unsure at first, because few ask her about her mind, but be patient and stick with it. Ask her what she’s reading. What does she like and dislike, and why? There are no wrong answers. You’re just generating an intelligent conversation that respects her brain.
|Forest Park, view from the World's Fair Pavilion|