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Do you ever find yourself saying something to your kid that just doesn’t come out quite the way you had intended it to? Like, it sounded really good in your brain but the minute the words came out of your mouth you stopped and went “Uh, wait a minute…”. I had that moment with my daughter a while ago when she tried to act all squeamish over something gross and I told her “It’s okay to be a girl, just don’t act like one”. I realized as soon as the words came out of my mouth that ‘acting like a girl’ was one of those generalizations that I tell the kids never to make!
I loathe stereotypes. Whether it is ‘black kids play great basketball’ or ‘white girls like Starbucks’ or ‘Jewish people are good with money’ I tell my kids constantly to not make assumptions about people based on the color of their skin, their ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc. And then I go and tell my daughter that getting all icked out over a mouse in the cabin is a ‘girl thing’. Way to go mom, right? Especially since my son would probably be standing on the bunk screaming his bloody head off if their was a mouse anywhere near him.
You may have seen the #LikeaGirl campaign from Always. It is an interesting look at when, during a child’s development, does doing something ‘Like a Girl’ become an insult. Whether you say to a boy or a girl that they do something ‘like a girl’ it is somehow considered insulting. And the words ‘stop acting like a girl’ actually came out of my mouth as advice to my daughter. I think someone needs to take away my parenting license because clearly I am screwing up my kid here.
I wear many hats in this thing called life. I am a science geek, an introvert, a busy mother of teens and slightly neurotic about dirty dishes. I used to have a really important sounding job in cancer research when I decided to give it all up to be a stay at home mom. I played with Playdough, colored pictures of Barbies and freaked out when the baby ate dog food. Then the second kid came along and I started to think dog food might have nutritional value. What is Fractionated Living? It is me…divided by work, life, kids, marriage, and hobbies and trying to come up with the answer to life.