8 lessons I won’t be teaching my daughter

Mothers of daughters have a tough job, and a much tougher responsibility. As a feminist myself, I will of course raise my daughter the same way, meaning I will not subscribe to some of the more traditional parenting ideologies and styles.

I want my daughter to be fearless and strong, and emotional and kind, all at the same time. I want her to grow up knowing she deserves the world and more, especially now where we have a number of people (particularly in the political spotlight… AHEM… no names…) who think it is still acceptable to treat women like they are a lesser species. My daughter will NEVER be made to feel like this.

So, here are 8 lessons I won’t be teaching my daughter, in the hope that she grows up to be that fearless princess dinosaur that I already know she is on the inside.

1. Children should be seen and not heard

This is outdated and completely limits children’s imagination. I want Olivia to be comfortable in her own home, and everywhere else, to speak her mind and to be sociable. I will obviously still be teaching her respect for others and patience (waiting her turn when someone else is talking), but that doesn’t need to go hand in hand with mandatory silence.

2. Don’t get your clothes dirty

How else do you measure a child’s enjoyment if not by the amount of muck they manage to get on themselves in a day? My daughter WILL play outside and she absolutely WILL NOT be afraid of mud.

3. That’s a boy’s toy/not for girls to play with

Ugh, gender stereotyping. If she wants to play with a football, she can. If she wants to wear a princess dress while playing football, she can. If she wants to dress up as a dinosaur and do ballet, she can. The point is, again this is another silly social construct that limits our children’s imaginations. I don’t ever want her to feel that she can’t do something because she’s a girl, and that starts even at the youngest age with telling them they can’t have certain toys, games or clothes!

4. Don’t be bossy

Firstly, it’s not “being bossy”, it’s leadership skills. I am HATE the word bossy and I will never use it to describe my daughter. She is strong-minded, strong-willed and incredibly confident and independent. She is a handful at times. She likes being in charge and having people follow her lead. She is not bossy. A boy is never described as bossy, because it’s somehow a demeaning word, and I don’t want to suppress all of those amazing qualities Olivia has into that one word.

5. Be more lady-like

My daughter is funny and gross at times, but I don’t care. She’s a kid. I’ll teach her to be polite, kind and courteous, but not to be more lady-like. Plus, boys should be showing those qualities too!

6. Ladies first

I hate this. It makes me cringe. I’m all for holding doors open for people, but I have a particular disdain for someone holding it open and saying “ladies first” as I walk through. JUST WHY? Why and how did that even become a thing?

7. Respect your elders

Nope. Respect is earned. Not everyone deserves your respect purely because they were born before you. As above, I’ll teach my daughter to be polite, and respectful, but not that a certain class of people can demand respect from her. It’s hers to give!

8. You have to hug/kiss [insert relative here] hello/goodbye

Her body, her rules. I respect her autonomy. I never force her to give hugs or kisses if she doesn’t want to. She is an affectionate little soul and if she wants to show affection she will. If not, I don’t really care who it upsets. Everyone needs to respect that SHE decides whether she wants to hug/kiss them.

What other parenting rules are you breaking? What will/won’t you teach your children and why?

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30 things I want to do before I’m 30: Mum edition

Consider this my first proper go at a bucket list, having just celebrated my 24th birthday, I’m starting to feel a little more over the hill than I did before!

Can mums really have a bucket list of stuff that’s just for them? Probably not, but I’m willing to give it a go (bonus points for every item on the list that isn’t mum related?)

I plan on updating this list every time I tick an item off! And maybe I’ll review them as I go along too… Starting off with a VERY family friendly one, here it is, my 30 before 30 list:

  1. Go to Disneyworld Orlando, Florida with the kids
  2. Have a mother-daughter photoshoot
  3. Go on a girls’ spa weekend
  4. Do a cocktail making master class
  5. Go to the Gatsby Party event my husband and I planned to go to this year!
  6. See P!nk live in concert
  7. Go to a festival
  8. Visit Cadbury World in Birmingham
  9. FINALLY qualify as a registered barrister (or, failing that, transition to solicitor)
  10. Visit Hever Castle
  11. Write a book
  12. Do an ancestry DNA kit
  13. Go to Butlins
  14. Start doing yoga again
  15. Go to another country in the UK (not England!)
  16. Drive in a foreign country
  17. Go on holiday to the Lake District
  18. See The Lion King in theatre
  19. Take Olivia to see the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House
  20. Try a ‘Family Day Out Jar’ and see it through!
  21. Watch Trooping the Colour in person
  22. Run (or walk) a marathon
  23. Properly try at being vegan (goodbye cheese, I will miss you)
  24. Book a city break for me and the hubby
  25. Go to Alton Towers with the kids
  26. Go GLAMping with the kids
  27. Hike along the Yorkshire moors with Olivia
  28. Force my husband to do a dance class with me
  29. Get a sewing machine
  30. Learn how to crochet (I’m old now, that’s something I should learn to do, right?)

Only 8 kid-orientated items on the list! Not bad going, eh?

Have you done a list like this before? What would you be excited to try?

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