A lot of what he said related to children in general but there was a bit about the sexulisation of girls which was a bit more specific. My take home points were;
- Life is a lot different for our children compared to the world we and our parents grew up in. The issues I was facing at 16 my daughters will face at 12 so they will not have the mental capacity to fully understand them.
- For most of our world's history people lived in small communities surrounded by people who knew them and loved them so they had lots of adults affirming them and who they could relate to. Aunts and uncles are really important relationships for our children so that they have another adult they can talk to. It is important to give our nieces and nephews time as well, to listen when they talk to us.
- Children are dependant on us as toddlers but as they enter teenage years they enter that dependent stage again - if you minus 12 from their age as a teenager that is age you are dealing with. So having a 14 year old is like having a two year old again!
- Girls face a lot of messages from the media telling them that their looks are the most important thing, that they will never look good enough, that sex is to be exchanged for love and power and that it is ok to have sex with people you dont know or dont even like.
- Children learn from the people around them, we are always modeling behaviour to them. If you are constantly talking about your weight then they will pick up on the idea that they should not feel good about how they look.
- A reminder to talk to your children about how they feel about things.
As it turns out, last night I was reading MiniMe Matilda and there was a part where the mother was saying that looks were all that mattered for girls so that they could find a husband (rather than reading books and learning). I asked MiniMe what she thought of this and she said that books were more important then looks and that it was a weird this for the mother to think.
Steve Biddulph would have been proud! I smiled, at least we are doing some things right as parents!