I get them. Sharing the same gender class provides me the privilege of sharing in all the same struggles.
I know the common struggles of every girl: body image, self-esteem, changing hormones, insecurity and so on.
I know them. I’ve lived them. I still battle with them.
Mothers and daughters are very often battling the same issues but at varying degrees. Deny if you wish, but we’re in the same war as a daughters – we’re just a whole lot better at it.
Those of us over the age of 30 (or let’s say 28 to include some of my dear friends who are so preciously still in their 20’s) grew up in a different world.
Our world didn’t include selfies, the instant and impersonal communication of texting, social media likes, Instagram highlight reels, Snapchat stories, or hashtag anything.
When we were bored – we were like, legitimately bored. Now, it’s just different. Bored today is playing, posting, texting, tweeting, and snapchatting.
Because I didn’t grow up with these internet anomalies this almost makes me irrelevant to my growing daughters.
Almost, but not totally.
You see, while the landscape has changed – the war is the exact same.
That’s the thing about girls, we will always fight the same enemy about the same things, just on different turf.
The wisdom I offer my daughters is: I know where the enemy currently stays and fights. I may not have fought there myself but I can easily see the enemy’s traps and can keep my girls far from becoming ensnared.
Our battle plan is this: No social media accounts and no selfies – none taken and none posted or sent anywhere.
This is the enemy’s chosen battlefield and where he has the advantage. This is where he captures our daughters in order to steal, kill, and destroy.
You may think this rule is impossible. It’s not.
You may think this rule is impractical. I beg to differ.
We’ve tried to allow some social media but simply couldn’t deal with what we saw. The ugliness, vulgarity, hypocrisy, and the promotion of self among the teenage generation is so heavy and burdensome. It’s a weight, slowly pulling a generation down. It’s a weight I refuse to allow my children to take on and sink.
My kids hate us right now because of this rule. And that’s okay.
I know they’ll battle insecurity regardless of having access to social media – why put them on the front line of the war?
I know they’ll battle body image regardless of well edited selfies – why allow them to develop this cognitive dissonance?
The thing about girls is that the same issues will always be there. At 37, 14, and (almost) 10 – still there. Until my girls can recognize the enemy they are fighting, I will fight for them.
What does it mean to fight for them? It means bravely saying NO to the enemy who poses as a popular and desired companion for my daughters. It means rejecting the cultural norms…..just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean your daughter should to.
And one of the most important thing about girls I know from personal experience- they come back and thank their Mamas for fighting the good fight and parenting well.
Just ask my Mom.