I recently read an article that was titled “Helping Young Girls Find Their Voice While Developing Friendships” and one particular quote that stood out to me was that “girls no longer have time to partake in girlhood on their own”. I was intrigued by this and so read on to see what was meant by this. It was in regard to the fact that our girls today live in such a structured and sometimes overly controlled world that they feel anxious and uncertain about how to behave and react to some of what we would consider the basic social challenges of life.
It went on to talk about the role of parents in all of this as it is often the parents who are responsible for the scheduling and the structure for their children. And so I then started to think about this in terms of the impact of the pandemic – for now the girls are not as busy, they have very few commitments and they have had the opportunity to take a breath and enjoy just ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’.
So what can we learn from this? How can we change so that we just don’t return to what it was? In speaking with the girls they have enjoyed the time they got to spend with their families, they enjoyed the time they got to do different things, they enjoyed the fact that they got to schedule their own time and most of all they enjoyed more sleep and for many the slower pace of the day.
Whilst I am not saying we don’t go back to the sport, the dancing and the part time work, what I am saying is how can we manage this as a ‘new or different’ way that still works for you and your daughters? Pre-pandemic we all lived very busy lives, constantly trying to multitask, and in terms of the girls, always trying to meet the demands of school, family, work, sport – to name a few. We often had a ‘disconnection’ because of this and add in technology and the pressure really starts to build.
So I am sorry to say I don’t have all the answers but I do believe it is something we seriously need to think about – don’t lose sight of what has been good, but rather add this to the mix to create a new normal for your daughter. After all, as the article concludes “we become stronger by facing challenges and overcoming them”. We learned by doing and so will our children. So, in the face of probably the biggest challenge your daughter has seen, let her BE BRAVE, let her make her choices and encourage her to learn from this time and take away from it a positive experience to build on.
Karen Wright - Assistant Principal Students