Women’s Sports Network Influence Girls

You all know Amy at Shaping Youth by now, but I wanted to run a piece about the new Women Talk Sports Network and what it will mean for girls.

wts-blog-badgeMay 19, 2009 In the “Young Runners” post yesterday I glossed over the new Women Talk Sports network and Shaping Youth Correspondent Rebecca Scritchfield’s involvement as one of their cadre of contributing bloggers, because I KNEW this media magic warranted a post and presence all its own.

One of our readers yesterday was seeking a hub for encouraging teen girl athletes dealing with body image issues and healthy tips on raising athletic daughters…I loaded her up with links and ‘go to’ spots, including Women Talk Sports network, but in reality, I could’ve given her just this ONE source.

Why? Because WTS folds umpteen resources into one ‘real time’ hub, which cuts to the chase by putting girls in touch with athletes themselves in ‘we’re living it’ mode!

Their conversations raise issues of importance and voices to be heard from all over the sports spectrum grappling with everything from critical analysis of media portrayals to sports specific tips ‘in the game’ and nutrition and training regimens. Continue reading →

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Girlie Cars

Look what I found on Julie Pippert’s Blog: Using My Words

My girls are girly girls. They like their dolls, their dresses, their creature comforts. My little one prefers bows in her hair.

But this has never, ever stopped them from reaching out to traditionally “boy” areas of play. One of my favorite photos is of my girls and a couple of friends in princess dress-up costumes paying with Tonka dump trucks outside.

In our backyard, we’re creating a natural habitat. We started with the pond and it has grown from there. We’re planting ecosystem- and fauna-friendly plants, and trying to make sure our backyard helps the plants and animals we share our space with. This gives our children ample opportunity to delve into the world of bugs, tadpoles to frogs, crawfish (yes!), snakes (yes!) and even some cute mammals such as bunnies, not to mention our bird families.

Overall, I’d say our kids are the normal amount of skeptical reluctance to new things, but their natural curiosity leads them to try anyway, which is our general family rule.

So when we got invited to a promotional party at Ridemakerz, I was a little put off by the big focus on boys, even though I understood why it was specifically reaching out to boys. Making a car sounded wicked cool to me, even better than stuffing some bear (although my kids are huge fans of Build-A-Bear).

I RSVP’d my yes, and we went.

Hoo boy.

Read the rest at Julie Pippert’s Blog: Using My Words

Please, use my content on your site and I’ll use yours. It’s the Summer of Link Love - Friends don’t let friends waste good content.

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Born Mother

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What I’ve noticed about Ainsley, her 7-year-old self, is that she’s a leader, teacher, nurturer, caretaker. She’s a born mother.  (She takes after me.)

Zack wouldn’t take swim lessons alone (though he’s scarily unafraid of the water), so Ainsley basically taught him.

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She also just LOVES to take care of her cousins. She’s the oldest on my side and she loves to boss, teach, guide. lead and snuggle the younger ones.

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Miracle Kirby Vacuum Salesman

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Oh, Lord how am I ever going to get everything done? I asked. I need some kind of miracle. A Course in Miracles says I am entitled to miracles because I am your daughter.

Then this guy showed up and asked if he could come in my house and clean the tarnation out of it.

I can’t buy a vacuum, I told him.

Lady, I get a bonus if I get asked in for enough demonstrations. Don’t you have a spot I can clean? he asked.

I have a pee hall. Where the toilet-training boy marks his territory, I shared. Only Monday I had resolved to wait to get down and scrub it out when Zack was finally potty trained, so I didn’t have to do it twice.

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He cleaned my couches and chairs, sucked 50 years of grime out of the grooves of my fireplace, sucked the allergy causing dust mite poo out of my mattress and steam cleaned the pee hall.

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The trick is to recognize and accept a miracle when it comes your way. Sometimes it’s a Kirby Vacuum salesman who needs a bonus. I prayed in gratitude the whole time and then I slipped him a $20 based on the principle, Give and You Shall Receive.

As if that wasn’t enough, I found the floor buffer I’ve been hunting since I moved at a garage sale for $1 this morning.

I’m going on vacation tomorrow. We’re driving our wonderful minivan across the country to Utah, through Denver. On the way back, we’ll stop and visit a good friend who found her bliss way up in the mountains around the four corner’s area of Utah. My sister is getting married and I’m expecting two weeks worth of miracles. I know how to see them now and that, my friends, is half the trick of getting them.

I sent out an invitation for guest posts and received a wonderful batch.  You’re going to love these ladies and what they have to offer. Follow them back to their own great blogs. It’s my pleasure to showcase their work.

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Belle – Battered Codependent

By now no one will be surprised when I say that I’m not a huge fan of Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

Some might see Belle as a redeeming character because she is smart and loves to read. She is, after all, bright enough to tell Gaston, the quintessential good-looking football player type, where to go. Good for Belle, even though all the other village girls love Gaston, she thinks he’s a moron and is looking for something different.

When her mad scientist father gets held as a hostage by the mean ugly beast, Belle, the loyal daughter, finds him. Selflessly, she trades her own freedom so that her father can go to the invention festival. What?!?

Here’s the first lesson we need to tell our daughters, Your dad and I will never, ever trade you for anything. If you are ever held by a beast or anyone else we WILL bring the police and find you or die trying. If you are ever kidnapped or someone tries to take you then you should do anything you can to get away. Scream, bite, scratch, kick and run as fast as you can.

The rest of the story is basically how Belle is such a good and sweet young woman that she transforms the compassionless, angry, self-absorbed, violent, ugly and mean beast into the Prince he always was inside.

Basically, the story is just early training for future battered women everywhere. This is Stockholm Syndrome. Women love to love their abuser and fantasize that eventually she’ll love him enough that he’ll start treating her with love and respect. Every woman who gets abused desperately wants to believe that her compassionless, angry, mean, self-absorbed jerk of a husband or boyfriend has a kind prince locked inside and if she is just a good and sweet and forgiving enough wife or girlfriend then she can change him into a sweet guy.

What kind of codependent crap are we feeding our daughters at bedtime? We’re setting them up to be victims with this story. Is it any surprise that 30% of women put up with abuse at some point in their lives? Come on!

I recommend telling our daughters the truth.

If you marry a mean and selfish or violent beast of a man you will never, ever change him into a nice guy. People are who they are. No one has the power to change anyone else. Don’t waste your life trying.

The best thing to do is to marry a guy who is already good and sweet and kind and generous. Find someone who treats you with respect from the beginning and skip all the fairytale drama.

Here’s the Challenge: add, if not completely replace some of these princess horror stories with stories that have good messages like The Practical Princess, and other liberating fairy tales. And give your daughters a new perspective on the old messages found in Disney’s version.

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