Before it’s too late!
Quick! Stop laughing at your toddler girls’ sassy comments.
Stop being amused when she half-rudely, but oh-so-cutely, spouts off.
You’re not raising an empowered woman. It was all a ruse.
You’re digging your own “differentiation” grave.
You think you’re preparing her to be a strong, empowered woman who isn’t afraid to speak up. Which is awesome, when she still believes in your goodness, kindness and love unquestioningly. When this is directed at things you hate too.
It’s a trick!
What you’re really doing is making your own life hell, by giving her permission to “speak her mind” which translates to “dump her crappy attitude all over you.” Rumor has it this could go on for most of adolescence and into early adulthood.
In psychology they call it “differentiation.” When the daughter lashes out irrationally, unreasonably and often cruelly at her . . . MOTHER! They say it’s healthy for her to enforce boundaries “I am Me,” and “You are You!” and I motherloving HATE you! Or at least I hold you responsible for all of my crappy, difficult-to-handle feelings. And my hobby is to speak to you as if you’ve caused every problem ever invented and I want you to fix it immediately.
No, dad won’t be the brunt of this.
No, the sexist misogynists won’t bear the burden.
No, the media and marketing that sexualizes her won’t get the lashing.
MOM shoulders differentiation alone. With no way out, no response soothing enough.
It’s not constant, like something you can predict. It’s random. You’ll be doing every-day stuff like say, cutting an orange for her school snack.
I hate oranges!
What? You’ve been eating oranges for 11 years, and you’ve always liked them.
I hate oranges and I’ve always hated oranges! YOU DON’T KNOW ME!
And then you understand, how your mother turned into a raving, psychotic, screaming, insane woman. It was you. And you weren’t even a bad daughter. Just a daughter who suddenly felt she had the right to “speak her mind” and turned it directly on your mother. Is this payback? you wonder. My own bad-daughter karma?
What fresh hell is this? How can I turn it around? You ask yourself. You ask the more experienced mothers, how do I make this stop?
Then they give you that knowing look, one of pity and resignation. The same look, now that you think about it, as the one they gave you when you described Marriage Shock, Baby Shock and Divorce Shock. It’s yet another secret of femininity, closely guarded and protected.
I never would have spoken to my parents the way my daughter speaks to me, some might tell you.
What’s different? you’ll ask.
Well, I would have been terrified. They would have been the tar out of me, they’ll say.
Maybe I should have beat her. Why didn’t I beat her? Why was I so stupid as to not believe in spanking? you’ll wonder aloud.
Always projected as good mother/bad mother. That happens in their house, I have a great relationship with my daughter, you imagine the other mother’s thinking. You know they are thinking it, because you thought it too. Back when sassy and opinionated was cute. Especially, the ones with little three and four year olds, the ones who are trying so hard to do it “right” and who believe they aren’t making the same mistakes you did, so their daughters will never turn on them.
Last year I was the perfect mother! It’s not fair! I did all the right things! you cry to yourself. Attempting to convince who? you wonder. Not your daughter, that’s for sure.
Abort Mission Empower Your Daughters!
You’re the target! You just don’t know it yet!