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April 19, 2011

On Raising Little Girls...

   I work on a college campus, so when spring finally does arrive in Laramie (usually between late April and early July), it is pretty easy to notice when all the clothing starts coming off.  As a guy, how women choose to present themselves is especially tough.  I want to honor and respect my wife and our relationship, but now that I have a little girl, I want her to learn that girls are not simply objects that need to be displayed and "checked out."

   Emerson is my little sweetheart.  She is six years old and is so incredibly gifted, smart, beautiful, artistic, caring and expressive.  That list of words doesn't begin to describe her and I know other parents out there feel the same way about their kids.  Kids are incredible, but would be so much easier if they came with an instruction manual.  Luckily, Sandra and I are pretty in tune with each other in how we want her to be raised.

   There are things that we decided before Emerson could even talk or crawl that we are sticking to.  One of those is that I don't want her to wear clothing with writing across the backside.  There is no purpose at all to have it there, other than to draw attention.  When she is grown, I want people to notice Emerson's compassion before they notice her backside.  Another one is that we want her to stick with modest swimsuits.  It might not be a big deal, but women are worth more than just their looks.  Even at six years old, we can start to impress that on her.  I can teach her how a man should treat a woman, and Braeden is learning from that same example. He is making efforts to hold doors open and let his sister go first.  It is fun to see him trying to find ways to be a gentlemen.

   My sister posted a link to a CNN Opinion piece talking about kids clothing.  It really reminded me that if I am not going to be the parent my children need, someone else is more than willing to fill that role.  I have three little kids that are soaking up the world around them faster than the blink of an eye.  How do I want them to see the world?  This is a great quote from the article.  If you like this, make sure to go check out the entire article.  If you're a parent, it is worth your time.

I don't care how popular Lil' Wayne is, my son knows I would break both of his legs long before I would allow him to walk out of the house with his pants falling off his butt. Such a stance doesn't always makes me popular -- and the house does get tense from time to time -- but I'm his father, not his friend.
Friends bow to peer pressure. Parents say, "No, and that's the end of it."




4 comments:

Sandra said...

The blog looks really good. I'm so impressed how you created it yourself. Now you have to help me with mine.

I love you, especially now because you wrote this post. ;) Just kidding, but it's good and I'm so thankful of how aware you are of Emerson.

Love you!

Erin said...

Love it, Jon! I know it's hard raising a girl in today's society, but I'll never regret teaching McKenna modesty. I love it when I'm watching a show or walking through the mall with her and SHE points out to me that something isn't modest or "I would never wear that, Mom. That's way too revealing."

Jon Kelly said...

I watch shows like Parenthood and it is really good to think through what I would do as a parent. It doesn't seem like it will get any easier as they get older...unfortunately.

Jon Kelly said...

I watch shows like Parenthood and it is really good to think through what I would do as a parent. It doesn't seem like it will get any easier as they get older...unfortunately.