Tag Archives: granddaughter

Girl Wise

I watched a brief video of my 3 month old granddaughter this evening.

She’s precious – oh, so precious.

And, she’s girl – all girl.  From the top of her red head, to her hiccupy giggle, to her tiny toes, this baby is girl.

100% girl.

I feel such emotion for this child…this grandchild of mine.

For, I am girl, too.

I hope her dad never tells her she can’t do something because she is girl. And, I hope he never says a negative word about menstruation in her presence, especially about her own.

it’s easier to speak with those I don’t know or can’t see (via tweets, emails, phone calls) about issues dear to the heart than it is to find words and opportunity to speak and address important things that can make or break the way this girl sees her girl experience and herself as girl.

I thought I had adequately prepared my son for things menstrual.  But, in my preparation, I failed to consider that one day he would be instrumental in the attitude and views his daughter would have about herself and her periods.

How do I tell him what’s on my heart?

How do I speak the words that are more emotion than vowels and consonants?

Where do I begin?  How do I begin?

I will craft a letter.  It will begin like this:

Dear Son,

You are the most influential person in girl’s life.  She will see herself through your eyes and your words will be what drafts her identity.

She is girl. Embrace that early and never speak against it. Lift her girlness high and hold it in esteem.  Refrain from making light of her tears, of her emotions, of her inability to be/act/ react as boy (why would she want or need to? She is girl).

She is girl.  One day she will enter puberty and the transformation she was born for will begin. She will grow breasts, and pubic hair, and, yes, she will have periods and all the wonders that go with it.

She will look to you for affirmation and confirmation of her identity as girl and her evolving identity as woman. Don’t let her down. Lift her up. Empower her to embrace all that being girl involves.  Love her and teach her to love herself as girl.  Allow her to experiment and experience life, but never give her cause to hate being girl.

Ah, my heart is too full to continue.

And, my mind is too full of memories from my own girlhood…of my dad…of my own girl experiences and struggles.

I wonder…have you any advice for me?  How can I help my son become girl wise and thereby capable of becoming period wise?

What’s a Grandmother to do?

Susan Stiffelman offers an interesting scenario in which your 13 year old granddaughter confides to you that she’s started her period and doesn’t want her mother to know. Take a moment, read, and see if you agree that her solution is period wise.

Your 13-year-old granddaughter tells you she’s gotten her period.

“Grandma, you absolutely, positively cannot tell Mom and Dad,” she cries.
You know your daughter — her mother — would want to know, and to celebrate this moment in her daughter’s life. You also know that your daughter will be furious with you when she finds out you’d kept it from her. What do you do?

You hold the secret, and create the space for your granddaughter to tell you about this new experience. You don’t rush the talk, and you stay lovingly connected to her. Eventually you may say, “Sweetie, I’m so happy for you. Wow! This is a huge moment in your life. I’m honored that you told me, and I respect that it’s your right to share this with whomever you choose. Can you tell me what it is about telling Mom and Dad that feels uncomfortable? What do you think might happen if you tell them?”

And then you listen. In the back of your mind, you’re looking for a way to help your granddaughter become comfortable sharing this with her parents, but you allow her to be ready at her pace. If your daughter finds out that you knew and didn’t tell her, you accept her anger and disappointment, assuring her that you will absolutely tell her if your granddaughter discloses anything dangerous.