Loved reading this article about how not to talk to little girls. Guilty as charged - I have gushed over them and their cute clothes with parents looking on adoringly. There is a social expectation to tell girls they are pretty and well-mannered - failing to do so may be considered rude. For many of us there is also a double standard at play. We tell our own daughters that being smart is cool, we encourage them to develop their minds and not obsess over physical appearance and yet we that is the primary lens we use to view girls in general.
Reading this also made me think about how we praise cuteness in very young girls but when that becomes the center of their identity in their teens and beyond, we view it as a problem. As the author points out, very early in the life of girls, we start to reward and recognize things that they should be least focused on. Her recommendation on how to talk to girls is one I will be sure to remember
Try this the next time you meet a little girl. She may be surprised and unsure at first, because few ask her about her mind, but be patient and stick with it. Ask her what she’s reading. What does she like and dislike, and why? There are no wrong answers. You’re just generating an intelligent conversation that respects her brain.