I have thought about this a lot. I think all mothers, from birth, and probably before, are thinking about what they want their children to know, whether male or female. I thought if had a boy, I would like to instill in him a proper non-sexist respect for women, among other things. I had a girl instead, and it seems very unlikely I will have another child now…
So. I want her to know that she is equal to any man. That no man has the right to be abusive to her, in any way shape or form. To get out when any Red Flags indicate that the man has any issues. To not let anyone even attempt to damage her self-esteem.
Most days I tell her she is beautiful. Often I tell her she is funny. If there is a risk that she is in danger of being conceited because of it, I consider this a price worth paying. Far better than the opposite problem, back to the days of children being seen and not heard, and not over-praised in case they got ‘above themselves’.
My daughter has always seen me being financially self-sufficient. I hope I have instilled in her the importance of this. Many women of previous generations did not have this choice and were trapped in abusive and unhappy marriages.
I want her to know that having a relationship is not the be all and end all. Love is important. When it works, between two people who respect and do not abuse each other, it’s wonderful. Being on your own is better than settling for less than this.
My daughter has unfortunately observed at first hand a ‘less than’ relationship between her parents. I sincerely hope that she will aim higher.