Parenting is seldom easy because there’s no one handbook that can tell you all you need to know.
But if you look hard enough, you can find advice that fits the occasion. A good example is the following excerpt from an interview with author Sandy Stryker, reprinted from the newsletter Daughters.
“Girls, more than boys, tend to think that if they’re good at something, they’ll be good at it immediately,” Stryker said. “The first time a girl comes across something that takes too much effort, her tendency may be to back down and give up her goal.
“Producing a resilient girl means teaching her to dedicate effort to reaching her goals. It means teaching her that it’s OK to try and fail and try again. A lot of adults never really think of just saying out loud to a girl, ‘This will take work, and you can do it.’ But the light will go on for her if you reassure her that she’s not supposed to know the whole thing the first time she goes to class or to a practice.”
Daughters is published eight times a year. A subscription is $25. For information, call (800) 829-1088.
Not too old to notice: In reference to a recent column I wrote about sexist language, one reader wrote to tell me about another kind of widespread prejudice: age bias.
“My husband and I are 71 and active in community and church,” wrote the reader, who preferred to remain anonymous. “Our minister says to me, ‘How’s the old man who lives with you?’ And this ‘old man’ comment was used not once but on several different occasions in different contexts.
“At a recent event a man said to me, ‘Hello, young lady…’ I know this comment was meant to be a friendly greeting, but here again, mention of age in a back-handed manner is repugnant to me.
“Am I being too sensitive?”
Anyone want to venture an opinion?
By the way, buy our cologne: Talking about advice, nobody offers more of it than the editors of lifestyle magazines. Men’s Health, for example, paid for a study that discovered the following:
“In today’s highly competitive, winner-take-all work environment, men are realizing that being in control of all elements of your life is one of the keys to survival,” said the woman president of the company that ran the study. “That means gaining an edge in all aspects of your life, especially your appearance.”
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MEMO: Common Ground is written on alternating weeks by Dan Webster and Rebecca Nappi. Write to them in care The Spokesman-Review, Features Department, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210-1615. Or fax, 459-5098.