Rooted In Confidence

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” – E.E. Cummings

I published an article earlier this year that discussed the idea that a lack of confidence is limiting women’s career trajectories. In short, women tend to project less confidence in their abilities than their male counterparts (even when they’re highly skilled) and are less likely to take professional risks, call attention to their successes, or ask for raises and promotions.

It occurred to me that a lack of confidence is not something that just appears in adulthood; it begins much earlier. Further research proved the idea-  a recent study finds that between the ages of 8 and 14, girls’ confidence levels drop by 30%.

Our daughters’ confidence levels begin to drop when they are just eight years old. Let that sink in.

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Be Reasonable!

I came to parenting the way most of us do – knowing nothing and trying to learn everything.- Mayim Balik

The teen years. You just start to feel like you’re settling into this parenting thing, and then all the rules change. Overnight, it becomes a balancing act of keeping your kids safe while still allowing them enough independence to learn, grow and become fully-functioning adults.

Sometimes it feels like things are moving a mile a minute, and you wish life would just slow down. But that’s not how it works… for them, or for you. This is when your children get a crash course in the dynamics of relationships, and what it takes to maintain (or destroy) them.

I think that’s why a lot of parents agonize over “dating policies” for their children. For good or ill, we know that the romantic entanglements of youth provide lessons they’ll carry over into adulthood, and we want so desperately to provide the right guidance.

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Flight of Time

“You know what’s weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change, but pretty soon…everything’s different.” ― Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

Years ago, when my children were small, I remember thinking that people with grown children, or even those with teens, had forgotten how challenging it was to deal with babies and toddlers. How hard it was to adjust your life and activities so completely around the needs of another person, and how you spent all your time worrying about their eating and sleeping routines or lack thereof.

This week, as I sat in the salon marinating in high-octane hair color (now necessary to cover my grey) I listened to two women discuss these very issues… and realized that I am now that person, the one who no longer appreciates the stresses of young motherhood.

But there was a second part to that realization, because my younger self was mistaken- older parents haven’t forgotten those challenges, it’s just that parenting teens and young adults makes us nostalgic for the simplicity of those early childhood issues.

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