When my 12 year old daughter finished year six, we had an end of primary school disco party on our apartment building’s rooftop. They danced and giggled; my main concern was if there was enough food.
That party would also be a farewell to innocence. Within six months, she’d been invited to a 13 year old’s harbour boat party with the invite warning: “No alcohol. Bags will be searched.” She’d feel the peer pressure to have sex. And she’d smoke and drink.
In an article in The Daily Telegraph on the weekend, parenting expert Steve Biddulph argued that 14 is the new 18, and girls are under unprecedented pressure.
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If you are a parent of one boy, people call you “lucky”. If you’ve got two boys, you’re “busy”. Three boys makes you “crazy”. Four boys and everyone is secretly sad for you, and assumes you are still “trying for a girl”.
The assumption, you see, is that no one in their right mind would voluntarily have more than two boys. Three or four girls? No problem.
But there is a real stigma in our society, it seems, about having a family with lots of boys.
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Parents of girls; be afraid, very afraid. Be worried, because your daughters are “in trouble”. So much that we need a “call to arms” and “a movement to end the trashing of girlhood”.
Certainly that seems to be the message in the PR for Raising Girls, the latest from parenting guru Steve Biddulph.
A decade back, when Biddulph released Raising Boys, it was our little sons under siege by an education system - and a society - that didn’t get them or their gender-specific needs.
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