Okay, so I’m a mother, with a son. (And an unknown gender on the way, yay) I know as a mother with a son I am going to make some mistakes. I don’t know what changes my son will go through or the general social issues he will face and I am going to make some mistakes. And it got me thinking about mistakes my Dad made with me.
My Dad became my Dad when he married my mum when I was 8. Now, most parents can make their trial and error mistakes in, discipline, tact and other such parental things when the kid is too young to really remember. So mistakes my dad made are far too many to name them all so I’ll just focus on the mistakes he made with me being the first of his 4 daughters.
As a girl, our interests are different and for some reason it’s more acceptable for us to keep our teddys and toys longer than boys. When I turned 11, my Dad gutted my bedroom, he threw away my dolls, Teddy’s, games, play sets, everything. It didn’t matter to my Dad that some if those dolls and accessories had made it years from my mum, aunties and cousins to get to me, or that the majority of those dolls I had collected over the years were hundreds of pounds worth of toys that I has taken such care of from back when it was just me and mum and mum worked 3 jobs to give me these toys. Or that some of my Teddy’s had sentimental value, like the last vacation I took with my great grandma when she bought me that horse. I have nothing remaining of my childhood, and I blame that for my crazy hording. It actually still affects me now, my husband has given our son a monkey he’s had since he was one, and I have nothing to give him.
It should really apply to both genders, don’t throw away your kids toys all willy nilly. At least keep the important things, put them in a box out of the way, for them to look through when they get older, maybe even pass on to their own kids one day.
My husband actually has a story about this too, he actually put away a few toys as a kid, thinking they were to great to just give or throw away but knew he was getting a little too old for them. One day when he wasn’t home his Dad got them out of storage and gave them to his nephew….then sent it home with his nephew…where his nephew proceeded to break it and smash it into pieces. And the worst thing is, they still did it to my husband till we got married and bought a house.
Our bully’s are very different, boys bully’s tend to be more brutal, weather that’s physically or verbally. And girls tend to be more cruel. Catty is a very appropriate word! Girls will pick on other girls weak spots that we all share. ‘You’re ugly, you’re stupid, nobody really likes you, you’ll never get a boyfriend’ my Dad never understood this. Just stand up and punch them just doesn’t always work as a girl. The girl I eventually stood up and hit left me alone but it only spurred on her awful friends.
Now, I’m going to talk about the most important one, the taboo that a lot of men squirm at and don’t know enough about.
The worst mistake my Dad made was not being informed enough about periods. My Dad knew they happened, he knew when my mum got hers but that’s where the knowledge ended. So when I turned 12 and started getting periods regularly my Dad had no idea that, it was quite early, he had no idea that it hurt, or that it could hurt so badly. He just saw my mum got them and carried on with her day as normal. No idea that everyone experiences periods differently or taking into account that I was 12 and new to the whole thing. One day I came home from school in agony, I felt like my uterus was being ripped out and stuffed back in. My mum, knowing how bad it can get, got me a hot water bottle, a blanket and ibuprofen and set me up on the sofa. Then my Mum had to go pick up my sisters and my Dad came home from work. He came into the living room, looked down at me and said ‘what’s wrong with you?’ I told him, period pains dad, they really hurt. He snorts at me and goes ‘you fucking puff, you’ve got period pains? Don’t be so fucking dramatic. Get up and go put your garden clothes on.’
My Dad had me doing garden work till dinner time as punishment for coming home from school for ‘such a pathetic reason’. And my mum didn’t say anything because she was trying not to undermine him.
Respect your daughters and her period.
Same for mothers and their sons, your sons body will go through changes too, just because they don’t bleed once every 28 days doesn’t mean what they’re going through isn’t confusing or difficult too.