Humpday, Dec. 2, 2009

A few tidbits to get us through the week.

I included the video below because I realized recently as a parent, that I have a certain bias … I have boys.

But wait – read on before jumping to the video.

Although some of our guest writers have girls, most of the content I happen to write On Fatherhood is heavier on the snips and snails and puppy dog tails than on sugar and spice and everything nice. In fact, to further this point, when Goolgleing the afore mentioned poem to get the verbiage right, I typed “cinnamon and spice.”

Anyway, I wanted to include some sources in the jumps this week that addressed young girls’ self esteem. And as the holiday shopping season is in full swing, I hope to offer some perspective – dare I say gift suggestions – on some things that are out there to promote self esteem and self respect in young girls.

Let’s set the tone with this video. You may have seen it. But if not – it’s a must-see for anyone with girls:

  • I think what Dove is doing with their real beauty campaign is great. And they’ve taken it a step further with their Self Esteem Project. Mail in your UPC’s and Dove will donate $1 to inspiring self-esteem programs. Sure, there’s some marketing ploy to it – but still – the message is good and one that, if I had girls, I’d force feed to them from the day they were born: You are who you are – and that’s beautiful. Dove also has a FaceBook fan page for the Self Esteem project where you can upload a video of your daughter telling what she thinks makes her beautiful. It may even be featured on both the Dove Webpage and Facebook page. Holy smokes if I wouldn’t totally do this if I had girls! And although I ‘m sure the boys and I could knock a short video out of the park, I don’t think it would bode well for either one of them down the road. But, truth be told – and I don’t think they’ll hate me for it later, we wash them with Dove soap. Have since they were little. Only now, I’m gonna start saving the UPC’s.
  • Another point that was made recently about young girls’ self images was about dolls, specifically the lack of ethnic diversity portrayed among many dolls of the past, compared to the newly emerging and diverse dolls ranging from Mattel’s new line of African American dolls to the new American Girl Doll, Rebecca Rubin, who is Jewish. But this is only a small piece of the discussion, which can, and I recommend should, be heard in full as the podcast at NPR, where the transcript is also available for those who prefer to read.
  • And speaking of reading, I’m of the school of thought that says no gift list would be complete without gifts of knowledge and literature. And so, here are two plentiful lists of books purely on the topic of children’s self esteem, both from generally well-respected book retailers, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. And, if what I learned in Child Psychology is true, that child development is roughly half genetic and half environmental, than that assuredly means we can only expect our kids to feel good about themselves if we feel good about ourselves. So to be fair, I include this list from Borders.

Happy shopping.

Enjoy the jumps! Come back and see us when you can …

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