When we have kids, we always have some expectations of who they will be and what they will like. As they grow, we watch with anticipation, hoping that they will make the right choices. One thing that could help children grow up with a healthy attitude is to have positive role models in their lives. It is important that as they grow they have people that they respect and will demonstrate those qualities that we all find most important in adults: positivity, ethical choices, and independence.
How I’m Raising Surfer Girls in a Sea of Princesses
THURSDAY JULY 20, 2017
It’s never been a question while raising my daughters, now three and six.They will be surfer girls. We are a family of surfers. My dad, sisters, and my husband are bonded by the thrills you get from the ocean and a love for being in the water. It was always just understood that when I had kids of my own one day, they would surf too. My husband and I talked about when our kids would get their first surfboard as an honorary rite of passage. So when we had our daughters, we immediately started filling their heads with surf propaganda. The poor kids never had a chance. Limited screen time? Absolutely, unless you want to re-watch Endless Summer with Dad for the eighth time. I can’t even begin to count the pictures of naked babies and toddlers on surfboards that filled up my Facebook feed those first few years.
But something always nagged me in the back of my mind. Toys and books that were available to our little girls didn’t always reflect the life we lived as a family. As I looked for books to snuggle up with my girls and push my not-so-hidden agenda, they all featured boys in action sports or girls in nonaction sports. There wasn’t a female character my daughters could relate to who was strong, athletic, and graceful. This missing message just didn’t align with what we were teaching our daughters.