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View Diary: Thoughts on Raising a Daughter (129 comments)

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  •  Here's my advice, for what it's worth: (26+ / 0-)

    I think it's good to tell your daughter she's smart, as long as you don't do it too often or make it appear that it's a big deal.
    My father was very proud of me- wherever we went, he'd introduce me to some friend who'd say "she's so pretty!"  And my father would reply "she's smart as a whip, first in her class!"

    Very enlightened for those times, right?  Except that somehow the message I took from that was that my being smart and being first in my class was of supreme importance to my father, and that he would be devastated if that were not the case. None of that was true- eventually I realized that my dad would love me no matter what- but I spent too many years worrying and obsessing over grades and being a neurotic mess over all of it.

    When my kids were in school, I hear the same story at every conference: "She's doing well, but if she really applied herself she could be a straight A student".  And I would say "I'm sure you're right, and if that ever becomes important to her, I'm sure she will".  Teachers tended to think I was kinda nuts. But my daughter was happy and healthy- and turned into a straight A student in college- because she wanted to.

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