I still remember the first date I went on with my husband 13 years ago. (He claims it wasn’t a date, but it definitely was in my book, without a doubt!) We were going to a performance of a collection of Andrew Lloyd Weber songs and therefore had to get dressed up. I had no idea what to wear. I very badly wanted to marry this man, so I wanted to look just perfect so that he would be forever enchanted with me!
Should I wear my hair up or down? Curly or straight? Blue dress or black? Which color of eye shadow would make my blue eyes really pop? I was so nervous yet excited. I wished I knew what his preferences were, because it would have made my decisions so much easier! I would have done exactly what he would have liked so that I could win him over for sure. But I didn’t know what he liked, so I enlisted the help of three girlfriends to help me make each decision until we had a complete, finished product. I can still feel the excitement of that day and the expectant hope that he would approve and fall in love. Well, as you can see, I must have done a pretty good job!
That little story is just one example of the normal interaction between boys and girls. But suddenly I have discovered that I am looking at this issue from a completely different perspective. I am now in the role of Mom! This time through the eyes of a mother, I see and understand more clearly what kind of power we females have over the male gender. And as we are figuring out how to guide our sons and daughters, we get the chance to help them navigate similar situations.
One day we were dropping off a friend’s son. I of course got stuck in a conversation with my friend, and so the kids started playing and talking. At one point her son disappeared into the house and came back with his hair all wet. We both stopped and looked at him, and then shrugged our shoulders. Sometimes it isn’t even worth asking the question. Then we watched him sneak up to my car and then go back to talking with my girls. We didn’t think too much of it, eventually finished our conversation, and headed home.
Later that evening I was talking with the girls and it came up that this friend had spiked his hair with water and showed the girls. Then my mind flashed back to a conversation that the kids had had before we got to my friend’s house. They were talking about our baby having spiked hair. Then Hannah made her hair spiky and told her friend that he should make his hair spiky. The boy promptly told her that he didn’t like his hair spiked. Which Hannah then followed with, “Oh, I like spiked hair.”
Well, that was all it took to change his mind. And this is the boy who hasn’t paid any attention to girls up until this point. One simple, innocent comment was all it took to make a little boy do what he didn’t like to do just to impress a girl.
I think I was surprised that it starts so young! It made me realize I need to be teaching my girls to not abuse the amazing power we can have over the male gender and to use it honestly and wisely. Moms of older girls, how have you taught your daughter to use her God-given boy-influencing ability in a good way instead of a manipulative way? How have you explained that God has given her the wonderful gifts of beauty and charm, which she is to use in a responsible way? We are just entering into this phase, so we are looking for advice!