Where I ended in “The problem isn’t pretty pink princesses, but what becomes of them” stopped short of describing how I might interact with a charming little girl (whether in a pretty pink princess outfit or not):
So the next time I see your daughter, please understand if I don’t immediately comment on her adorable outfit. I’m probably debating whether to reinforce her perspective-taking, self-regulation, or cognitive flexibility.
Thankfully, Lisa Bloom (author of Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World) shares a lively account of how she would do exactly that in her essay, “How to Talk to Little Girls.” Quite simply, here are her guiding suggestions:
Ask her what she’s reading. What does she like and dislike, and why? …ask her about current events issues: pollution, wars, school budgets slashed. What bothers her out there in the world? How would she fix it if she had a magic wand? … Tell her about your ideas and accomplishments and your favorite books. Model for her what a thinking woman says and does.