So my daughter is in 6th grade and she has a school dance coming up next Friday.
My school never had dances until high school so this seems really young to me, but all her friends are going and I don’t want to be the reason she has to miss out. But still… isn’t 6th grade too young?
Anyhow, my husband was advising my daughter that if a boy asks her to dance then she needs to say “yes” because it took the boy a lot of courage to do that and she doesn’t need to hurt his feelings.
And shocker! Of course I disagreed with my husband!
I was raised this exact same way as a little girl – to always be polite, to always avoid hurting other people’s feelings, to always be pleasing, to always be agreeable, to always suppress my feelings, and to always say “yes” to other people, etc.
And honestly, I ended up as an adult that was terribly taken advantage of in EVERY single relationship I’ve ever been in. I never learned what my healthy boundaries are. I never learned how to set them properly at the beginning of relationships. And I never learned how to put MY own feelings and myself first.
I don’t want my daughter having this same fate as an adult.
Now, I do want her to have empathy for others and to not hurt anybody’s feelings. But I believe she can do that AND put herself first. Am I crazy for believing this?
So if a boy asks her to dance and if she doesn’t want to… then it is NOT ok for her to say “yes” in that scenario.
And if she doesn’t learn this now, then when? When she’s older and older men who haven’t learned how to handle “no” approaches her with more matured tricks up their sleeves to persuade women otherwise? I’ve run into these men, and my daughter needs to be VERY well-equipped to handle them.
She needs to learn this sooner rather than later too. And who else will teach her this if not me? Because everywhere else seems to be teaching her to say “yes” instead in this scenario. There are even some news reports I’ve read where it is considered “bullying” now for a girl to say “no” to a boy at a school dance.
Of course I don’t want her to to be hurtful to anyone else, so I offered her other options like saying “No thank you, and I think you’re very nice for asking” or “I don’t want to, but do you want to hang out with me and my friends for a little while instead?” or any other response that is still respectful to the other person and within the scope of what she is comfortable with.
I don’t know. What do you all think would be other respectful responses?
So that’s the situation at home right now. What are your thoughts? If you disagree with me, I’d love to hear your point of view too.