I often watch VH1 videos at the gym during my workout and I totally approve of Fergie's song Big Girls Don't Cry as a great message for girls.
The song tells the story of a girl who has dreams, but she's inconveniently in love with this guy who is obviously not going in the same direction. The girl chooses to leave the guy to pursue the dream. She's sad, but her self and her dream are worth the sacrifice of a love affair.
I love this message for girls. I think most of girls' cultural influences paint a rosy picture and glamorize giving up everything for another person. In reality, I think it is rarely the best idea to give up a dream, a future, an education or an experience for a lover.
Speaking personally, I gave up going to be a nanny in Maryland when I was right out of high school - to stay with a boy. I really just chickened out. What a bad choice. Going seemed much scarier, but who knows where I would have gone or what I could have done had I not given up the opportunity to spread my wings? But, at the time it seemed like a romantic decision to stay because he asked me to.
We owe it to our daughters to provide a clear definition about what is romantic and what is just an illusion of romantic. Especially, when they are young and unburdened my marriage or children. We should teach them that sometimes it's scary or painful, but their own dreams, educations, careers and experiences deserve pursuit.
By the way, my parents did tell me not to stay for him. But, I wouldn't/couldn't hear them.
I entered this column on Weary Parent as part of a blogging contest. The theme: "I want to know what advice your parents or another influential adult gave you as a teen that you took to heart. It can be funny. It can be serious. It can be a list, a story, a confession - be creative! Just keep it tasteful - this is a family-oriented site."