Campbell Fiver Family Network

Girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice...

Little Ella glances at her mother’s face and stops. She was hot on the path to the forbidden bookcase to take another of daddy’s books out—a new favourite game. However, her mother’s mere expression stopped her. According to Louann Brizendine’s “The Female Brain,” Ella is typical of two year old girls. She picks up cues from mere facial expression that her male cousin Frederick utterly ignores. Brizendine explains that because girl’s in utero brains are not marinated in testosterone their communication and emotion centres are left intact. They are born with brains that mature faster and more quickly attain a heightened emotional awareness. This awareness can make a mother’s job both easier and harder. On the one hand, little girls might be more willing to comply with a mother’s wishes, but at the same time they are more susceptible to a mother’s fears and stresses. A mother who gasps in fright upon seeing her daughter totter at the top of a tall slide runs the risk of arousing like feelings in her little girl. To raise adventurous girls who happily explore their environment, Brizendine recommends mother’s reign in that maternal caution. Express pride and pleasure in a daughter’s bold spirited play, Brizendine suggests. This show of support will give your daughter the affirmation she needs to test her physical limits--to climb, jump and rough house as she is inclined. Over time this little girl will develop a willingness to tackle physically demanding tasks. The girl who once clambered over slides and jungle gyms will soon race for the soccer ball, ski snowy slopes, and belay her friend down rock walls. Chances are her mother will STILL be in need of Brizendine’s advice: and find herself closely monitoring her facial expressions!
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Lisa Scalapino teaches Child Development at Vancouver Island University. She is also a part-time School Psychologist and Educational Consultant. Questions? You can reach Lisa at '; // -->
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