Here's What We Need To Stop Telling Our Daughters

Here's What We Need To Stop Telling Our Daughters

Love is not a shove.
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Still today, I can so vividly remember being a little girl as carefree as I could be. Boys were just as much of a mystery to me then as they are now. I remember fighting with them on the playground and being terrified of catching their cooties. I also remember coming home one day from school after a boy had pushed me down on the playground. I was headstrong and stubborn (and still am), and I remember being so upset that he had pushed me. I couldn't understand why. When I got home that day I told my mom all about it. Her response was this:

"Don't worry, when boys hit you or mess with you, it usually means they like you."

I was perplexed by this. If he liked me so much, why would he want to hurt me? It just didn't make much sense. I found though, that because my mom had told me that, that was what I knew as the truth.

From then on, every time a boy was mean to me, or hurt my feelings, or shoved me, I thought that he must just like me. I looked at abuse and saw love. I know labeling a little boy pushing a little girl on the playground as abuse is a bit drastic, but hear me out.

We have to stop teaching our daughters that affection should come in pushes, shoves and degrading comments. We have to stop teaching our daughters that it's okay to let a boy call you a name if he likes you. We have to stop teaching our daughters that they have to settle for less; that they have to settle for anything less than what they're worth.

I am in no way trying to bash my mom because my mom is the best. I am simply pointing out a problem that we need to address sooner rather than later. As I was growing up, I found myself telling little girls I knew or would babysit the same thing. It's what we've been taught and it seems harmless at first.

But, these little girls grow up to be women. These little girls that are taught that abuse is synonymous to love grow up to be women that believe abuse and control are synonymous to love. They are taught to accept less than they deserve from boys who are taught that this behavior is okay through our acceptance of it.

There are so many toxic relationships in all generations but especially mine. I am so tired of seeing girls take emotional and physical abuse from guys who say it's because they care. Please know this is never an excuse for a man to make you feel worthless or lay his hands on you; it is not because he cares. It's the opposite.


It's time to stop teaching our daughters that boys who hit you care about you, and it's time to start teaching our daughters that boys that value you would never want to bring you harm in any way. It's time to teach our daughters to be fearless and independent and to always stand up for themselves in every aspect of life.

Cover Image Credit: google images

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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What Rescuing a Dog Taught Me About My Future

She was a real pain to begin with, but I wouldn't give her up for the world now.

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My first dog came from a breeder to us when he was just a puppy. I was in third grade so we were both young together. I remember stepping off of the bus and seeing him curled up in my mom's arms. His breed, a Cavalier King Charles, is a highly sought after dog for their small size and beautiful markings. However, dog breeding can lead to medical complications down the line. Heart murmurs are very frequent as cavaliers get older. When he turned 9 years old, they were already detecting the beginning of a heart murmur in him. But my second dog didn't come to us in quite the same way.

Willow was about a year old. She was rescued from an abusive home where she had to fight for her food from many other dogs. This made her guard resources and distrustful of us. My mom and I begged the rest of our family for the ability to adopt her, and they finally agreed. Being not potty trained, we had to teach her with a lot of positive encouragement when she went pee in the right place (not our carpet). It took her a while to realize that we weren't going to take her food away and she gradually became less resource guarding. She started to trust my other dog more and play with him. A lot of the time, they even snuggle together now.

At the time, I was in my junior year of high school and still thinking about the idea of becoming a veterinarian. She helped me decide to go for it, and now I'm in college and getting ready to apply for veterinary school. Willow has become part of our family, and her funny and unique personality fit right in with us.

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