Am­bi­tion is con­ta­gious in an all-girl en­vi­ron­ment

My daugh­ter found her niche and is flour­ish­ing

The Kids Post - - Private School Life - RE­BECCA ECK­LER Post City Mag­a­zines’ colum­nist Re­becca Eck­ler is the au­thor of Knocked Up, Wiped!, and her lat­est books, How to Raise a Boyfriend and The Lucky Sperm Club. by Re­becca Eck­ler

The motto of my daugh­ter’s school is “Girls can do any­thing.” It’s a medi­ocre, though true, slo­gan but per­son­ally, I pre­fer, “Girls rule! Boys drool!”

I love that my daugh­ter goes to an all-girls school. It might not be for ev­ery­one, but it works for us.

I found, even from her early age at preschool, boys just got in the way. There was the boy who kept pulling her hair and pinch­ing her. It’s hard to ex­plain to a two-yearold that, “It’s be­cause he likes you!” You can only go there so of­ten.

A year later, my daugh­ter at­tended a coed pri­vate school on Bloor Street. Again, I found that boys just got in the way.

Even in Grade 2, the chil­dren were start­ing to have boyfriends and girl­friends. They didn’t ac­tu­ally in­ter­act, but my daugh­ter would tell me what boy liked what girl and what girl liked what boy.

My daugh­ter also told me her boyfriend was Tom. I was pretty im­pressed be­cause Tom was one of the smarter and well-be­haved boys in the class.

“He just likes me.” My daugh­ter gig­gled. I told her that was nice and then asked, “Do you know how to spell the words ‘not im­por­tant at this age’?”

So I was thrilled when my daugh­ter was ac­cepted to an all­girls school. She had to do an in­ter­view, by her­self, with an ad­min­is­tra­tor. When she came out, she told me she sang “Twin­kle Twin­kle Lit­tle Star” in Man­darin (which she learned at her pre­vi­ous school) and that she al­ways wanted to go to China. Who knew?

I was im­pressed from the minute I took the first tour and saw a group of girls in Grade 5 mak­ing a ro­bot. Yes, a ro­bot, with wires and bat­ter­ies. For the first time I ac­tu­ally thought, “Oh my God. My daugh­ter could ac­tu­ally be an as­tro­naut and I can’t even change a stupid light bulb!”

I now un­der­stand how much an all-girls school could af­fect my daugh­ter in the long run. I al­ways leave the school feel­ing re­ally em­pow­ered, see­ing the girls study af­ter school or play­ing teth­erball.

My daugh­ter is now en­ter­ing Grade 5 and not once in the three years she has been there have I heard her men­tion any­thing about boys. Mean­while, friends who have daugh­ters are al­ready talk­ing to boys at age 10 on the phone and wor­ry­ing about how they look. My daugh­ter wears a uni­form. She does not need to dress to im­press boys.

Some peo­ple have told me that they know girls who have gone to any num­ber of the all-girls schools and they have so­cial is­sues with the op­po­site gender later in life, as if they don’t know how to com­mu­ni­cate/flirt/talk to boys.

Sadly, too, I’ve heard that some of the girls that go the all-girls pri­vate schools re­ally let, um, loose when they get older, as if they’ve never had a piece of cho­co­late be­fore and sud­denly they are in a candy store, but with boys.

I think par­ents have a lot to do with teach­ing kids about the op­po­site sex. My daugh­ter wants to be an ac­tor when she grows up and a doc­tor. At her school they have this ad cam­paign that is noth­ing short of bril­liant. They have posters up across the school with for­mer stu­dents who are ac­tu­ally both doc­tors and clas­si­cal pi­anists who have even put out records.

It turns out that you can be both, and as I sit here, I won­der, if I had gone to her school, if I could have been a writer while find­ing a cure for can­cer.

I asked one of my daugh­ter’s friends once what she wanted to be when she grew up and she an­swered, “A sci­en­tist who can fig­ure out which kind of chemo­ther­apy works for cer­tain can­cers.”

Of course I re­acted with a blank stare. She was eight! And there is noth­ing to get in the way of these girls’ am­bi­tion. And am­bi­tion is con­ta­gious.

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