Ambition is contagious in an all-girl environment
My daughter found her niche and is flourishing
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.