Sunday, March 20, 2016

Dandelion or Orchid?

I'm reading The New Puberty: How to Navigate Early Development in Today's Girls. My daughter is turning nine in a few months, and while nothing puberty-ish seems to be happening yet, I feel like I should have an idea about what's coming next in her life so I can help guide her through it as best as I can. It is eye-opening and interesting, and I'm learning a lot.

But what jumped out at me yesterday was the idea of kids being either dandelions or orchids.

That's right. The authors stated that stress can be an indicator for whether or not will begin menstruation early. It depends on how she reacts to stress. Is she sensitive to it or is she resilient in the face of it?

Scientists found that children who are physically or emotionally abused early in life have an anxious, aggressive reaction to stress later in life. If children come from a warm, supportive situation in their early life, they tend to have a resilient, successful reaction to stress.

Am I a dandelion or an orchid?

A fancy orchid, balancing its delicate blooms might be the epitome of the word "fragile." Don't water it too much! Make sure you get the care of it just right or else it will wilt and die. Don't you dare go to another flower to pay attention to it for a second!

The image of the stubborn, stalwart dandelion still stuck into the Earth, shining its bright yellow up at the sun and trees, as if yelling, "I'M STILL HERE!" has me smiling. A dandelion is not a fancy flower. Most would classify it as a weed. It is robust; it grows anywhere, and sometimes in places you don't expect it: sidewalk cracks and driveway beds, smack in the middle of the yard and in left field.

Yup, I'm a dandelion. And proud.

Link to an interesting article about kids and stress and this theory I reference.

Link to one of my favorite children's books, Dandelion by Don Freeman.


11 comments:

  1. This is such an interesting post with much to ponder. Orchid or dandelion? Hmmm...I especially like the image you paint of a dandelion, firmly planted, and yelling "I'M STILL HERE!" Thanks for sharing the links and your ideas about this book.

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  2. This is such an interesting post with much to ponder. Orchid or dandelion? Hmmm...I especially like the image you paint of a dandelion, firmly planted, and yelling "I'M STILL HERE!" Thanks for sharing the links and your ideas about this book.

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  3. Stress, and our resilience to it, are so crucial to how we experience the world, and your daughter is right at the age where you really do need to be noticing how she is. The social elements will soon come into play, if not already. I think both dandelions and orchids have distinct beauty of their own.
    :)
    Kevin

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    1. I think that's really important for me to read and "get"--that they each have a beauty to offer their surroundings. Thanks...!

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  4. I love this idea of being an orchid or a dandelion. I think I'm a dandelion for sure!

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  5. I would also recommend the American Girl book, "The Care and Keeping of You." It helped both my daughter and me when she was that age.

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  6. I had never thought about dandelions in this way: strong and determined. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. I love this metaphor. Dandelions unite! Thanks for the good read!

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  8. It's a good thing you're preparing ahead. So many young girls are surprised when changes happen. A friend of mine who keeps bees says we should leave the dandelions alone in early spring. They're the first food for bees! So now you know another important aspect of them. Determined they are for sure!

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  9. This post was not what I expected from the title. I am so glad you see yourself as a dandelion. Here's an entire blog from a best friend who sees this world in a similar way : http://jonlocker.com/alilocker/blog/?page_id=392

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  10. Dandelions or orchids...I would never have thought to find those comparisons in a book about puberty! I hope your daughter has a smooth transition into adulthood. She's fortunate to have a mom who's helping her along the way.

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