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.