Posts tagged #teenage girl

Lady Bird the Best Movie of 2017

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The recently released movie 'Lady Bird' is a delightful coming-of-age movie that I can't recommend highly enough. I actually saw it during the Toronto International Film Festival at the end of the summer with my entire family; my husband, two grown daughters (19 & 24) and my 21-year-old son - and we all adored it, which is really saying something.  

It is a refreshing tale of a strong-willed, though slightly confused and sometimes misguided  young woman played with startling depth and compassion by Saoirse Ronan.

Question - isn't every teenager confused and misguided? Isn't that why coming-of-age tales are verdant terrain for literature and movies? For this reason, we can empathize and relate and generally wish for a positive outcome as we were all once in that difficult stage between childhood and adulthood.

Lady Bird* is the name that the main character has given herself for no explicable reason except her given name of Christine McPherson seems too normal and lame to embody her wild and willful persona. 

Greta Gerwig wrote the screenplay and this is her first foray into directing a feature film. Previously she has written and produced Mistress America and acted in Maggie's Plan and 20th Century Women among others. She should be immensely proud and consider this charming picture a total triumph. I'm not the only one who thinks so. The movie has scored 100% from RottenTomatoes critics and 91% from audience members. 

The setting is Sacramento, California circa 2002 and main plot points revolve around Lady Bird's relationships; with her friends and family but mostly with herself, as she struggles to complete her last year of high school and create a future for herself that excites her. 

Lady Bird and her mother (as played by Laurie Metcalfe) have a fractious relationship.

Lady Bird and her mother (as played by Laurie Metcalfe) have a fractious relationship.

The movie opened this past weekend in limited release and will roll out in more theatres  over the next little while. According to Jezebel, it broke box office records and that fills my heart with hope that maybe Hollywood is finally realizing that female centric movies, and those made by women, are not only good for the soul but also good for business as they appeal to so many of us eager for some portrayals of women as fully rounded and capable humans.

Here's an empowering quote from Ms. Gerwig in the current Bust magazine on whose cover she graces.

"I like writing about women in relation to other women -  mothers and daughters, friends, sisters, mentors, employees and employers, et cetera - because men don't know what women do when they aren't there. These are powerful, complicated, rich relationships that deserve their own place in the collection of stories we tell ourselves about what it means to be human ." 

We are not powerless and oftentimes our power lies in our wallet.  I encourage you to spend your precious time and money on this sweet movie experience. If you like movies and stories that are heavy on character and truth and humour, I can confidently say you will enjoy this little gem. 

*Have you ever given yourself a different name? If you have, what is it, and if you haven't but did, what would it be? Mine is groovymamma. 

Labour Day Love

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It's back to school, back to learning, back to business time. 

As much as I'm sorry to see the summer go, there's a lot of appeal for me in the world going back to work after a lovely and sunny summer. I like the changing of the seasons and am forever grateful I live in the north where all four seasons are equally present and charming. 

I reckon I might as well embrace the change because it's happening whether I do or not. There's no sense in fighting the inevitable. (I feel the same way about aging, but that's for another time.)

The changing of the seasons transpires within a woman's body as surely as it does in the rest of Mother Nature.

Should you happen to be fortunate enough to have prepubescent and adolescent biologically female girls in your life, please be sure to celebrate her seasons as positively as you do the elements and bounty of the earth.

A girl's sense of worth and acceptance and love comes from many avenues, yours being one. Own that space you hold in her life and honour her womanhood and the changes she is going through on her journey there. Be absolute in your respect of her body. Insist she does the same. 

Talk. Talk. Talk. Ask her questions and give her the opportunity to ask you a few. It takes a village and wasting a chance to help a young woman navigate the bridge between childhood and womanhood is regrettable. Don't regret this chance you have!

Please talk with her.

There is hardly ever a "perfect" time to have "the talk" but make a time that is good. When it's just the two of you, and no rushing around is required. Maybe you're her aunt or sister or friend and it's not your place for "the talk" but let's face it, it's not just one talk; it's many talks held over the course of a lifetime before we even come close to understanding all that it means to be a woman.

Try telling her a story about some embarrassing moment you found yourself in when you were her age. Show her by laughing as to it's unimportance in the grand scheme of your one and only beautiful life and remind her that the same will be true for her.  Life is a story of joy, with bits of drama and tragedy and comedy thrown in here and there to bring balance. A life with no setbacks or lessons isn't a real life. We must live and go about doing things and meeting people and taking action, and those things will always have ramifications. That's why we do them. Problem is, sometimes the reaction of others is negative and harmful and not we anticipated. That is when we learn and grow stronger. Like the old saying "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." We learn to not trust some people with our secrets, to learn who is a true friend and who is only pretending, who is dishonest, who steals. For sure there are battles to be fought all lifelong but it's nothing she can't handle. She's smart and brave and shall be victorious! 

The beginning of a new school year is an ideal time to reconnect and reevaluate and make plans for the future. Help her do this. Accentuate her talents and lovingly help plan a strategy to overcome her weaknesses. 

I think one element of being open to and squeezing as much enjoyment from life is not harbouring shame. Shame is a shield and drains such a lot of energy and is definitely not required so kick that particular quality to the curb with vehemence! 

Advise her it's best to stop with judgements all together, both friends, strangers and with yourself. 

Emphasize to her that of all the people in her life she should try to please, she herself is the number one the list. May she never ever forget that. The loudest voice in her head should be her own. Whenever it starts to fade, she must change something. The person whose voice is now the loudest perhaps has too much control over her. She ought to look into that and make changes. It is not serving her best interests if someone else is in the driver's seat of her life.

Life is too short to be wishy washy. Mean yes when you say yes, and no when you say no. 

Don't be afraid to make a decision. Like my wise dad said:

“There are no right decisions. It’s up to you to make the decision right.” 
— David Howard

Do your absolute best to assist her in going back to school with her head high, her heart open, her spine strong and her outlook hopeful. 

Posted on September 5, 2017 .

An Education on the Lack of Menstrual Cycle Education

I know a bit about periods and how to use pads and tampons and that the fact that since I get my period means I could get pregnant if I have sex but that's really it. I do go to a Catholic school so I'm not sure if that has to do with the lack of information. I know nothing about the changing moods and this PMS you're talking about or what happens at ovulation.