The following is an edited chat transcript with JoAnn
Deak which took place in August 2002 at WrittenVoices.com.
Reproduced by permission of WrittenVoices.com.
birdlady33 : Where do parents draw the line when trying
to introduce/suggest new activities/interests to children? When do they reach
the point where children begin to perceive the suggestion as pressure?
JoAnn Deak : As long as it isn't pressure...
JoAnn Deak : It's all in the quantity of times you say
it and your tone of voice.
birdlady33 : So suggest it once and then let it go?
sam : But sometimes the pressure comes from school and
JoAnn Deak : It's important to 'taste' several things
when you're young
Rusty : JoAnn, should you treat a girl who is
particularly tomboyish any special way? Encourage/discourage her interests in
boyish types ofplay?
Leslie : Do you basically feel your child be the guide
for your parenting?
JoAnn Deak : but not eat everything on the smorgasbord!
Leslie : Can the parents be too soft though?
JoAnn Deak : Have you read the teeter totter theory of
birdlady33 : or end up being doormats?
sam : no, can you tell us about it?
Leslie : What is that theory?
JoAnn Deak : Health is in the middle...
JoAnn Deak : Not too soft, not too tough
cornelius : You talk about losing your father and the
subsequent impact that had on your self image and esteem. Is this an inportant
role for fathers, to encourage this?
JoAnn Deak : Teeter totter says...
Vicky : What about a child that is uninterested in
JoAnn Deak : If someone is very sensitive, talk softly,
if another child is not very sensitive, talk louder! metaphorically.
birdlady33 : Good question Vicky.
JoAnn Deak : Fathers seem to have extraordinary impact
JoAnn Deak : Research is surprisingly strong in this
birdlady33 : More so than a mom's impact?
JoAnn Deak : One word from dad seems to equal 100 from
JoAnn Deak : Sorry!
JoAnn Deak : You can think of reasons why...
sam : wow, that's amazing. I've been doing way too much
cornelius : I haven't gotten too far into your book yet.
Does it cover the father influence?
birdlady33 : I'd agree with that... even now that I'm in
Leslie : That's interesting... aren't most fathers less
involved in parenting, especially with daughters?
JoAnn Deak : Way to complicated to discuss all...
cornelius : So I can say even less now? :)
JoAnn Deak : Its not related to total time spent with
sam : Are there particular ages when a dad has more
JoAnn Deak : No, KEEP TALKING
JoAnn Deak : All ages, but she reacts differently and
there are different issues at diff. ages...
JoAnn Deak : Like when her body is changing
birdlady33 : Is it related to the fact that a father is
usually the disciplinarian?
JoAnn Deak : or in early childhood with exploring and
sam : or is their approval more important?
JoAnn Deak : No, not related to disciplinarian..
JoAnn Deak : That is one suggested reason...
Leslie : I'm a single mom. What kind of impact will that
have on my daughter then?
JoAnn Deak : You can have a great impact
JoAnn Deak : But
JoAnn Deak : I suggest you make sure she spends time
with adult males
JoAnn Deak : who help her see what men are like
birdlady33 : Should a child have some type of father
figure in their life though? whether it be a family friend, cousin, uncle..
JoAnn Deak : and react to her differently than you.
JoAnn Deak : Yes
Leslie : Thanks. She has uncles that she spends time
birdlady33 : How do I tell a friend who is constantly
hovering over her 5-year-old daughter to back off a little without criticizing
her parenting skills?? She didn't act this way with her son.
JoAnn Deak : give her a copy of GIRLS WILL BE GIRLS, the
whole book is about that, and more!
birdlady33 : Her daughter reacts to her hovering by
overreacting to every little thing and going into hysterics.
Jules : I know this is a simple and tough question, but
what is the biggest mistake parents make?
JoAnn Deak : everyone who has read it stops hovering.
birdlady33 : good idea! :)
JoAnn Deak : Hard...
JoAnn Deak : Probably...
JoAnn Deak : I'm stalling...
JoAnn Deak : What do you think?
Jules : I understand
JoAnn Deak : One is hovering
birdlady33 : hovering!
JoAnn Deak : with boys, its different
Rusty : Pushing them to do too much when they're young.
JoAnn Deak : another has to do with looks
barbara : At young ages, say 6-9, is it possible to be
too over-protective? Is it damaging?
JoAnn Deak : girls are not pushed as hard
birdlady33 : how about pushing them to be tough and/or
macho when they may be a little more sensitivie than the average boy?
JoAnn Deak : Over protection is a big problem...
barbara : girls are not pushed too hard unless you have
Jules : Well, I think not showing respect for their
emotions - at any age.
JoAnn Deak : and has long lasting effects.
birdlady33 : I see that a lot with my friends' husbands
who have sons.
Leslie : Do you think most parents don't expect as much
from their daughters?
Jules : Tell me more about over protectiveness, why is
Vicky : Do you think social issues that girls face today
have changed or basically stayed the same since you were a child?
JoAnn Deak : I agree with that...
JoAnn Deak : Social... getting harder and worse and at an earlier age
birdlady33 : Just like Dora, the 12th grader said
Jules : BTW, JoAnn, you are doing a great job. I really appreciate your time.
JoAnn Deak : Thanks, Hard to keep up, good group!
Vicky : How can parents relate better to what their kids
Rusty : JoAnn, My Niece is 6 and is a very rough and
tumble tomboy kind of girl. My sister isn't sure whether to encourage or
discourage her at some point.
birdlady33 : Take your time, we're not going anywhere.
JoAnn Deak : Set aside time at night...
JoAnn Deak : not right after school
JoAnn Deak : tuck in time is best
JoAnn Deak : Say...
JoAnn Deak : sometimes I forget what its like to be your
desigrrl : bedtime is a great time to bond
JoAnn Deak : could you tell me what your day was like...
JoAnn Deak : how it feels to be in - grade?
JoAnn Deak : What's hard, what's easy...
desigrrl : my daughters open up most at bedtime
JoAnn Deak : Make the conversation not always about
JoAnn Deak : TUCK IN TIME should happen every niight!
birdlady33 : JoAnn, do you have any daughters?
barbara : Already at 6 or 7 they seem to not want to
share everything with you.
JoAnn Deak : The cortex and emotional centers are
Vicky : Good advice. My daughters love gabbing before
JoAnn Deak : Barb- I agree, but
JoAnn Deak : don
JoAnn Deak : don't try to pry details...
JoAnn Deak : OK
desigrrl : getting back to over protection. What do you
barbara : opened ended questions? That's when they
answer with one word -- usually "OK"
desigrrl : Is it discussed in the book?
JoAnn Deak : Doing something for your daughter that she
JoAnn Deak : Not letting her take risks
JoAnn Deak : send her to Outward Bound!
JoAnn Deak : It is very discussed in the book
desigrrl : that risk taking behavior is hard for me to
allow and watch.
barbara : Outward Bound??!! I don't think so.
WVHost : Folks, we'll be wrapping up the chat in about 5
minutes. Get your questions for Joann in there.
JoAnn Deak : I know, it is scary for parents to let kids
JoAnn Deak : but girls who don't do as well...
JoAnn Deak : I was asked to write a book called...
desigrrl : risk is subjective, isn't it?
barbara : At what age is over protectiveness most
JoAnn Deak : every girl should have a least one bloody
JoAnn Deak : barb- all ages
birdlady33 : I agree!
JoAnn Deak : Esp. young: sets the attitude...
barbara : At what age can it not be reversed?
JoAnn Deak : Every year a child lives with protection,
it becomes harder and harder...
birdlady33 : can it ever be reversed?
JoAnn Deak : The older they are, the more dramatic the
steps needed to change it...
desigrrl : This was a great opportunity. Thanks Written
\voices. And thank you very much JoAnn.
JoAnn Deak : That's why I'm such a fan of programs like
JoAnn Deak : Thanks!
desigrrl : I'm buying two more books for my friends.
birdlady33 : thanks you JoAnn!
JoAnn Deak : Good bye, tell thousands of friends...
Jules : great chat, all. thanks
Vicky : Thanks for chatting!