Today, "Jane", who enthusiastically practices self-responsibility, shared something she wrote.  Her inspiration was a recent conversation with a woman friend whose adult children are all caught up in romantic-relationship drama and dysfunction.  The high points?  Her friend's daughter is a single mother of three preschool children and is not in relationship with any of her children's fathers.  Her son admits to battering women.  With "Jane's" permission, I pass along School for Girls.

School for Girls


Don't get pregnant.

Learn how your body works so you can keep from getting pregnant.

Don't have sex until you're good and ready and informed and on birth control.  And even then, wait a year.

Respect yourself.

Learn how to make good choices.

Learn from your mistakes.

Learn to say no.

Take responsibility for your life and your actions and your choices.

Learn to spend time by yourself.

If you feel a burning need to nurture something, start with a houseplant or a cat and move up from there.

Be loyal to those who deserve your loyalty.

Separate yourself from those who mistreat you.

Don't let men dictate your life.  At home, at school, at work, at church.  Anywhere.

Be independent.

Don't get married until you're good and ready and have found someone who treats you with love and respect, most of all respect.  And even then, wait a year.

Don't get pregnant until you're good and ready and have a good job and some money put aside and a good support system.  And even then, wait a year.

Work hard and earn your own money.  Always have your own money.

Learn something new every day.  Knowledge is power.

What about the boys?

School for Girls reminds me of the famous poem, If..., written for boys in 1895 by Rudyard Kipling.  You've probably heard parts of it.  Especially, the beginning - "If you can keep your head when all about you/Are losing theirs and blaming it on you..." and the end - "Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,/And -which is more - you'll be a Man my son!"

Restraint and integrity

When clients are in crisis, I offer a simple "mantra" - restraint and integrity - as a reminder of the principles of self-responsibility.  "Restraint and integrity" is a reminder to take command of our negative emotions and to manage our expectations and insecurities.  The call for restraint and integrity is clear in both If... and School for Girls. 

Thank you, "Jane."  


For more about the book, visit 

About the Author

Christine Meinecke, Ph.D.

Christine Meinecke, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and author of Everybody Marries the Wrong Person.

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