The reason behind “No to girl child” has changed drastically. Earlier, people did not want to have a girl child as they were being considered a big responsibility to the family. However, nowadays, people fear of having a girl child because of the increased crime rate against women or even the little girls. Today’s generation is becoming more sensitive towards the birth of a girl child, and many have understood that a girl is no less than a boy’ and they are equally strong. But still, no to girl child prevails in many parts of the country and you won’t believe, some of the educated people like us don’t want to have a girl child only because of the fear of their safety in today’s world.
Are we Responsible?
I myself have heard pregnant parents saying the same thing, that they don’t discriminate between the gender, but their only fear about girl child is their safety. So, are we guys going in the right direction? Aren’t we the people who are giving the reason for such fears to the new parents? Yes, of course, we are. Or if I rightly say, either our laws or the company our kids engaged in or maybe our incomplete teachings to our Daughters and Sons.
When I was pregnant, I had the same fear, and I used to think a lot about the child I am going to give birth to. And that was the time when I thought if I have a daughter, I am going to teach her below things. Since God has another plan for me, he blessed me with a Son.
So, here in this blog, I am going to share those lessons (not only about the safety but overall as a person) that every mother or every parent should teach their daughters because girls, unfortunately, are the targets of physical and sexual abuse. I have already written one blog on the teachings; a parent should provide to their sons, which you can read here.
The first and foremost thing, we should enrol our daughters in – A martial arts course.
Physical fitness is not only good for health; it is also good to live your life without any fear. Why Martial arts or Karate or any such class? I got to understand this when I joined the course myself. And frankly, it helped a lot because physical training provides anyone with self-esteem and self-confidence. Confidence to stand for ourselves in challenging situations.
Such training courses teach you the technique to defend yourself and the mindset to do so in any case. So, If we are already aware that we do not need any other person for our defence, and we can push ourselves harder, then we can happily live life on our terms. So, I highly recommend every parent to enrol your child in such classes as soon as you can. And not only girls, but we should enrol our boys as well.
Everything Starts from Home
As they say, first teachers are the parents. So, first teaching will start at home only. Because your daughter sees you and you are her role model, you should see yourself first. Where do you stand firm, and where do you bend? If you are bending unnecessary and not taking a stand for yourself, your girl will be learning the same. Do you have both boy and girl, and you discriminate between them in any way? If yes, leave it right away.
Encourage your girl always to feel comfortable in talking to you about anything, especially if it involves another adult. Teach them about their body and teaching the correct names of the private parts is equally essential because sometimes, using other words misses the disclosure of the abuse.
Teach them; No means No.
Saying No is not a crime. So teach your girl about her choices and why saying No is not wrong. Teach them that they have the right to say no when they feel any unwelcomed behaviour of anyone, even it involves any relatives or a family member, for that matter.
And the important thing is that there is no rule of saying ‘NO’. Just say it out loud with your actions and eyes. Say it however and whenever you want. Say it when you are being judged or disrespected. Say it when you are not getting treated the way you deserve and say it when someone touches you in a way you don’t want to be touched. Just say it in a way that the other person hears it loud and very clear.
Periods are a process, not a taboo.
We should talk about the periods freely in front of our children; be it a boy or a girl. Time has changed, and your girl should not feel awkward about it. As a parent, it is your responsibility to keep periods from becoming a taboo topic by talking about it without embarrassment. When I speak about other countries, sex too is not a taboo topic and parents talk about it freely with their children. Being an Indian, I would say, it should entirely depend on the family values.
Teach her to love her body irrespective of any flaws because there are none!
Tell her that her parents love her the way she is. And she doesn’t need to change for anyone. Even if she wants to change for any other person, then that person should be herself. Because what matters is how she feels for herself and what she wants to achieve. Most importantly, teach her that she should not ever try to convince anyone of her worth. If they are not confident about you all on their own, they do not deserve her.
Don’t let her compare herself with anyone else, especially boys.
Tell her that she has her own strengths and weaknesses. Every person is different, and everyone has their talents. Make her believe that you are with her always, no matter what happens. Make her believe that you will help her in fulfilling her dreams, and there is nothing which anyone else or boys can do and she cannot. Tell her she is no less than anything, anyone. And she is the best of all. Also tell her that she is comparing her weaknesses with anyone else, not her strengths.
As a parent, your responsibility is to notify the behaviour change in your girl.
If you notice any change in the behaviour of your girl, instead of asking directly, what happened, try to involve her into a friendly conversation and don’t be a judgemental. Build a healthy relationship of your child with you and your partner is very important, so your child is comfortable in talking and pouring her heart out to you. Try to be an active listener always, and encourage open communication at home. You should also notice how, when and whom your child is spending time with.
Tell her to trust her instincts.
Tell her to let someone know if she feels she is getting stalked. Possibly, it is her illusion, or maybe it is happening in reality, whatever it is, if she feels so, she has the right to stay safe, and she should do whatever she wants to keep herself safe. If she wants help, she can ask for it without thinking, ‘Log kya kahenge’ because safety is her priority. It is always okay to stand up for herself.
Her clothes are never wrong.
Tell her that clothes are irrelevant to her abilities. And she should be comfortable in each and everything she wears. What more important is, to get dressed for herself, not for anyone else. If she is comfortable wearing anything, it’s her choice, and she should not label it as a socialisation process. It will be a personal issue if you keep wearing shorts and pulling it down because you are uncomfortable in it. So never bow down to socialisation. It’s your life, your clothes and there should be your choice, that matters.
Talk about the differences between online and the real world.
Create a healthy relationship by talking more and more and then tells that the online world is not the real world. And she should not feel insecure about other girls, peers, her friends, their boyfriends, or what they show, what they wear or what they do. Make sure that she spends more time with you rather than her online circle. Make rules of No phones during meals or bedtime.
Last but the important note
The most important thing to tell your daughter is that you are with her, always. You have a home with her, no matter what. Moreover, she should have faith in you more than anything else. Always tell her, “TRUST BUT VERIFY”.