Raising A Girl Child (2)


By Aidy Thomas

The debate going on about the differences between a boy and a girl, and ways to handle them has thrown many parents into confusion as they are unable to get a straight answer to who  their children really are and what is acceptable/enjoyable to them.

Putting a cap on what should be a girl’s play or boy’s exclusive can sometimes lead to limiting the potentials of these innocent beings. It’s a general opinion that the tools’ box toys should go to a boy while the girl is stuck with her cooking utensils collection, and the beauty set. Then you ask yourself; was man created for creativity and women for home and looks alone? Yes you can argue about how a woman can be creative with her cooking, decoration and more but at the same time, you secretly accept that there has been a subtle marginalisation in self expression – what should we really blame it on? Is it culture, tradition, values, education, psychology, fear, love or outright ignorance?   

Honestly speaking, a little bit of knowledge here and there should not peel anyone’s skin. It would be fun to have your daughter change light bulbs if they went bad and your son to ask for a hand cream in his school bag. This removes the stereotyped expectations from view.

Being able to bring a blend to life is so colourful and relaxing that the people who are not able to, naturally know they are missing some pieces. A mix of skills and enlightenment for a young girl will make her more confident than being ‘totally dependent’ on her husband. Having a male figure is lovely but allowing your entire existence to hang on their rescue might be a little too silly for comfort.

Eleanor says… “I was so engrossed in my fantasy of being a wife, mum and home-keeper that nothing else mattered much. Finishing college was just by compulsion and as soon as I had the freedom to make my own decisions, I opted for motherhood. How this happened is still a mystery to me till date because I was not telling any man about my dreams; or could my body language had done the job? Who knows? But the amazing thing was that I got married and settled early into family life.

Having five children in very quick succession was no fun but I had to accept it was the right path for every woman who wanted true happiness. Sooner than expected, the happiness I envisaged eluded me; I was ‘out of beat’ with life itself. All my life revolved around feeding, cleaning and caring for my family; there was even no sufficient time to watch telly, have dates with my husband or just sit quietly to unwind.

The hardest part hit me when I saw my old classmate while shopping in the supermarket. I asked if the four children (two boys and two girls) walking with her were for her elder sister, she smiled and admitted being their mum. The way she was dressed made it obvious she was returning from work and she further confirmed that when she told me they (husband and her) had to work at different times just to accommodate their child care demand.

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I felt really foolish for thinking being a mum meant dropping your own ambition but would you blame me? My mum never bothered about higher education and never talked to me about future ambition- what a shame”.

Note that……

The personality of a mother affect/influence children greatly: After a child had spent his/her first nine months of live in your womb, it’s only natural that a strong bond would exist. You are the first nurse, teacher, friend and possibly enemy. The way you act and react will be just what they would learn and model after. Women who have grown and now own their nuclear families openly confess to doing things most times the way their mum used to do. They also confess to reacting and using the same voice tone – even when they did not like it then. If a mother is calm and stable, she is likely to have calm and stable children but a restless one can never tell her stories well.

Values and virtues: Call it norm, culture or anything that best suits you; there should be a conscious effort to impart standards and acceptable behavioural patterns in young ones- they are the next generation. If nothing is taught, nothing should be expected. This is where I have a bit of a challenge because values have been dampened by ‘political correctness’. I still believe good/reasonable parents and guardians know what paths to guide a child. But when political correctness claims a child has a mind of her own and should be allowed to do whatever she chooses, there is a clear danger sign and little wonder why the society is this way? Don’t be afraid to teach your child what you believe because what you teach will stick.

Beyond looks: The first impression of being a girl should go beyond ‘striking a pose’. Your daughter will naturally grow up to be conscious of her body and looks but a woman without brain has no real respect. Encourage her to be successful in her chosen field by pointing her to successful female mentors. Let her know the difference between the real woman and a super-model who lives in a dream world. It would be nice for you to tell her that the popular saying “use what you have to get what you want” refers to ‘intelligence’ not ‘sexuality’. Take time to celebrate her uniqueness; how detailed she is, being kind hearted and caring for other people – these are qualities of real women

Humility or Timidity: A girl child sometimes gets so battered that she forgets to fight out her destiny. Giving in to difficult situations and people has nothing to do with being humble; a timid mind can only make you bitter in a long run.

Power to say no: One thing destroying a child is when she feels vulnerable to the people around her. She should be taught how to exercise ownership of her body- she should only relate with a man that suits her person rather than being forced or manipulated to accept a bully for a lover.

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