Every year October 11is observed as International Day of the Girl Child. All the developed nations have accepted the importance of the girl child is imperative for all-round progress, sustainable prosperity, political stability, sound economic growth, and security about the future. How a nation can attain the above-said points by ignoring the importance of the girl child. It is a trivial effort to highlight the importance of girl child in the land of pure.
Gender stereotypes exist in all cultures, conveyed through media messages, television, music, religious and cultural institutions, and even toys. Parents convey expectations of gender role conformity starting in infancy. They hold gender-typed expectations of their sons and daughters in the first 24 hours following birth.
These points will help to get on the right track.
Think beyond “pretty”
Since the birth of a girl child strictly stop complimenting your daughter on her body posture and discourage friends and family who do so too. Try to focus on her creative qualities and encourage them instead. “Terms and words used to label a child create a self-concept of the child. Avoid terms like ‘pretty,’ ‘princess’ and call her ‘smart’ or ‘intelligent’ instead when she does a puzzle correctly. The positive terms that are used to describe a boy should be used to describe a girl as well unless they are very gender-specific.” Make a list of all the other names that you could call your darling girl. Try brave, warrior, leader, curious, kind, creative, artistic, hardworking, strong, smart, generous, confident…
Don’t curtail her wings
Parents tend to be over-protective about their girl children and have a different set of rules for them and another for boys. It’s okay for a boy to be rowdy and adventurous but a girl is expected to be sedate and sober even when she’s a child. Girls should be allowed to do the same kind of activities as boys, whether at home or school.
Do not treat any daughter like a delicate darling. She needs to be rough and tough and street smart. In any family, brother and sister must be treated equally by parents and there should be no difference between girls and boys. Teach all daughters to fight bullies right from pre-school. Raise their voice if they see anything wrong. If a mother is scared of anything, her daughter is scared too. So a mother has to be strong in front of her daughter. It is an established truth to be cruel to a weaker person.
Read the right literature
Books can have a positive impact on children’s personalities. However, do ensure that the books are written in a gender-neutral language and that they are meant not just for girls.
Talk to her about sex
Many parents shy away from talking to their girls about sex before it is too late and they are doing it anyway (or they’ve seen pornography that will give them a very skewed and potentially negative or dangerous view of what sex should be). It’s important to talk to our girls about their sexuality from a young age and to teach them that they – and only they – are in charge of their bodies.
Play that makes a smart girl
Study after study has shown that toys are not just toys and play is not just goofing around but important ways in which girls can learn to empower themselves and get a positive message about their abilities and potential. Generally, the girl’ toys are associated with physical attractiveness, nurturance, and domestic skill, whereas boys’ toys, are rated as violent, competitive, exciting, and somewhat dangerous. The toys must be educational and to develop children’s physical, cognitive, artistic, and other skills.
Help her find her passion
Psychologist Peter L. Benson called it a child’s “spark” – an interest, passion or gift that, if nurtured, gives their life meaning and purpose.
Watch women’s sports
Actively choose to shield your young daughter from the unattainable beauty standards that are splashed all over the media and present her with images of strong, healthy, accomplished athletes instead. Watch Serena Williams smash it at Wimbledon, Danica Patrick race to victory at the Grand Prix and Lindsey Vonn carve up the slopes at the World Cup.
Teach her to stand up for herself.
Arm your daughter with the skills she needs to defend herself against bullies and aggressors from a young age. In preschool, you can teach her to say, “Stop, I don’t like that” and to use strong body language. As she gets older, teach her to respond to bullies in an unemotional manner and to maintain eye contact. This approach will portray confidence and take power away from the bully.
Raising girls right so that they are empowered, therefore, requires some careful parenting. Girls should be empowered to think that whatever roles they adopt in life, they are important contributing members of society. Girls should always be skilled, educated, and confident enough to be able to meet their survival needs at least. They should believe in their inner powers and not let anyone ever destroy their sense of self.
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