Raising a daughter

On the occasion of International Day of Girl Child, the new mum in me wanted to share the joys, aspirations & challenges of raising a baby girl.

During my pregnancy, I was often asked if I wanted a girl or a boy? Well… I was diplomatic enough to say – whatever God blesses us with.  But in my heart, I knew I was born to parent a girl. I felt the passion & excitement of having a baby girl only after gifts started pouring in. My baby girl’s almirah filled up with frocks, frills, headbands & all things pretty.

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A mother’s role is pivotal as she is a powerful influence. In a study, it was found that even teenagers who we think are easily influenced by peer pressure said that their moms matter the most. The study also revealed that 98% of the girls turn to their mothers for support when they have a problem.

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The most basic personality traits of caring, sharing, helping, honesty, compromise, and patience are taken up by kids just by watching/observing the way their mom deals with others.

So next time you see your little one sitting silently, watching you speak on phone – buckle up & present the best version of you.

We are in the 21st century, where girls have prodigious opportunities, there are female role models in every arena outperforming their male counterparts. But then there are social media, increase in the crime rate, mobiles, TV exposure – parenting is definitely going to be difficult as well as challenging.

So here I am enlisting my “Panchtantra – 5 golden rules” to raise a girl child –

1. Love yourself :

With the technology, social media, taking over our lives, young girls are constantly being told or conditioned to believe that they need to be a “certain way” or a  “certain size”.  Hence it becomes our duty to encourage a girl’s individuality, appreciate her for who she is & remind her of all the potential she has.

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Tell her often that beauty is much more than physical appearance & there is no one like her. And most importantly, other’s opinion of her – don’t really matter.

2. Relationship with dad :

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A father is the first man in a girl’s life. Needless to say that the daddy-daughter relationship sets a benchmark for the future. A kind, gentle, respectful & 1-on-1 involved father will eventually instill confidence in a girl so that she isn’t uncomfortable or awkward around her dad when she hits puberty. Let the conversations and cuddles be as fluid then as they are now :).

3. Respecting her choices –

There will be innumerable moments when a girl child falls prey to “gender trap”, be it color – (pink/blue), sports – (wrestling/dancing) or day to activities.

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As parents, we must give her lots of chances to explore her interests, even if they are poles apart from the rest. A mother’s role is crucial here because you are the safe haven that a daughter needs.

4. Let her make mistakes –

It is time that we let our girls make mistakes.  Let us not ask her “to be a good girl“.

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Allow her to take risks & realize that messing up or making mistakes is a normal part of life. It will not only make her brave but also build her confidence. It will help her in embracing her flaws too.

5. Save the planet –

Sensitising our girls to the global issues concerning not just environment, but also crime, terrorism, social causes et al is vital.

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Making them aware that evil does exist without terrorizing them is the key. The girls we are raising today will be guardians & nurturers of the future generations. Therefore a sense of belonging for the planet must be instilled from the very beginning.

These are just a few things which I would inculcate while upbringing my baby girl. But I am sure there are many more…Do share those with me & together we shall raise girls of the future.

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD.👩‍👧

Happily Mommying

Dr. Deeksha 😇

P.S – The article was originally written for Babychakra by Dr.Deeksha Rana.

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