5 Things You Should Never Say To Your Girl Child

Ireyimika Oyegbami

As parents we have been told to separate the child’s bad behaviour from the child and to avoid unnecessarily labelling our kid. In other words, we are to say: “Catherine, what you did was bad” and not “Catherine, you are a bad child”.
Children tend to believe that everything their parents say is the fact. To build pleasant traits and healthy self esteem in your girl child, avoid saying any of these:

1. ‘I Wanted A Boy, Not A Girl’
This is a big ‘No’. It might be true that you were hoping for a boy child or you never even wanted to get pregnant at the time you did. However, you did get pregnant with this girl child, you carried her in your womb for nine months, went through the painful process of birthing her and nurtured her in infancy, yet you claim not to want her? We know you do want and love your child. Please let her know she is precious to you. Never, in a fit of anger, tell your girl child that she is not wanted. She is likely to take your words literally…and that is spells danger for the future.

2. ‘You Can’t do This, You Are a Girl
Don’t input self-doubt into your little girl and don’t create unnecessary gender based rules. When your girl wants to do something, even if you feel she is not capable of achieving the feat she sets out to do, refrain from telling her point-blank that she can’t. It is better if you offer to help her with it or when she hits a difficult patch, let her know you will be happy to help her out. Engage in activities together and you would have gotten yourself a good bonding moment. In addition, she won’t be afraid to try new things due to your positive response.

3.You Are Too Big to Play’
Do let your girl child enjoy her childhood. In Africa, especially, we tend to load most of the household chores onto the girl child and she is expected to act all grown up and responsible way too early while boys her age are still ‘babies’. So, if you are able to turn your face away when your 8 year old boy chooses to jump on the bed in play, you should be able to do same for your 8 year old girl….and don’t forget that both girls and boys are able to lay their beds afterwards.

4. ‘I Will Tell Your Daddy When He Returns From work
Mummy, you are able to handle the issue, trust yourself. However, if it is something your spouse really needs to know about, you would be teaching your girl to take responsibility for her actions by insisting that she be the one to tell daddy about it herself. There is no need to teach your child to fear her father to the extent that she begins to have palpitations when she hears the sound of his car.

5. ‘Why Can’t You Be like Ella
Your darling girl is not exactly a Princess Barbie but is more like Dora the explorer, so what? Celebrate your girl child for who she is and do not compare her to her other siblings or the more ‘girlish’ daughters your friends have. Do not let her feel like a failure and don’t let her feel left out. Constantly validate your love for your girl; whether she is a tomboy or a fragile lil’ Missy.

Whatever the gender of your child, it is given that they would often get you frazzled. Children teach us patience; I say let us be good students and learn well!

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“5 Things You Should Never Say To Your Girl Child”

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