Experts Provide 6 Suggestions For Parents Raising A Girl Child
Every International Day of the Girl Child, we create more awareness and speak up about the importance of the girl child in society.
From education to career, recognition, and acknowledgment, we can say that through the years, there’s been improvement in the way the girl child is spoken of and addressed. Though there is still a lot of work to be done, there is progress.
In light of this, experts have decided to write a few suggestions for parents raising a girl child.
Let the Girl Child be a… Child!
In a video that went viral on social media, a daughter cries out about being overburdened with the responsibility of taking care of her younger siblings. Many first daughters also talk about being assistant parents. While this may be a common practice, psychologists refer to it as destructive parentification — a form of emotional abuse or neglect where a child becomes the caregiver to their parent or sibling. Forcing the girl child to be her siblings’ caretaker can upend her development and leave deep emotional scars well into adulthood.
Give her equal opportunities as her brother
In highlighting the importance of family in achieving gender equality, Katy Migiro, for Thomson Reuters Foundation, writes that excessive housework and lack of parental support are the main reasons girls in Uganda drop out of school.
A 2016 UN report shows that girls between 5 and 14 years old spend 40 percent more time on unpaid household chores, compared to boys their age.
If you are guilty of making your daughters fend for and clean up after their brothers, or saddling your daughter with all domestic responsibilities because “she’s the girl” or “don’t you know he’s a boy” while her brothers read their books, play video games and chill, the best time to stop this was yesterday. Now is the second-best time.
Don’t threaten her with the imaginary “husband’s house”
“Bend down and sweep very well, is this how you’ll do in your husband’s house.” “You did not put enough salt, no man will marry you o.” Nne, the world is changing and the girl child’s life no longer revolves around a man. Teach your girl to be and do, so she can grow into a self-sufficient woman, not because she’s going to be married someday.
SEE ALSO: Experts Tip Parents On Raising Children Who Can Confide In You And Tell You The Deepest Things In Their Hearts
Stop policing her body
“Quickly tie wrapper, brother Felix is here.” Rather than force your daughter to protect themselves from sexual predators like brother Felix, perhaps the best thing to do is stop him from coming to your house, or anywhere near your daughter.
As parents, you have the duty of protecting your child(ren) from predators while giving them enough sex education. When you teach your children to dress a certain way or do certain things to ward off predators, you teach them that being sexually assaulted or harassed could be their fault.
Boost her confidence
Teach your girl child to be true to who she is. Teach her that there is no one right way to be a woman. Tell her she is enough, that she can do exploits. That she can dream and be.
Speak up for every girl child
The world may be more progressive, but the girl child is still being repressed on so many levels. Now is not the time to fold our arms. Many young girls are still being married off. Some are deprived of education.
Others are used for debt repayment. Some are used in baby factories, and many are sold off to traffickers. Now is the time to speak up for every girl child around the world.
If we want to make the world a better place, we must continually educate and empower the girl child, and provide opportunities and enabling environments for her to thrive.
To every girl child, know that you are gold. You are light. You are beautiful and bold. So go out there and soar, shine bright, spread your wings and fly; the world is yours to take.
SEE ALSO: Vlogger & Mum, Sisi Yemmie Speaks To Parents On The Benefits Of Creating Equal Opportunities For The Girl Child
Let her have a voice in making decisions
“Whenever possible, let her make constructive choices about her life. Let her choose her own clothes, within appropriate limits. Give her a voice in what after-school activities she participates in and how many she wants to do (as long as it works for the rest of the family, too).
Remember that knowing what she cares about most will come from trying some things and finding she doesn’t like them, as well as from finding things she loves to do,” recommends Jane Katch, Ed.D., author of They Don’t Like Me. “Your daughter might need to make a commitment for a short time for an activity (one soccer season) but when that’s over, it’s okay to try something different!”
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