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While fighting patriarchy, we also need to teach girls to be independent. Here are five tips that will help you raise a strong, confident, independent girl
Even today, we are fighting a misogynistic patriarchal society with its parochial mentality, while campaigning for gender equality, and there is an urgent need to raise the girls to be women who never feel inferior when compared to men.
In this essay, I speak of raising a confident girl child. Let her be the bastion of feminism.
Society today is extremely demanding, and poses two unique challenges for the young girls growing up in India.
The first one being having to prove to the world that they are good in both education as well as sports.
The second being the need to prove their worth to the community.
The constant need to prove themselves could lead to several psychological issues in the girls, which in turn, might cause them to hold back from accomplishing what they can.
Parents need to encourage their daughters. They need to help her believe that she is capable of achieving anything and everything, and destroy the age old notion that society holds, that girls only have a future by getting married and becoming homemakers.
Tomorrow’s thriving women will have one thing in common- assertive parents who believed in them and their potential. I have made a list of certain things, if used holistically, can ensure that you raise a confident young girl.
Children might not always make the right choices and are bound to commit several mistakes. There will be times when the parent might not agree with the choices. At the same time, there is no need to be upset either.
Deal with the child with compassion and show her through your actions and word that she is valued. This will help her develop her self worth and respect for her parents.
Parents need to show their daughters, with their actions and words, that she matters to them. Actions often speak louder than words. And showing your daughter that she is valued will result in your daughter growing up to be a confident woman. Someone able to take her own decisions.
Use her interests as a platform to develop her skills while also giving her life lessons.
To thrive in today’s extremely competitive world, it is necessary for girls to be educated; explain this to your daughter. Along with that, also talk to her about the subjects she enjoys.
Attend parent-teacher meetings and similar academia related meets at her school. Listen to her opinions and try to understand them. Develop a bond with not just her friends, but their parents as well.
At the same time ensure that she participates in at least one extracurricular activity. It could be painting, swimming, athletics, or music, or anything else she likes, so that she learns the value of team spirit, forthrightness, and discipline.
In the most stereotypical manner, since their childhood, we make girls play home-maker or something on those lines. We gift them dolls, and kitchen sets to play with.
Instead of this, why not push her out of the comfort zone and stimulate her to choose outdoor games like tennis, throw ball, volleyball, or even cricket. Teach the girls to climb trees, rappel and even bungee jumping.
I urge every parent to read this book called ’10 Things Girls Need Most To Grow Up Strong And Free.’ It’s a book by parenting expert and child psychologist Steve Biddulph. Though the book is written from the Australian perspective, as Indians, we can take several key points from it.
According to him, the ten parameters are: a secure and loving start, the time to be a child, friendship skills, the respect and love of a father, a spark, aunties, a happy and healthy sexuality, a backbone, feminism, and spirit.
While deciding on the 10 components, Biddulph reflected on things that research shows to be strengthening girls’ development.
“The book is a kind of self-diagnostic guide, and so if parents have concerns about their daughter, they can pinpoint what might be missing,” he told The Independent.
“Each girl is different, and the most important for one girl might be to have positive messages about sexuality and her right to choose what happens to her body and have it be a happy thing.
“For another, the interest and support of a dad might be needed – if he is too distant, busy or unsure of his role.” […]For example, Biddulph advises parents clear their homes of “the insane media pressures about how you look” and not to convey any of their own hang ups or insecurities about their bodies in front of their daughter.
Similarly, the importance of strong female role models is stressed upon, including aunts. As is the open nature of talking about sex in a positive manner while also stressing that she, and no one else, is in charge of her body.
According to a survey conducted in 2016 in India, one girl child below the age of fifteen gets married off every seven seconds.
We all know how dangerous and negative an impact child marriage can have on education, health and safety.
Save the girl child, make her at par with the men by ensuring a good future for her. A future where she can earn and sustain on her own without being dependant on her spouse or her parents, both emotionally and financially.
Stop child marriages. And look towards improving the condition of education and healthcare which will in turn ameliorate the life of a girl child.
Also follow the five rules as mentioned above in the essay. Raise an optimistic girl. Save the nation.
Let the girl be a bastion of feminism.
Girls ask for equality, nothing more, and nothing less!
Picture credits: Pexels
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Rimli Bhattacharya is a First class gold medalist in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of
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