Do you have a daughter at home? How do you talk to her and teach her important things in life? Of course there are so many stereotypes with boys too, i guess i’ll reach talking about them in another couple of years, when my little boy is that age. Would love hearing your thoughts about all of it!! Thanks for reading.
I have a six and a half year old daughter, who’s also my first born. And like every mother and daughter, we share a very deep, friendly and a special bond. She is one of those witty, naughty and chatterbox kinda little girl who can ask a million questions every minute. And i am going through a confused stage in my parenting of finding what are the right things to teach and discuss with her, that really matter in today’s world.
Every time you meet a little girl, how do you start a conversation? The general go to is to talk about how cute they look, what lovely curls they have or how you love their pink fairy dress. But i generally refrain myself from doing that, coz i feel it’s important to show them that appearance is not the only thing that makes them what they are. It’s in our culture to always make such kinda conversations (like how pretty they are!!) as they are good ice-breakers. For me, coz i have a little girl myself, i make sure that we don’t stress too much about appearances and i make sure i follow this rule with and around her friends as well. Of course i love my daughter all dolled up but it’s not the most important thing, coz when i see reports on how five year olds worry that they are fat and have low self esteem at such early age, it just makes me so scared of the times that we live in.
It is very important for the kids to be humble, helpful and grateful (and of course as adults we all struggle with that ourselves, let alone wanting our kids to be so well groomed to think on those lines— but those are surely more important things to teach them and help them keep practising).
Even back home, when we visit India (which is once a year now), the first comments are always on her (my daughter’s) appearance- “Hey, how thin has she become!”; “Hey, she was much fairer when she was here!!” or “Look, how tall she is!!”. People comment and they go, and it’s the parents who have to pacify/explain to these growing minds later on. And when my daughter comes and says “Am i looking too thin??” (which she takes in the best way possible by the way, as she’s big enough to understand how hard it is to shed that weight- she’s seen some examples at home!), it just brings all the red flags up in my brain. So instead of referring anything about her thin stature (which is genetic and she gets that from me), i generally make sure i tell her how important it is to be healthy, and eat healthy and being just thin is not good and how our body needs strength.
Building up self esteem also begins very early on, so instead of talking about physical appearances i make sure i talk about books, food, homework, play time ideas with her friends as well. It sets a good example and you should see their faces when i talk about their favourite dessert or their pets at home or what do they call grandparents in their mother tongue. There are so many topics you can talk about with these little ones, so why just stress on the not so important things all the time. The conversations that come out of these little things are also so hilarious and help building better and longer bonds.
P.S. Here’s a good read on the same!!