True that, my son and my daughter are fundamentally the same (ditto!), yet they have their own individualistic differences. And already, in these still early years of mothering, I can strongly say that there’re a few differences (in terms of tactics, feelings, and expectations) in raising my son and my daughter.
As much as I try to maintain a very balanced outlook in bringing up my awwdorable duo,yet I am preparing myself to be able to cater to their individual needs and tackle them accordingly.
However, there are certain exclusive parenting mistakes, which I would like to avoid when bringing up my little daughter.
Inculcating the Princess Mentality:
Parents often indoctrinate their daughters into the whole ‘princess’ belief. As a result of which, these princesses grow up to believe either or all of the following:
1. They are the prettiest of all!
2. They look the best, irrespective of what they wear
3. Become too appearance-conscious
4. Life will be the same forever, if not better.
5. They can be excused anytime, for any mistakes they make.
Of course, for every parent, their daughter is undoubtedly the most gorgeous one and I guess, there’s no harm in calling her pretty, once in a while. However, let’s not go overboard with their beauty factor, so much so that our daughters end up becoming a little over conscious about their looks.
While every girl loves compliments on their looks, but parents should make it a habit to reward them occasionally, for something that’s not based on their appearance . This is one (and an effective) way to reinstate their confidence in their being.
Forgetting about the Real Deal
Life may not be a bed of roses all the way. I'd rather prepare her to be ready for the unseen and battle it out, with all her might, gracefully. If at all she has to be the princess, I might as well tell her about the real life warrior princesses and those, who have been in charge of their own destiny. My point here is, even if I tell my daughter that she is the princess of my heart, I will make sure she doesn’t grow up to act the damsel in distress but the brave-heart, who will have the courage to say, ‘’bring it on life’’.
Sowing the Seed of Feminism:
Along with raising a feminist son, I would like to teach my daughter the right meaning of feminism. There’s much talk about feminism these days and today, more than ever, our nation is filled with self-proclaimed feminists. I would like my daughter to understand the difference between the right and the wrong in feminism so that she doesn't end up disrespecting men (No, not all men are not dogs!).
As a parent, we must see to it that our daughters don’t succumb to these new age media hyped concepts such that they forget to laugh, forget to live and forget to love.
I wouldn’t mind arranging a mixed-group play date for my daughter. In fact, even in her teens I would not restrict free-mingling. By interacting and playing with boys, will my girl realise that she too can compete with her guy-friends in sports, academics and life, in general! Also, it is important to maintain transparency and keep the lines of communication open with the daughters from an early age. So that in times of need, they find the confidence to discuss any experiences or matters related to boyfriends, emotions or even sex. By doing it the right way, we can help our daughters from making any wrong choices . Let’s remember one thing that too much parental austerity might result in adverse effects.
Today’s lifestyle demands us parents to be really involved and alert, towards both, our sons as well daughters. However, these are the primary 4 mistakes I would like to avoid in my journey of mothering my daughter. This is the least we can do as parents, rest, que sera sera.