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It is said that the blessed are those who have daughters in their lives. After all, daughters are the ones who bring happiness and harmony into one's family. They teach us to see the world from a different perspective. But in this present world where women and girls are subjected to molestation, assault and abuses, it is highly important for parents to understand the need of empowering their daughters.
To highlight the same, every year the International Day of Girl Child is observed on 11 October. The day is dedicated to girl children and is intended to raise awareness about gender inequality and injustice faced by girls across the world.
Today when thousands of girls and women are going through several kinds of abuse worldwide, it would be no wrong to say that making your daughter strong and empowered is way more important than teaching them how to handle household. Parents often think that their daughter's life can be full of happiness only if she is married in a rich household and knows how to take care of her family. However, this is not true. As a parent, it is important for you to understand that your daughter's future will be secure only when she knows to take a stand for herself, safeguard her dignity and live on her terms.
This International Day of Girl Child, we are here to tell you what things you can say to empower your girl and help her evolve into a strong woman. Read on:
1. “You Are Beautiful Inside Out.”
Instead of saying your daughter, you look pretty in this dress or you have to look beautiful for tonight's party, let your daughter know she is beautiful inside out. It is quite essential for your daughter to understand being beautiful inside out is way more important than her external appearance. This will help her to accept her flaws and stay confident in her own skin. You need to make her understand that external appearance is not that important. What matters the most is if she has a beautiful heart.
2. “Never Feel Inferior Because You Are Strong.”
In our society where patriarchy is at the peak, people often consider girls and women as a weaker gender. As a result, women and girls often consider themselves incompetent. But as a parent, you can ensure that your daughter believes in her strength. For this, let her know that she doesn't have to feel incompetent or inferior because she is a girl. Teaching her how to use her gentleness and polite behaviour to make strong decisions is quite essential. In fact, you can give examples of women who faced their problems with determination. This will help your daughter understand that women and girls aren't weak.
3. “I Trust Your Abilities. I Know You Can Do This.”
There can be times when she may not be able to do something. She may feel doubtful of her abilities but as a parent, you need to help her in this. Let her know that she is talented and therefore, you trust her capabilities. Remember, parents, make a great impact on their children and therefore, saying things like, "you can't do this", "girls don't do that" or "you are no match for boys" will never make her an empowered woman. She will grow up into a woman with low self-esteem. Therefore, instead of showing little to no faith in her, you need to make her believe in her abilities.
4. “I Am Always There To Support You.”
As said above parents have a great impact on their children, it is obvious that children always expect their parents to support them. Similarly, your girl too would turn to you when she finds herself in certain difficult situations. In those cases, instead of scolding your daughter, you need to support her mentally and emotionally. Let her know that no matter what, you will always be there to support and help her. This way your daughter will always feel comfortable in sharing her problems and thoughts with you. As a result, you will be able to know what's going in your girl's life.
5. “Be Friends With Those Who Respect You.”
Often Indian parents are heard saying to their kids, "you have to be friends with those who secure the highest marks in your class or are the most meritorious of all". They do not understand how important it is to be friends with those who are kind, well-behaved and decent. A healthy friendship should have respect and transparency. This International Day of Girl Child, let your daughter understand that being friends with those who respect her is a better choice. Marks should never define her equation with her peers. This is because then she won't be able to differentiate between good and bad people. She will learn to judge people on the basis of their marks and performance in the exams.
6. “You Have The Right To Live Your Life Happily.”
There was a time when women were taught how their life's sole purpose should be to look after their family and care for their happiness. As yourself, is it good to expect women to dedicate her entire life to others and never care about her own happiness? Now the time has changed. Therefore, instead of teaching your daughter the same old school theory, let her know that happiness matters a lot and she has the right to live happily. After all, girls too are humans and like every other human, they should have the right to their existence.
7. “Do What Makes You Happy.”
If you want to empower your daughter and help her to become a strong and wonderful woman, then let her do what makes her happy. If trekking brings a smile on her face or going on a solo trip makes her feel confident and empowered, then do not stop her from the same. Let her know that in order to enjoy her freedom and make her career, she doesn't have to seek permission from others. She can do what makes her happy and empowered.
8. “Fight For Your Dreams Instead Of Giving Up.”
There will be times when your daughter may not be able achieve her desired goals. For example, she may not clear an entrance exam or won't be able to secure first position in the sports. In such cases, instead of asking her to quit her dreams and prepare for becoming a good wife, encourage her to fight for her dreams. Never let her give up on her dreams. Instead you can help her to dream big and make her future bright.
9. “How Was Your Day?”
It is quite important for you to ask your daughter how the day was. In this present scenario, where crimes against women and girl children have increased, it is important for you to know if your daughter is facing any problem. Though your daughter may come to you and share her problems, there can be times when she may not say anything. She could be too scared or upset to share something with you, thinking you would put restrictions on her. But as a parent, you need to pave a path for transparent and effective communication with your daughter.
Rather than being a strict, conservative and over-protective parent, it's advisable to be a friendly and encouraging parent.
10. “Don’t Feel Bad When People Judge You.”
There will be times when people may judge your daughter for not fulfilling the unnecessary beauty parameters set by the society. They may comment about her appearance, behaviour, performance in school, etc. So, it is obvious that she may feel bad about it. Here you can help her daughter know that these judgements do not matter at all. She should not care about these judgements and live her life in her own way.
In addition to the above-mentioned points teach your daughter the importance of their self-respect. Let them know that their self-respect is way more important than any relationship and thing. Also, always remember that an empowered mind can raise a beautiful and empowered girl child. Therefore, before empowering her, make sure you respect women and consider them equal.