I recently came across the news which is generally shocking to the nature of this Chennai city, which is that girls in Grades 6 and above have boyfriends. And that too, sometimes, more than 1. This is a tremendous shock for the traditionally culture driven South Indian Society who live here. These are unacceptable scenarios, for various reasons :
- The parents were brought up in such conservative situations and ideas, that they think of this as blasphemy.
- Since the concept of arranged marriages is a long-standing tradition here, this concept of having boyfriends at a young age is quite unacceptable to them.
- There is also this stubborn streak inside families which still force to implement the “girls cannot talk to boys” rule, especially after the girl attains her puberty.
- Also, there are many families who insist to the colleges to separate the girls from the boys, quoting the “focus on studies” is more important – that’s another post by itself.
Ok…is it so bad to have a boy friend ? And why all friends who are boys, treated like the “boyfriends” by parents ? Is it wrong for a girl to have a good friend in the opposite gender ?
I don’t think it’s so terribly wrong to have a friend in a boy. If he is going to be a good support for the girl in all the friendship ways, then its all the more good for her.
Those fancy ideas that having a boyfriend is so filmy and that compulsion to have one that are to be given serious thought about. “In a relationship” is so commonly seen in FB now a days. If a girl doesn’t have a boyfriend then it should be ok. But the peer pressure to have one is so high now a days that it actually kills the girl. Girls are sidelined by their friends during conversations and during play times, if they do not have a boy friend. The girls who have boy friends talk about it most of the time that the girls without boyfriends cannot join in this conversation. This makes this girl to think of herself in such low-esteem that confidence evades her. She starts going into a shell. During times like these, comes in the role of a parent, especially the mother, whose conversations with her little girl can do wonders.
It’s very important to have great conversation times with your child from the beginning and the underlined code is “never snub your children, when they voice their opinion on something”. Allow them to talk freely about what they feel like. It’s very important to keep the conversation flowing. Do not make the child think that you are a strict warden with a whip in hand to slash her on every word mistake she makes. It’s ok to make mistakes, they learn from that. Being firm with moral values and being strict with them are entirely different. It’s very important for mothers to understand this basic difference. So, be firm not strict.
And share some secrets with your little girl. Take her into your confidence. Share a knowing smile that you two know something that even daddy is not aware of. That gives a goad in the right direction to your daughter, to make her talk about her secrets. You, as a mother, should be the first person she turns into to clear her doubts and share her anxieties. I remember how my daughter used to come to me every morning, with a question on menstruation among other things. It made me feel happy that I am the Google for her. She looked out for answers and explanations from me. And I had to be honest too. Sometimes, her doubts were far beyond her age. But I tried my level best to explain things that she could understand and later when she grew up, I explained all those missed out things.
One more thing to make conversations, is to greet your child, who comes home from school, with a “How was your day?? Did your friend come to school ? Did you play with your friend?” Concentrate more on the friendly relationships she has made in school than with a moronic boring “What homework do you have??” Education is very important, I am not deviating. But when relationships around your daughter are more solid, then she’ll be very confident of herself, of her friends. Studying becomes a natural thing to do, apart from playing.
Be very frank with your child. Even if you have made a mistake, accept it. Show that its human to make mistakes. But once we have apologized, we need to stick to it and not repeat it. We cannot have different set of rules for us and for the children. Also, when the child makes a mistake and admits to the mistake, let it go. Do not ponder on it by talking about it again and again. This is another way of shutting up your child.
A hug, a kiss, a praise, a smile can go a long way in building a great rapport with your child. Be the one who your child will seek first and see your conversations grow !!
**My understanding is based on the rapport that I’ve with my daughters. It might be different for you. If you have a better idea, method for great conversations, please share with me.