#Personal Stories

Things I’d Never Tell My Daughter As A Parent

Things I'd Never Tell My Daughter
I’ve been a daughter for close to two and a half decades now. I’ve watched myself and other daughters be the subject of intentional or unintentional things I’d never tell my daughter. Going against popular belief, these  statements that daughters receive are not only from their mothers as they grow up but by any family member. 

Family forms an essential part of a child’s developmental journey. Although family cannot be chosen, there are choices one can make as an aware parent that provides a conducive environment for a girl child to grow. 

One of these essential choices as an aware parent is the choice of words. Words are powerful and cannot be taken back once spoken. Extra caution therefore should be taken to choose one’s words wisely to not hurt someone’s sentiments. Here’s a list of things I’d never tell my daughter: 

List of Things I’d Never Tell My Daughter

You’ve gained/lost weight 

Comments on another person’s body are not kind. The age, the person, and the nature of the relationship shared with that person, nothing justifies such a comment. This is because comments on someone’s body may trigger their physical insecurities, and eating disorders or lead them to spiral. Chances are that the person who wears the body is already aware of its gains or losses. Therefore a bodily comment is not edifying in such a scenario. And why would you say something that’s not edifying to someone? 

That dress does not suit your body 

Fashion stereotypes can take a backseat. Discussions on what dresses suit what body types can be thrown out the window. A little girl wanting to wear a dress feels hurt when they are told they don’t have the right legs for it. Instead of telling your girl how they’ve outgrown their favourite dress, buy a size that fits them instead. Stop telling them that their current body does not look good in a particular outfit. 

They are rude because they like you 

No, they don’t. If they like you they’ll tell you. Young girls need to be told that ‘they’re rude because they are projecting and it has nothing to do with you’. When daughters perceive conflicting or abusive relationships at home, they start looking for spouses with similar abusive and disoriented patterns. They then end up entering into abusive relationships and justify the abuse by believing that those that love them are entitled to abuse. 

Suggested Reading: 5 Things Single Bengali Girls are Tired of Hearing

Guys don’t like girls like that 

Well, that’s their problem. They’re free to move on and choose differently. However, telling my daughter that a guy might not like how she’s dressed or looks or thinks is not something that I support. Young girls should be encouraged to share their opinions. The views of society should not be impressed upon them. Believing that operating a certain way might lower the chances of landing a spouse, is operating from a place of a scarcity mindset. I’m not justifying bad behaviour but if they invalidate your daughter’s opinions and your worth, then they were never meant for her anyway. 

Don’t sit like that 

This one probably should have made it to the top of my list. Chances are if one identifies as a female, irrespective of what ethnicity, caste, or region one belongs to, one will have heard this. Mothers will be seen telling their daughters to sit a certain way in the presence of a male member of the family. Sitting a certain way does not jeopardise a daughter’s safety, what does however, is having the male member around. If one has male members in the house around whom daughters need to sit a certain way to ensure their safety, then they were never safe around them, to begin with. 

The views expressed are the author’s own.