Someone has rightly said,
“Helping girl become women takes guidance and not space”
My affair with my girl started the day she was born. Every mother wants to raise her child in the best possible way. Give her children the right value and perfect upbringing. Even I wanted to do the same after my daughters birth. With thousand dreams for my daughter, i began my journey of motherhood. I always admired the way I and my siblings were brought up by our parents. Especially me and my sister. The amount of patience and determination our parents kept during our upbringing, even I wanted to do the same. They were perfect parents who understood us very well. Being the daughter of the family, me and my sister were raised differently than our brother. Our parents had a perfect balance between them and raised us to be wonderful daughters and become a strong and confident woman. While each girl is unique in its own way, there is still a journey that all girls have to make to grow up well. We often hear from parents of girls, that they grow up very fast. Girls seem to be different to boys in the stages they go through, and the ages at which they happen.Girls usually start off life at full steam. They are early talkers, social butterflies, mature early in life, have a strong opinion and what not.
Being the creator, it is often said and felt that girls have a unique bond with their mothers, all the more because of the same gender. Mother is often a role model and the one who teaches them what it means to be a woman. A girl might adore her mum and in the 20 years of growing up, they will do the same as their mum did. Mothers are the most important stepping stone in a child’s life and she is the one who moulds the future of the child. While we are talking about the importance of a mother in child’s life, we can’t negate that it is also important to keep a check on our emotions while raising our kids. We can’t become abusive, we can’t loose on our behaviour as kids learn what they see.
Being a women myself and while raising my own daughter I realise that each girl goes through different stages, right from their birth till they are little over a teen. Putting down these stages which are a journey of a small baby girl into being a beautiful, young, confident women.
Safety, Security & the need to be loved (1st two years of your daughter)
Being the most beautiful phase of a mums life, it is equally important too. I am not biased towards the gender, but I am sure most of us would agree girls bring a unique charm to the family. They are small little angels who just creep into our hearts and stay there forever. These early years are the time when your daughter does not understand words but she very well understands the power of touch, gesture and overall behaviour around her. They understand that they are loved by the adults around them, as they love them a lot. And hence they are caring enough. Girls being the soft gender requires more assurance and we being the parent can provide that with constant hugs, holding the child close to your heart, expressing your love and ensuring that your daughter is safe. These are the initial years when your girl would get a sense of belongingness and that she is safe and loved when she is around you. She will carry this in her heart always.
Exploring the world as a toddler (2yrs to 5 yrs)
Given the fact your baby girl is now able to walk fairly well, she would be looking out for opportunities to explore everything around her. Supplemented with the security and sense of safety that she has attained in the 1st stage, she is now more confident and interested in the world around her. Since she feels secure with your presence, she is more than happy to check out everything in her vicinity. She is more carefree and would explore new toys, new corners in the house (which she was not allowed earlier, like Kitchen, Bathroom, Balcony). By this age she will be moving towards learning new things and as parents introduce a different kind of activities to help her nourish the brain. By now she feels that life is an adventure.
Interpersonal Skills- Getting along with others (5yrs to 10 yrs)
Now that the small bud is starting to bloom, she realises that there is the world outside of her own. The world is which she is not the centre of attraction, but there are others too who are important to gel with. She learns that she can have better fun if she learns to share, give a little, by cooperating and playing together rather than on her own.Along with valuing herself, she now learns to value and respects others. Help your daughter grow gentle by being gentle, be kind by being kind to someone. All this will gradually make your child a people’s person and will know how to be with others in a happy and helpful way.
Finding the inner soul (10-14)
This is the most crucial phase of a girl’s life as she is attaining the stage of puberty. She feels strongly about herself as an individual. She is far from being women but she is no longer a child anymore. She is at the stage which will make her blossom soon into beautiful women soon. This is the stage when a girl finds her true self, develops a liking for lots of things in life. Builds on memories for an upcoming future.She suddenly begins to value her friendship more than anything. She is an outgoing person but is also shy in her own way. She is more firm on her choices and day-to-day decisions. Parents need to be a lot more patient at this stage and let your daughter emerge as a beautiful flower. She has an opinion about choosing her peers, choosing intimacy on her own terms, being strong around males. Values and upbringing play a deeper role in here. She will be loyal, protective of herself and others.
Stepping into adulthood (14yrs-18yrs)
18 is the age when your daughter begins to become women. Preparation for this huge leap in her life begins after she reaches the age of 14. This brings a strong shift in attitude and opinion regarding everything in her life. We need to agree one fact that their childhood is not like ours. 18 is the new 14 and 14 is the new 10 for kids today. In the world of advertising with intense visual media playing up, we could say that raising girls isn’t an easy thing. From constant fashion pressures, alcohol marketing, diet ads to the importance of good looks and being hot. This is the age when mothers play a major role in her daughter’s life. While letting your daughter have the access to her life’s steering wheel in her hand, you need to be the guiding soul. Letting her make a wise decision with your support. She can leave behind childishness and harmful gullibility. She can be more accounted for her actions and be prepared for consequences.
Every girl passes through these five stages to become a woman. Adult support especially a mother’s support is needed for all of these stages since she being women very well understands the map of girlhood and can help provide what is needed. Journeys are always easier when you have a road map! It’s your daughter who makes the journey, but you are her caregiver and ally along the way. It’s probably the best thing you’ll ever do.
Every stage, when completed, forms an opinion in the mind of your daughter. If something goes wrong with any of the stages she might come to a very drastic and strong conclusion.
Stage 1:- Life isn’t fair and is very uncertain. There is no one who loves me
Stage 2:- Exploring new things can be frightening
Stage 3:- People are bad outside and I can’ trust them
Stage 4:- I am nobody, I am nothing. Am I a bad person with no values
Stage 4:- I don’t want to grow up, it’s just too difficult. The World is a bad place to love in.
Decisions taken and opinion formed by your daughter will be a gradual process. We need not panic about getting each decision correct. As I said towards the beginning every girl is different, similarly, there might be overlaps in these stages. Do not give up as a parent. Continue to love your daughter as the most priced possession of your life. In case your daughter has crossed any of the stages and not learnt what she was supposed to learn. Don’t fret, decisions can be made again.