The typical African Mother is the shouting type who sees screaming as the right medium of communication, she sees relationship with her daughter as over-familiarity, she is the Holier-than-thou mother who has never tasted girlhood and so doesn’t know neither does she teach her girls anything about what It means to be a girl. She is unapproachable, overly-strict, always looking stern and finally her 15-year old ‘supposed’ virgin gets pregnant.
What! That can’t happen? I am a good mother, where did I get it all wrong?
You need help? Then ride with me.
Motherhood is beautiful and understanding what a mother is at every stage is key. Parenting a girl-child at age 10 is totally different from parenting one at 18 and so on. So as your girl child grows, techniques changes. Its pride and unwillingness to learn that makes mothers stereotypical.
‘That is how our fore-fathers used to train girls’, Mother it will not work in the 21st century. Oh yes! Why? Level of exposure is different. A 10-year old girl today virtually knows everything a 25-year old girl knows. So there is nothing like ‘She is a small girl’.
So what do you do?
- Build relationship early with her.
Being a woman starts from the womb because in every girl is the inherent ability to develop into womanhood. So all the training, teachings, friendship, discipline and all starts the day the girl child is born. It’s cool to be discipline and strict, to do all the paparazzi ‘’don’t seat there, sit like this, greet like this, talk like this’’ BUT don’t milk out friendship with your girl from the equation. Your daughter’s openness to you is not a right. You earn it. If you don’t do your job well, she may decide to be open to someone else and that is dangerous.
So I advise mothers to learn to talk. Yes talk about anything and everything with your girl. Be her best friend, be her Gist partner, be the one that inspires her, be her role model and be that one person she can discuss anything and everything with.
‘My mum wasn’t close to me like that o.’ well that’s not an excuse, don’t repeat history.
So many mums are breeding hypocrites in the house, some mothers don’t even know where their girls are. ‘’Where is Joy? ’’ ‘Joy is in school’ but the real fact is that joy is in Abuja living with a man not her husband. Oh! Is it now my fault? If there is anything that characterises friendship is ‘openness, loyalty and respect’. When you are your daughter’s friend, you have her loyalty.
‘I don’t want my girl to be over familiar with me’. In as much as we encourage relationship, we can’t rule out discipline, you correct and yet you are bonded together. Such combination will never breed contempt.
- She should learn sex education from you.
Sometimes I wonder why mothers are shy to talk about sex. They are shy to talk about attraction to the opposite sex. They are shy to teach their girls about all the technicalities about being a girl, so these girls learn wrongly from the media, friends and sometimes from abuse.
It’s evil to tell a girl that ‘when a boy touches you, you will get pregnant’. That’s is a lie! So many girls are pregnant today from that lie, why not tell her you will get pregnant when you have sex.
‘How many mothers can comfortably talk with their girls what having a crush for a guy mean? ’ Having a crush is not a sin, it shows her emotions are healthy. There is nothing to shy away from, every woman was once a girl, we have had such attractions and still do have attractions but the difference is in self-control. ‘Don’t near boy, don’t talk to a boy, don’t stand with a boy, and don’t even look at boy.’ Do you want to raise a lesbian? If she doesn’t talk, look, or stand near a boy, who will?
So what do you teach her? The Beauty in chastity. Period! When you educate her well on sex-related issues, she will handle her emotions properly.
Written by: Susan Dare