5 things you didn’t know you should protect your daughter from

“Beta, say bye to uncle. He’s leaving now.”

“Bye uncle.”

“Go give him a hug.”


“Don’t be rude now. Come on, go.”

“I don’t want to!”


Did you ever think there’s a reason that your child doesn’t feel comfortable with certain people you know? Not really. You think you’re protecting her in every way possible, especially as when you start setting her six o’clock curfews as she grows older. That’s an extreme, and could even be unhealthy to some extent. You do need to make sure she stays safe, just not in the way you thought of till now. If you want her to develop good sensibilities about her body without compromising on self-confidence from a very young age, take a look at these points:

1. Physical contact:

Abuse occurs most often where you least expect it. While this doesn’t mean you should look at every family member, relative or friend with doubt when they have your daughter in their arms, watch for signs of discomfort from her. Don’t ever force her to hug or kiss someone when she doesn’t want to, when she hides behind you or shies away from them. It doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s being abused; she just might not like touching that person. Even then, when you make her touch them against her will, the message you’re imprinting in her brain is that, despite whether she feels good about it or not, she shouldn’t deny physical contact to people who demand it of her.

2. Physical flattery:

What’s the first thing someone tells your child when they see her? Compliments on her cute little frock tied with a sash at the back? Her new haircut? Her eyes? Or a joke about how like a stick she is? Her looks aren’t the most important thing in the world, and you don’t want her to start having body image issues before society forces it upon her as she grows older. Instead, ask your friends and family to have conversations with her about the new book she read recently or the new song she learnt at school today.

3. Saas-bahu shows:

You know all those times when you’re sitting in front of the TV, immersed in the latest MIL-DIL conflict? Yep, your daughter is playing with her toys on the floor. How much of the conflict, the torture that the saas inflicts on the bahu, is she absorbing? She should never be led to think that she will be as helpless as the bahu is, or that she’ll have to withstand domestic abuse for the sake of the family’s honour. Do watch out there.

4. Sharing pictures on social media:

It’s a thing of the 21st century. Every single milestone that our kids reach, every dress they wear, every song they sing is documented. And uploaded on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest. Ever thought about what it might mean if these pictures or videos fall into the wrong hands? You don’t have to take the extreme road and stop putting them up altogether. But make sure the pictures you upload aren’t tagged by location, especially in the places where your daughter spends most of her time. This  minimises the risk of exposure.

5. Allowing secrets:

It’s natural for kids to be secretive. Don’t pry every little thing out of her, but maintain that there has to be a certain degree of transparency. Sit her down everyday and speak to her about her day. If she goes unnaturally quiet when you ask her a certain question or talk about a particular topic, it’s very likely that something is bothering her about it. Try getting her to tell you what it is. If she doesn’t, assure her that you’re always there for her, that you won’t overreact whatever she tells you (and make sure you don’t) and that she can come to you about anything that’s bothering her at all. If she does tell you that someone mistreated her or touched her inappropriately, don’t question her word or be disbelieving, especially if the abuser is a close member of your friends or family circle. Chances are that she’s already scared to death to talk about it. Give her the benefit of the doubt and do whatever you must to ensure that she’s protected.

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