Raising healthy and happy girls can be challenging, especially in a country like India where gender bias presents itself at every corner.
Setting up your girl adequately for a future in the real world starts from the time she is born. Bringing up girls can be complex – from physical to mental health priorities – there are many areas to be informed and on top of.
Here are some ways and healthy habits to establish with your daughters to help them in life.
Health Comes First
The health of your child is your main priority. From the time they are babies, make sure that your daughters are well looked after. Besides caring, clothing and feeding, healthcare and timely immunization is one area that should never be ignored. Vaccinations are one of the most effective ways to help your baby in childhood avoid harmful diseases such as measles, chickenpox and hepatitis B, which can have serious long-term health consequences.
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Lead By Example
As a parent, you are your daughter’s biggest role model during her formative years. So whether it is eating healthy, getting enough exercise, maintaining hygiene habits or being kind to people, be aware that how you manoeuvre your life and the world is likely to shape how your child manoeuvres through their own life, impacting their habits and attitudes.
As parents to a girl, you may be wary about the dangers out in the world, however, don’t let this make you overprotective of your daughter. It is important that you offer her the same opportunities and independence that you would your son, be it pursuing educational, recreational, sports or other personal goals.
Promote Positive Body Image
Promote healthy body image through education about food and exercise. Focus on these parameters being positive contributors to health and well-being over attractiveness or weight control. By regularly cooking nutritious food at home and taking initiatives to stay active through sports, walks and other activities, your daughter will automatically pick up useful tools to keep physically fit in the long term and maintain a healthy sense of self-worth.
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Encourage freedom of expression
From a young age, encourage your child to openly share her thoughts, worries and opinions with you. Always listen, give advice and answer questions patiently. Try not to demean or brush aside their concerns as trivial as this may lead them to not approaching you the next time they have a problem. Encouraging your girls to form their own solid views and opinions can help them form healthy attitudes and not be swayed by harmful societal pressures from peers or the media.