How I'm teaching my daughter to say, "NO"?
As Amitabh Bachchan beautifully says it in ‘Pink’ (the movie), “No means No. And when someone says so you Stop.”
But we don’t generally teach our children how to say "No", do we?
Also, notions like “Ladki ki Na me bhi Haan hoti hai” seems to be prevalent even in the 21st century. Yes! you can pin this on Bollywood to spread this stigma but it won’t bring any change.
We have to accept that we, as a community, have failed miserably.
According to the age-old customs of our society, an ‘ideal woman’ should be ‘submissive’, first to her father, then to her husband, and then to her children. A "No" coming from a Woman is not well appreciated and is instantly assumed to be a sign of Revolt.
But, we are not a lost case yet. Change can still be brought.
The solution lies in the upbringing. How well I’ll teach my daughter to say NO will make the difference.
1. ACCEPT HER NO!
My daughter is not an object and she must not be treated like one. Her opinions and choices and consent matters too. While it is important to set boundaries and limitations, it is equally important for me to respect her ‘No’. When I start accepting her choices, I’m also setting up an example for my daughter to respect the choices of others.
2. TELL HER TO BE FIRM.
I try teach her that “Don’t say maybe if you want to say No”. Nothing conveys a No better than a No itself. She has to be firm, both grammatically and psychologically. Empower her enough to value her consent more than anything. Her own comfort must be her first priority. She should learn to say, or rather scream a loud NO, if the need arises.
3. VALUE HER OPINION
If I want others to value her, I must start giving value to her opinions myself. I include her in the family matters, ask for her opinion on issues, no matter how small they are. And mind you, these little balls of cuteness sometimes give the best of advices.
4. RESPECT HER PRIVACY
I allow her to have privacy. I don’t encroach her personal space. Instead, I try to maintain a relationship where she feels comfortable with me to share her experiences and problems.
5. PROTECT HER
This world is a nasty place. Empowering her sometimes not enough. I consider it as my duty to provide my daughter uninterrupted freedom and protect her from the darkness of this world. I let her know that I'm always connected with her whenever she moves out. To achieve this, I prefer to use the DROR Safety App. This app has numerous high-tech safety features which help me stay connected with my daughter. ‘Track My Location’ feature of this app allow my daughter to share her real-time location with me. The ‘Heat Map’ feature will tell her which area of the city is safe for her to visit. The SOS feature help my daughter to get aid in an emergency situation.
This app can be downloaded via the PlayStore for free.