Bringing up Girls

Yesterday I met a lovely mother and daughter at the pool. Our girls clicked right away, so did we. She was born and raised in Peurto Rico and moved to the States some 15 years ago. Despite our seemingly different backgrounds, it was astounding to find so many similarities in our view of how to raise our daugthers.

She is a practicing Christian. She cares about what values she passes on to her daughter. She has given up her career outside of the house (works part-time from home) to spend more time with her daughter, even though this meant living somewhat leaner financially.

I have recently purchased Jamed Dobson’s Bringing up Girls and loved it! Although I do not agree with him on somethings- such as his views on the princess movement, I would still highly recommend this book.

Dorris, my new Puerto Rican friend, turned out to be a fan of Dr. Dobson too (they listen to his radio show). It made me feel hopeful to see that people like Dr. Dobson touch  thousands, if not millions, of people’s lives. Although at times I feel like this un-Godly movement has taken over the world, all is not lost.

Somewhere in our conversation, we talked about the need to teach our daughters to protect themselves from sexual assault and molesters. Since this is a delicate subject, it requires a lot of preparation before parents explain these issues to their sons and daugthers in a way that would cause the least damage to their physchology. Apparently there is a book out there explaining how to go about this.

If we or someone close has never experienced such a terrible thing, we might be too naive thinking that these terrible things only happen to people who hang out with certain types of people, in certain types of places. But this is definitely not true.

Unfortunately, due to many social factors, there are lots and lots of disturbed people out there. They might have successful careers and be educated, but they might still have serious physchological problems we don’t know about.

The bottom line is – we must be careful.

Dorris said that if she has people staying over in her house, she always has her daughter sleep in her parent’s room. I was immediately reminded of a friend who told me that as a child, she has been molested by a family friend/uncle one night when he was staying over at their house.

Although I have known what happened to this friend, it still did not occur to me to have my daugther sleep in my room when we had overnight guests. The same goes for not allowing her (or your son) to do sleep-overs at friends’ houses. You do not know what goes on in someone else’s house – or ours for that matter, as was the case with my friend…

We must ‘assume the best’ of all people. But we must also ‘act wisely’ and take all precautions to prevent tragedies and to prevent suspecting people for no reason.

Sorry for bringing up such an unpleasant topic, but it is reality and we must face it at some point. Better now than later…