Each passing day, it seems difficult to raise a female adolescent in this age. You wouldn’t compare the speed things move in our generation with the generation of our forefathers. Times have changed and things are moving so fast. This means that a lot of work awaits mothers (and fathers too) and there is a high need to be empowered enough to conquer the challenges that comes with raising a female child in a generation that has a high record of teenage pregnancy.
I attended a Mother-Daughter conference organized by GROW THE CHILD foundation. The conference was aimed at equipping mothers with knowledge on how to raise their adolescent daughters in school and at home. One of the facilitators spoke on the way forward to curbing teenage pregnancies. I learnt so much that it would be selfish of me not to share the lessons with my amazing fans. So I compiled these great tips which I think every mother should know with respect to tackling teenage pregnancy.
Educate yourself and in turn, educate her
Education is very important for everyone. You cannot afford to play in the field of ignorance and watch things happen by chance. Get books that talk about how to relate with teens and read them. If you can, which I would advise you do, attend conferences and seminars that trains people on relating with teenagers. You can’t give what you don’t have. If you don’t equip yourself with the necessary information to pass on to your teen daughter, the society will help you do that but in a way you will not like. If you don’t know, ask for help. Don’t die in ignorance. And don’t let your daughter feed from the wrong pot of information. Truth is, when you have given them necessary education and information about the appropriate kind of information to consume, days when you are not with them won’t leave you worried as to if they will go doing the wrong thing.
Talk to your daughter early and often
I know that as mothers, there is a tendency to overlook some attitudes of our children with the line that they are still children. This is one mistake some families make and the resultant effect is not palatable. I know a family who overlooked some bad habits of their daughter when she was little. This girl literally got away with most unhealthy habits. She cried at little or no provocation and to keep her from disturbing the neighbourhood, she was allowed to always have her way. The mother always makes excuses that she is still a child and that when she grows, she will get over it. But she grew with the stubbornness and became difficult to handle as a teenager. The parents are now battling with the consequences of her recalcitrant behaviours.
The point is that you need to start correcting some habits in your daughter early enough. Talk to her from day one. You don’t have to wait for her to grow before you do the talking. Talking doesn’t mean you complain always of habits you are not comfortable with. Talk about values she can imbibe and talk about it often. Talk about things which are termed wrong. Don’t just talk the talk the talk. Do the talk. In simple terms, live by example.
Put yourself in their shoes and don’t just come off like one perfect person that doesn’t have flaws. Come down to their level and talk like you are the one experiencing what they are experiencing. When your daughter comes telling you her failures, don’t raise a rod of judgment on her. Rather, draw her close and calm her fears. Make her understand that you have being there.
Set standards before the society sets one for you. Tell your daughter what you except from her; the kind of attitudes, values and friends you want her to keep. Tell her the kind of behaviour that is acceptable and the one that is not acceptable.
Be Informed and stay informed
A mother attended a party with her children and in the party; they played the song “one corner”. When she saw the way people dance to this song, she was looking lost in the crowd and she had to ask her children when they get home, what kind of dance that was. You need be informed of emerging trends and practices. You don’t want to look like you live under the rocks when your daughter exhibits some behaviour. Being informed helps you checkmate behaviours that are not in line with your set standards and expectations. Know what goes on in her world and age. Know the latest slangs, songs and innovations that make them tick.
Respect your child’s privacy
In as much as you have set expectations for your daughter to follow, don’t choke her with those expectations. Learn to respect her privacy. Measure the space and know when to stop.
Know extreme and warning signs
It’s important you observe your daughter often so you know when signs that don’t add up begin to surface. Know when there is a sudden change of friends or sudden loss of weight. Know when they indulge in excessive eating, demand for extra money or sudden change in personality. Pay attention to those fallen grades and sleepless nights.
Monitor what your child sees and reads.
This is a generation where different kinds of contents are being churned out on a daily basis. It is therefore imperative that you Censor what your daughter sees and reads. Monitor the kind of movies they watch, the kind of books they read down to the kind of music they listen to. When I was a teen, majority of the things I watched and books I read weren’t censored; this made it very possible to watch movies that were pornographic in nature. You might just have to keep an eye on what your daughter feeds her soul with.
Patience is a drug you need to take a full dosage of this drug. (Laughs). Just buy the full dosage and take the chill pills. Why? You are sure going to see heartbreaking exhibition of attitudes that can get you screaming like “uuuuuuuuuuuuuurgh”. Just relax and be patient with them. Don’t lose much of your temper and don’t use brash words when angry. The temptation to do that might be so strong at the moment they get on your nerves. You just relax, take a deep breath and think every word through before you release them.
So tell me, which of these tips have worked for you. Which are you finding difficult to do and which are you planning to engage.
Let me know in the comment section.
Hi there, My name is Faith Ijeoma Ezenwere. I am a Broadcast Journalist/OAP and a teen coach. I am passionate about building a community of impact driven Teens and young adults in all spheres of life. In simple terms, I help Teens/Young adults live their dreams. Welcome to my World!
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