Daughters: Whose friends?

girl child is usually the favourite of her dad especially if she is the only girl in the family. Dads are naturally inclined to protecting their daughters more than their male children. This parental disposition towards the girls are innate because nature tells us that girls are weaker and more vulnerable than the boys; hence the need to monitor, protect and ultimately defend them wherever they are being harassed, intimidated and their fundamental rights are being questioned or denied.

It is believed that daughters are more caring to their parents particularly at old age. They are closer to parents through regular visits, phone calls and attending family functions. In view of this subject, it is true that most daughters don’t flow with their moms at the initial stages; much later, the trend will change. Two factors are the reasons for this change:

i). Daughters, later in life, do appreciate the immense contributions of their moms in their early life through the adolescence to adulthood. This period covers between ages five and 21 or in some families, it extends to age 25. Daughters do realise that they now possess some good measure of culinary skills through the kitchen experience with their moms. They informally learn home-keeping and hospitable characters in the process. These do not come by easily without some harsh discipline measures like scolding and in some cases, smacks, slaps and caning.

ii). The second factor is when they both go through women stuffs together. Stuffs like menstrual circle experiences, sharing ideas about relationships as it concerns men and their associated troubles; seeking counsel on issues of the in-laws, job, career or business, coping with funny and cantankerous neighbours, spiritual matters and managing homes including finances and children’s nurturing, healthcare and grooming. Based on these factors, daughters will ultimately be closer to their moms at advanced stages of life than their dads who were their best friends when they were younger.

The fact that men don’t stay much at home like moms also account for the reasons why daughters grow fond of their dads whereas they easily get pissed off by the commanding attitude and multitasking demands of their moms.

It may be funny to discover that some daughters are very heady, strong-willed, and masculine in thinking and disposition. Some of them do behave like Tomboys, always looking for trouble and causing stirs at home. Interestingly, such breed often turn out as better lovers and disciplined moms. They grow up becoming very confident and bold. They talk frankly, dissect issues dispassionately and rarely cave in under pressures. Such daughters are the signposts of the family image in the neighbourhood and community. Not many of them are street fighters but they can defend their rights to the hilt. They don’t give up easily or be intimidated because they act on conviction. They are not emotionally fragile like other women but could be irrecoverably attached to their men.

As maturing daughters, they are habitually on their guards, suspecting every move from men as aimed at taking advantage of them. Meanwhile, they like to display some daring attitudes and funny traits such as:

• Daughters are fond of daring male siblings especially elderly ones and their twin brothers.

• They like to enjoy preferential treatments on account of their gender.

• They don’t like to run errands but enjoy sending others on errands.

• Some of them are very outspoken, bold and adventurous. They could be rebellious sometimes.

• They are more sensitive, conscious and discerning of people and the environment.

• They are caring and compassionate as the milk of kindness do flow from their hearts towards everybody around them, in particular, to their parents, siblings and friends.

Daughters need encouragement, love and regular counseling more than scolding or demeaning remarks as these measures of discipline are not always the best approach in their late teenage years and early 20s. Some could lose their self-esteem thereby. I strongly believe that sharing life experiences, godly ethos, societal norms and cultural values will impact more on them.

However, given the crucial character-forming at this stage of their lives, mothers need to insist on certain norms against their daughters’ fantasies and exotic influence. During teenage years, they are highly optimistic of life and potentially ambitious particularly while negotiating the bend to adulthood. This could make them rebellious, recalcitrant and egocentric sometimes.

The most important role of a dad in this circumstance is to provide the father figure that epitomizes discipline, fear, caution, security, confidence, provision and comfort to complement and moderate the grooming activities of his wife. The girl should not see her dad’s presence as a window of relief from the suffocating presence of her mom.

However, the coming together of mom and daughter as friends will technically sideline the dad. This friendship do last a lifetime as exemplified in the mom’s periodic visits to her place, nursing her babies whenever she puts to bed, and being available for the daughter at the expense of the dad.

Indeed, she is her dad’s beautiful daughter but to her mom, a friend for life!

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