I recently read a touching story about a nurse who was abused as a child. We will feature her story in subsequent posts. I really admire her boldness in telling us about her past where she was shamefully hurt by those who should have protected her. After reading that post, I was inspired to write down 12 things every girl should know. Many of them are common sense but the major problem is that we never sit our girls down to actually talk about these things until it’s too late. Hopefully we can use the points below to start discussing these issues or some may choose to forward it to their girls. Feel free to share in your social circles.

  1. You are special – the average girl goes through a roller-coaster of conflicting emotions. One minute she dares to believe she is special, next minute she feels like rubbish. As she approaches puberty, the hormones are swirling around. She is growing breasts as well as spots. She experiences her periods as well as strange sensations when a boy is near her. A compliment can make her day while a spiteful word can crush her for weeks. This often leaves her vulnerable to manipulative men who know just what to say to lure her at this vulnerable time.
    So tell your girl child every day that she is special. Let her know that you love her. Find out how she likes to see love expressed – is her thing words of praise, hugs, gifts or time together? Give her heavy doses of that and she won’t be fooled by wolves in sheep’s clothing.

  2.  Your body is special – she needs to learn as soon as possible that her body is special and beautiful. It is hers to give when she is ready. No one is allowed to fiddle, poke, prod or abuse it in anyway, not even her own father, brothers or uncles!!
    If anyone abuses her and threatens her that she must not tell, she needs to know beforehand that she must TELL!! She needs to know WHO TO TELL!! Have you made her aware of WHAT TO DO in the event of any abuse? Does she realize that the abuser is threatening her only because HE IS AFRAID of being found out? The one who is in trouble is the ABUSER, not her. Many child abuse victims are often threatened by their abusers that they will be killed if they tell. The child needs to know BEFOREHAND that this is a gimmick by the abuser to protect themselves and perpetuate the abuse.

  3. You are not a punch bag. One in four women are victims of domestic abuse. The girl who grows up understanding how precious and special she is will know beforehand that physical abuse is not the ‘usual thing.’ The days of mothers telling their daughters ‘all men beat their wives so endure it’ has passed. Around the world, three women die EVERYDAY from physical abuse!! The girl child needs to know that a man who smacks her while they are still courting is very likely to continue when they are married. SHE CANNOT CHANGE HIM and she is not called on to change him. Physical abuse is a behaviour choice the abuser has chosen and continues because he knows it works. Only he (with professional help and prayers!) can make the decision to change. The girl child is too special to spend her life living in terror, bruised and battered at will.

  4. You must not let hurtful words get into your heart. ‘Guide your heart with all diligence’ – Bible. We are shaped by what we allow into our hearts, consciously or unconsciously. Only helpful criticism should be allowed into your heart. Only words that empower you to be your best are allowed. Let your heart-guard be ever diligent and watchful. You may need to end friendships/relationships that are filled with words about how useless and foolish you are. The girl child who constantly hears ‘stupid woman, hopeless woman, you are ugly’ will be mentally anguished and cannot fulfil her greatness in life. Constantly say to yourself, ‘I am wonderfully and beautifully made. I am getting better every day. I am destined to greatness.’ Say it all the time. Say it till you believe it. Say it till it drowns out every vile speech rolled out to disempower you and snatch your glorious future away.

  5. There is more to your life than waiting to get married. Let the girl child be all she can be. Build your character, read your books, go about your business, be the best you there can be. Don’t sit and wait for marriage. Marriage will come while you are busy fulfilling your great destiny. ‘Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor’ so get up and shine forth. Let no one say you are nothing because you are not married. Prove them wrong. Be massively successful at what you do. Bless lives everywhere you go.

  6. You can be wealthy. Gone are the days of waiting to get into a rich man’s house and be given pocket money. Girls, the world needs you to be massively wealthy! Who can hear the cry of the poor, the orphan, the infirm, better than the girl child? The strings of your heart are often pulled, but to empathise may not be enough. To say very kindly ‘Go and be warm’ is more effective if this is accompanied by some material gift. Be wealthy for you, be wealthy for your family, be wealthy for your world!

  7. You can make a difference in society. Who will be the presidents of tomorrow, the power brokers, the environmentalists, the reservoir engineers, the inventors of a cure for AIDS? We are WOMEN! We are SMART! We can work together with our men folks to make a difference in society. They need the female angle. They need our finishing touch. They need our soft bits. Girl child, society NEEDS you!!

  8. You deserve love and respect. Don’t ever sell yourself short. Hold on to your values. Be a person of integrity. Speak truthfully and stand by the truth. Don’t ‘cast your pearls before swine’. Know who you are! Even when father or mother are not there to monitor you, set your standards high and monitor yourself. A man who is not bold enough to declare to the world that he loves you and wants to spend his life with you does not deserve to sleep with you!! Not even as a ‘trial’. He can experiment with someone else but not you. You deserve love and respect!

  9. You are responsible for your greatness. No one is coming to usher you onto the dance floor. Take responsibility for your greatness! Find what you love to do and become an expert in it. Create value for yourself and greatness must necessarily follow. Endless TV watching is not for you – those people on TV are living their dreams, you need to work on yours. What side of the TV do you want to be on??
    Laziness and dirtiness are not for you because you know you are heading for greatness. A Chinese proverb says that ‘The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago. The next best time is today!!’ So define your goals, write them down and begin taking definite steps to achieve them. No one else can do that for you!

  10. Only add people you know on social media like Facebook. Many predators masquerade as friendly faces. Some are much older men out to trap gullible
    young girls. Never ever agree to meet up alone with anyone you met on social media. Never go alone to the house of a man who you don’t know very well. Go with a friend. If need be, let the person meet you up with your friends in a safe place where you can get help if things are going wrong. Let your parents/guardian in early on in the friendship. They are there to help you and have your interest at heart, so involve them.

  11. Never accept gifts from older men (or women) which you cannot show your parents. This is called grooming. They give you small gifts and gradually escalate to bigger gifts, all the while gaining your trust. Eventually they strike and then it’s too late. Form the habit of saying ‘oh please give it to my mum so she can thank you as well’ and see how quickly they disappear with their evil bait. Don’t be gullible no matter how badly you want that iPhone; it’s better to wait patiently to get it than let your impatience lure you into the lion’s den. Be content with what your parents or guardians can give you and work hard to earn your own money to buy what you want.

  12. Flee from older men who tell you problems they are having with their wives or show you bad pictures. Let your alarm bells ring very loudly when a much older man makes you his confidante. He tells you how bad his wife is at making love, how miserable she makes him and so on. You are not his counsellor!! He should go find one or go moan to his own mates. As you listen to his gibberish, he is carefully drawing the strings of your heart till it gets to the point that you decide it is your ‘destiny’ to help this ‘poor man.’ You are then finished!! He can do whatever he wants with you. You may not live to pick up the shattered pieces of your life.

22 Responses

  1. Lovely would surely share c my kids, all the comments are so insightful. Just one thing, pple have this idea that domestic violence might have started while dating or courting which may be true for some but for lots of other women this may be far from d truth. I know of few very close pple who never got hit or shouted down on while courting. Girls should be taught to test their suitors, test them and see how they react to stress, pple who have different opinions from them. When they are in a conversation, do they do all the talking or do they listen and give others a chance to air their views in a respectful manner. This maay help too.

    1. Hello Anie, you have made an important point. Indeed signs that a man may be violent may not show during courtship.
      Signs may also be there but without awareness on the girl’s part, she may not recognise these signs for what they really are. For example many girls mistake jealousy for love on the man’s part.
      That is why there is need for greater education and awareness which is what this blog and the sexual wellbeing community aims to do.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. This is simply awesome, a must read for every ‘girl’ young or old. Especially in these times where the pressure for young girls to conform to the dictates of ‘the happening people in the society’ is so strong. It is very important that girl child is empowered to stand firm, and when necessary – stand alone.

    1. Hi Elsie, thanks for reading.
      You are right, the empowerment of the girl-child is so crucial.
      All hands must be on deck for this important task if we hope to have little girls grow into wholesome individuals who can impact society for good.

  3. A paradigm shift in the way boys are raised is essential. Mothers should stop making their boys believe that they must get whatever they want at all cost. They must be taught decency early in life.

    1. Interesting angle you raised there, Joy! Yes indeed, as we educate the girl-child, there needs to be a corresponding change in the way boys are brought up too.
      Thanks for highlighting that.
      That will be the subject of our blog very soon. Stay tuned!

  4. Powerful,Beautiful,inspiring. I loved this. I too need to share this with my daughters. Thanks for this.

  5. These are great words! not just for the girl child but even as a grown woman i have learned a lot from this. Thanks for sharing. I’m off to print it and hang on my wall….inspiring!

  6. Hey,
    Good one, simple sex education won’t hurt. You re a girl your brother is a boy. Mum is a woman, dad is a man. Aunty is a lady, uncle is a man. You wee differently. Your are different n special in your unique way. Your body is special because u re special, so we all need to take care of our body in a special n private way. No one is allowed to touch your body it is private for you alone. No raising of your skirt up, no sitting on dad, uncles, n boys laps. The normal nos, pls don’t mend that u involve dads n even sometime yourself it is better than to be bitter.

  7. This is very inspiring…though my daughter is not yet 3 but I’ll start the talking in baby language she can understand. I strongly believe the earlier the better. Much later may be difficult. Anyways God help us as we guide these treasures He has so graciously bestowed on us. Also rape has become very rampant, so our girls need to be trained to defend themselves paradventure they find themselves in such situations. Good job sis…

  8. Simply powerful Dr Ada. Thanks for using your gift to help others. I enjoy reading everything you write. Keep up the good work. I need to make notes so I can share these with the girls I know. What age is the right time to share these guidelines?

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Kay, and I hope you are having a lovely weekend.
      I would suggest ‘the sooner the better.’
      But pitch it at a level the child can understand.
      For example a 6 year old can be informed that her body is special and she must let mummy know if any touches her in so so and so place #demonstrate# while bathing her.
      I am curious to know what ages our readers will suggest themselves :))

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