How to raise your daughters in today's world?

Monday, 16 June 2014 - 5:00pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

On Fathers Day, daddys share their perspectives of having a girl child and how they feel about bringing her up in today's India

I am a good friend
The first sight of my daughter, filled me with delight. She is now 15, and I act like a parent onlywhen needed; usually, I am a good friend. I consider it important to make her aware about the good and bad sides of society. She keeps me informed about her whereabouts. If she doesn't call, I do. I advice her to avoid isolated places or routes, remain alert (even in crowded places) and seek help promptly. In this way, I'm satisfied about her safety, without limiting her freedom. I don't think India is unsafe, people here still hold women in high regard.
Edwin D'sa, 46, Sr. Manager
Safety and Security, Private Sector


I’ll Guide Her
My 4-year-old angel is a ‘blessing’. While she’s a child, I’ll accompany her and keep a track of who she is with. And as she matures, instead of imposing rules, I’ll guide her with my advice. Reading about rape cases frustrates me, but I still think India is the perfect place to bring up my child because of the extended family culture. We cannot rely on the government everytime. It’s upto us
parents to inculcate good values in our boys at a young age and teach them to respect women.
Chris Baptista, 36, Manager,


We discuss issues
Everyone wanted a boy in those days, but I wished for a girl and wanted to name her Andrea. Over the last two decades, my bond with her has grown strong; she shares her problems and seeks my advice. When she behaves different than usual, I try to discuss the issue with her. I ensure that I know the people she goes out with. Rape cases scare her too, but she knows how to differentiate between people and is cautious. In a scenario where rapes seem to be increasing in India, I don’t think sending her abroad is the way to protect, I’d rather keep her in front of my eyes so that I can do something if an untoward incident takes place.
Anthony D’Costa, 46, Skilled Mechanic,
Mahindra & Mahindra


I don’t stop her
We already had a boy, so I wanted a baby girl to complete our family. And I was blessed indeed! My relationship with my 13-year-old daughter is very friendly. I don’t stop her from going out, but keep a check on whom she’s hanging out with, ask her to be careful and avoid conversations with strangers. News of rape, which reflects the mentality of the society, worries me and would scare any woman. To make India safer for girls, we should include gender awareness and sensitivity at school level.
Sunil Akerkar, 43, Director, 
White Space


I’ll give her freedom
I was open to both a boy and a girl, but I just wanted my baby to be healthy. And she was! My upbringing will make her strong, both physically and mentally, so I’ll happily give her all the freedom. If she takes to bad habits like smoking, I’ll discuss the pros and cons with her so that she can make an informed decision. Hearing about rapes is upsetting, but I don’t think sending her abroad is the solution. India is a good place to bring up children; kids here are far more aware. We’ve come a long way as a nation and changes in education will only improve people’s thinking. If we treat men and women equally, the issue will eventually solve itself.
Rivelino D’Souza, 32, Financial Services


Explaining good touch and bad touch
With the changing times we need to connect with our kids by being a friend and a parent, at the same time. We need to adapt and customise our approach towards parenting. I ensure that I am involved in Nupur's day-to-day activities, pranks and games. I share my opinions with my daughter in a way she can understand. My wife, Parija, on the other hand, talks to her about good and bad touch. I never had a gender preference and still remember how special I felt when Nupur was born. So, news of rapes do scare me, but having travelled across the globe, I have read about women-related crimes in other countries, too. At the outset, they reflect the mindset of the criminals. To change the scenario, we should treat everyone at par and start communicating with, educating and directing our boys on the right path at an early age.
Kedar Bhat, 33, Architect

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