The society we live in, there are many chances of molestation. So, I want to advise her that stay away from boys. But at the same time, I don't want her to hate boys forever as once she grows, she has to marry! :)

It's a catch-22 situation because if I want to make her understand that why stay away, because they are bad (not as safe as girls especially as far as molestation is concerned) but then if the impression of 'bad' is settled in her mind, she'll detest boys forever. I don't want that.

  • Well, no one ever told me to stay away from boys... I just don't like them and never really have; I'm seventeen and I still don't :)
    – L.B.
    Jan 13 '15 at 18:18

I suppose you refer to the situation India, which has even hit inernational press lately? (No bashing intended, I commend your awareness and foresight!)

Please consider what you want to achieve: You want her to realize that there are some bad men that can do horrible things. That means, not all men are bad and a general "stay away from boys" would be too simple - and is not what you want to achieve.

She has to realize what the dangers are and how to recognize and avoid them. This will require some frank talk (age appropriate) on your side and clear instructions, what to do. I'm sure the women in your family will have some pointers, too, because they face the situation every day. Of course the "It's better to stay with other girls, not alone"-rule is a good start for a 9-yo.

Of course age appropriate explanation of "some people are doing bad things and hurt children" is necessary for children of all genders and from all cultural backgrounds. Do not - out of shyness or wrong modesty - refrain from this. Start at an early age with a simple "do not follow strangers", then work from there. Do not frighten them, but help them trust their guts. Often, children will realize that somehing is "off" rather early. Allow them to keep their distance, if they want to. This especially holds true within the circle of friends and family as - at least in western cultures - most molesters are found there. (Sad, but true.)

  • 3
    Yeah..you understood my concern well! +1 thanks
    – Maulik V
    Dec 9 '14 at 7:16

Ultimately if you teach her to stay away from boys then that will probably end up with her either hating them or completely rebelling against you.

I think what you want to achieve is better done by giving her the linguistic tools to say what needs to be said and to whom it needs to be said. If she doesn't like the way someone touches her, her body is absolutely her body and it is completely right for her to leave the situation/push the person away/ do whatever it takes to keep herself safe.

You see there are plenty of girls who feel a mountain of pressure from society and their peers to do things that they really are either not ready to do nor actually want to do. And that is where you can help now, by teaching her to value herself, that she doesn't need to impress anyone, that if anyone says to her "if you love me you'll..." they don't give the slightest ... about her, for example.

It's about who she is now.

If you're worried about adults abusing her, then that needs to be helped by you knowing what's going on in her life, as many adults who do this are very good at getting the trust of children and making them feel special and valued before the abuse starts so the child's silence is guaranteed.

Now if you're worried about your daughter getting attacked, telling her to keep away from boys won't help so much as actually making sure you can help her make good choices. "Don't walk home alone late." "Don't be alone with boys you don't know." etc etc etc. You have to get her trust and explain the things are for her safety and throw in some life experiences from you and actually be vulnerable in front of your child.

Now is the time when she is probably the least at risk from her male peers. SO now is the time when you can introduce the language she needs and teach her about the dangers, what to look out for to make sure she doesn't have things happen to her that she doesn't want -- obviously and you know are bad too, but that's how to start it. Give her the skills now when it's easy so that later when she's not so under your jurisdiction she doesn't know how to handle herself around boys.

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