Raising a Chinese daughter is not so easy in this day and age

By Du Qiongfang Source:Global Times Published: 2018/3/18 19:08:39

Up until the moment the nurse raised my new baby upside down in front of my eyes to check its gender, I had always hoped to have a boy rather than a girl. It was not because I preferred a son over a daughter. It was because I had foreseen that raising a daughter in this age would be more troublesome. An incident about a 10-year-old girl seduced by a 15-year-old boy once again reminded me of my fears.

According to media, the young girl's mother, who is divorced, happened to see her daughter's conversations with a boy on Chinese chat site QQ, which turned out to be an intimate relationship far beyond innocent puppy love. The boy asked the girl to learn wenai (a Chinese internet buzzword which means to have verbal sexual intercourse) to satisfy his pubescent desires.

As a new mother, I am sure that I will soon have the same concerns as that mother. However, instead of blaming the boy, that girl's mother should also shoulder the responsibility and consequences of not raising her daughter properly.  After their secret relationship was discovered, the boy told the mother that he had no feelings toward the young girl - he was just using her - which was even more heartbreaking.

I have always believed that it is difficult to protect women from men. But now I realize that it is also difficult to protect a little girl from little boys. Their sexual desires emerge with puberty and they view female children as vulnerable and easy.

A 12-year-old couple from Shenyang, capital of Northeast China's Liaoning Province attempted to book a hotel room after school but were stopped by local police after a hotel worker noticed they were children, according to media reports in November 2014. However, other young girls are not so lucky and experience bitter consequences after a boy persuades them to taste the forbidden fruit.

Another 12-year-old girl, from Foshan, South China's Guangdong Province, was impregnated by her 14-year-old classmate, dayoo.com reported in November 2014. After the pregnancy was discovered by her teachers, she had an abortion.

Because many teenagers and tweens now have access to the internet on their own private mobile phones (given to them by their irresponsible parents), many young girls are more exposed to dangers both in reality and in the virtual world. They become the targets of pedophiles and dating scams.

Thus, it is a mother's responsibility to take good care of her daughter and prevent her from being preyed on. Compared with boys, girls are more vulnerable and need more comprehensive protection.

My own mother-in-law, who raised two sons, agrees that girls need meticulous care beginning in infancy. For example, compared with boys, baby girls need their diapers changed more frequently to avoid diaper rash and infections. But boys can just pee anywhere they want without worry.
And while boys can fall asleep easily, my baby girl can hardly sleep during the daytime. Generally speaking, raising a girl needs more care and requires more effort.

However, in a single-parent Chinese family, it is understandable that a girl who lacks fatherly love will easily get involved in puppy love. And it is also understandable that a single mother who has to take care of her daughter while also struggling in the workplace might neglect her daughter's needs.

But this mother's reaction and the measures she took after she found out about the QQ romance are questionable. She exposed the whole affair on the internet and placed the boy and her daughter in the spotlight, which will make everyone's lives worse off. Such a solution might solve the problem this time but probably not next time.

Correctly guiding rather than suppressing a child's puppy love is a more acceptable way to solve their psychological needs.



The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Global Times.



Illustration: Lu Ting/GT



 

Posted in: TWOCENTS

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