Do you remember introducing your childhood friends to your parents?
In my house, the introduction was more of a masked interrogation:
“So where does (insert friend’s name here) live?
What do her parents do? (Yes, ‘her.’ I wouldn't dare bring any male friends home!)
Is she in your class?
Does she have a boyfriend?
Where does she attend church?
What does she want to do in future?
Did she win any prizes at Speech Day???
The word ‘cringe-worthy’ comes to mind. I never understood why my parents were so interested in these mundane details of my friends’ lives.
Now I'm a parent and I completely understand.
I understand wanting your children to associate with children who are brought up with similar values to yours.
I understand that feeling of anxiety when your child makes reference to something inappropriate for their age and you wonder where they heard about it or saw it.
I understand having to navigate the dichotomy between the benefits of technology and the dangers sometimes posed by it.
I understand that as a parent, your thoughts are consumed by the welfare of your offspring. You want the best for them. It can sometimes make you act in unfathomable ways but the bottom line is that as long as you have a child, your protective instinct will forever be on high alert.
In a world where we are constantly battling imagery and rhetoric that can often counteract our best parenting intentions, it can be a great relief to find a platform or a safe space where our children can interact and share positive aspirations and goals with one another.
That's why I was relieved to find out about the SKY Girls movement!
The SKY Girls initiative aims to empower young girls to be unabashedly confident about their commitment to their values. At SKY, good habits are cool and the young ladies who are part of the SKY program are encouraged to share their values without the burden of negative peer pressure. SKY is not a place where instructors dictate to participants. Rather, girls meet and interact in a fun, social setting and voluntarily articulate the things that matter to them in planning a successful future for themselves.
As parents, we are often wary of social groups for children and we hold on to the notion that what we teach our children at home is enough. In a perfect world, that might be the case but in my line of work as a media practitioner, I am awed by some of the things that children as young as 5 years old are aware of and engaging in without the knowledge of their parents. Does this mean that we are failing as parents? Certainly not. It just reminds us that there is more than one approach to preparing our wards for the realities of life and programs like SKY exist to provide an outlet for a generation of young girls to feel good about their positive values.
To find out more about SKY Girls, visit www.skygirlsgh.com or call 054 012 4008 today!