Girls and daughters are not usually synonymous with mischief, being naughty and possessing a brattish attitude. They are supposed to embody grace, beauty, composure and charm, certainly not disdainful mischief and defiance! Mischief is just not right, so it needs to be discouraged and immediately nipped in the bud.
‘Oh, she is too naughty for a girl’ remarked one of my old-fashioned relatives with patriarchal conditioning and outdated thinking while looking disapprovingly at my daughter. Have you devised strategies to combat the naughty streak in her, if not you should hurry now before it’s too late’ was her strong exhortation. Male-chauvinist views and patriarchal thoughts are surely revolting and repulsive to most people and rightly so! They instantly provoke me to react and retort as well as cause indescribable outrage in me. In fact, I would be quick to call out on such sexist, gender discriminatory and patriarchal opinions and would immediately condemn them.
Boys playing pranks are invariably welcomed, embraced and their mischievous dimension is not just tolerated but blatantly encouraged while being nurtured to a fault so much so that if these boys grow up to be bullies harboring archaic and sexist ideas about women while constantly demeaning them, bullying, abusing and nagging their wives, partners or even their daughters they are easily condoned and conveniently overlooked. Just because they are men, they are endowed with privileges and entitlements that they can command and dispose at their will!
In exercising those male powers that a few men think are actually bestowed upon them by gods, they feel no remorse or the slightest degree of compunction let alone shame and embarrassment about their actions. Male-chauvinist men feel righteous about their entitlements and never once pause to self-introspect and question their own thought processes or their long-held convictions that are clearly biased against women. They never attempt to analyse and review them to find out if they are justified at all to harbor such misplaced and distorted notions about their own masculinity and sexuality.
Mischief and pranks are normally associated with boys and to see a girl being equally strong headed, witty and naughty is simply not acceptable by social standards. It’s socially contradictory and politically incorrect! Especially patriarchal societies are quick to deplore and vilify such girls as well as relegate them to a lifetime of denigration, defamation and contempt. Our societies not just frown upon such girls but teach them lessons that serve to undermine their self-confidence and self-worth. Some lessons leave permanent scars, indelible marks and wounds on the minds and bodies of young girls and women so much so it becomes impossible for them to stage a recovery and return to normal lives.
I see the mischief and inimitable pranks of my daughter as an expression of her creativity, imagination and infinite energy! They are typical of children both boys and girls and are rather a normal part of growth. In fact, they are regarded as an important developmental milestone! I would loathe to discriminate based on gender and will certainly welcome as well as entertain the naughty ways and delightful pranks of both girls and boys. As long as their naughty behaviour and mischievous attitude doesn’t border on indiscipline and show signs of malice, personal attacks or hostility I will definitely endorse it.
Before long most children irrespective of gender outgrow their naughty patterns and mischievous ways! They easily become unfamiliar with their own naughty facet, so instead of curbing and disciplining them, let’s wholeheartedly enjoy their pranks especially of our daughters for they won’t last too long and forever! Like all things in life, their childish innocence and attitudes will fade away and disappear with age and time. Before long they become nostalgic memories only to be recalled wistfully!
When to Curb the Mischievous Facet in Your Children
Bordering on Indiscipline
As mischief and pranks are common to both girls and boys, parents can definitely entertain their jokes and endorse their behaviour as long as they don’t border on indiscipline and disobedience. Unruly and aggressive children should never be tolerated and be at once told off for their attitude. They should be told categorically that their brattish pranks aren’t acceptable and parents should immediately take corrective measures to quickly put an end to disgraceful habits.
Causing and Spreading Negativity – Pranks and jokes are nice only as long as they exude goodwill, right intentions and respect for the other person and ambience. The minute they turn unhealthy, disgraceful and sinister and show signs of malice and hostility or negative control and dominance they should be denounced and rejected outright. As parents we need to sensitise our children about healthy and unhealthy pranks and establish rules and boundaries around appropriate mischief.
Playing Pranks Persistently – Some children display an obsessive trait of mischievous behaviour despite instructions. These kids need to be strongly, appropriately and sensitively mentored and counselled.
Mischievous and Bratty Girls?
This article breaks the stereotypes associated with naughty girls.