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Letter To My Daughters Of Kitebi Secondary School

My dear babies, you cannot believe the pride I have in you when I see you “swaggering” around at 18 years of age.  It’s Dad again, with pen and paper.  I never feel I have told you enough, so bear with me when I sometimes repeat myself.  I just think you haven’t understood what I am trying to communicate some times.  My last love note was when you were 16 and since then, you have adjusted both physically and mentally.  You are not the only ones changing; the environment you live in is changing too.

I mentioned in my first love note that relationships will feature in your life now and again.  While other aspects of life are relatively straightforward and easy to plan for, relationships are not.

You are our beautiful queens, and we love you so much that whatever happens to you is of great concern to us.  You have done us so proud so far and we are optimistic that you will continue to make us even more proud.

Nature demands that as normal and beautiful girls, you are developing interest in the opposite sex, and those of the opposite sex (males) are also developing interest in you.  This is quite normal and expected, but you have a duty to manage that natural situation with wisdom and diligence.

Your beauty and youthfulness make you a target for so many males to approach with all kinds of tricks.  For now their obvious intention and mission is nothing but sex because none of them can marry you at this stage.

You must develop the nose to smell an impending “attack” from a distance regardless of the method used; many men are sweet talkers, some throw bait at you in the form of precious gifts, money, fancy mobile phones, lifts in limousine, outings, name it, but be ready to take over.  I am your father, but I am also a man, so believe me, “There is nothing for nothing.”

Making friends with the opposite sex is neither wrong nor bad, but what you end up doing in that relationship is what may spell an early disaster.

At this stage of your life the best kind of relationship is a platonic one, which means a friendship based on affection or love, without sexual relations.  You like each other, true, but talk about general issues like God, academics and entertainment (movies, music and dance), deliberately avoiding romantic situations.

As you talk with a male friend, you must be intelligent enough to sense the flow of the conversation and the change in his mood.  Male friends will most of the time try to tactfully lead a conversation in the direction of romance and sex, regardless of the subject you started off with.  Under such circumstances you may excuse yourself or drive the conversation by changing the subject to something that will completely change his direction.

Once you have read someone’s intentions, the solution may not be to avoid them.  Rather, simply avoid talking to them in a “one-on-one” setting.  Always be in the company of another person or other people.

Males respond greatly to visual stimuli, so dress decently, sit like a lady and deny them the undue privilege of seeing your body because it is privately owned by you.

On the other hand, the female’s greatest point of compromise is touch, especially inappropriate touching of areas that are generally considered private, like the breasts, bums, legs and ribs.  There should be no compromise with touch and absolutely no reason for someone to touch you beyond a handshake.  Be very strict in this respect.  If necessary, raise your voice and get help.

The moment you allow people to touch you without putting up touch resistance, you will have set up as a target for abuse, with dire consequences.

One other way to deal with the problem is to openly, frankly and firmly tell the person in no uncertain terms that you are not interested.  This communication must be firm enough to deliver the message home.  As you communicate, it is also important to look people in the eyes, as eye contact is very powerful and frightens off people who want to try their luck at shaking your principles, and take advantage of you.

If you find yourself in a dilemma, do not wait for the situation to get bad; run away so that you can think clearly.  Men like to take advantage of a girl’s moments of indecision so that by the time you make up your mind about the situation, he has completely overwhelmed you.

Talk to us, your parents, like you have always done.  As you know, there is nothing you can’t tell me.  I treat sex like anything else in life, so just talk to me and I will provide the answers simply, and in straightforward fashion, without beating about the bush.

While we love you so much, we cannot be with you everywhere.  We can only give you candid and frank advice.  The policeman and body guard you have at your disposal is your conscience.  Your conscience is powerful enough to judge what is best for you, at every stage in life.  Mummy and I are your back-up whenever you need support, and encyclopedias when you need answers.

The dangers of relationships:

  • You are too young to contain the emotional stress of love affairs, which you have seen so many times in films and soaps. While these situations in movies are simply acted for entertainment, they are based on what happens in real life.
  • Very few relationships which start early last until marriage so you will most likely be used for experimentation and dumped along the way if you indulge too early.
  • Falling in love takes a very big toll on one’s normal life leading to the following;
  • Thinking and concentration are diverted from studies to the relationship.
  • You become someone’s emotional slave, spending a lot of time thinking about him while he may not be bothered about you to the same level, if at all.
  • You become insecure, develop jealousy and worry about your relationship. You start to live another person’s life instead of your own, all the time wondering where he could be, what he is doing and with who.
  • You stop enjoying your freedom because you have to behave in a certain way to please someone, you have to consult on what to do and what not to do.
  • You develop a need for more than you can afford in terms of dressing, make up, hair management and others. These are expensive and so they expose you to exploitation because you will need the money, and where will it come from?
  • In most cases the consequences of early relationships is early sex and early sex has the following related problems;
  • One loses her virginity and feels used and empty and therefore loses self confidence, self esteem and also stop feeling free with her parents because of internal blame and guilt.
  • One may contract sexually transmitted diseases among them HIV which although it is manageable, is an irreversible and life time disease.
  • One may become pregnant and therefore a child mother.
  • One lessens her chances of developing her career fully through education by dropping out of school.
  • One becomes a subject for gossip since wherever she goes, people whisper about her.
  • One loses the privileges of childhood because people now treat her like an adult woman, yet in real sense is a child.

At 18, the law permits you to marry, but you are definitely not ready for that, because you need to mature and prepare for your future and that of your children to come.  You do this by investing in education and business.  You will be respected and treated differently if you get into a relationship when you are self-sufficient, self sustaining and independent.  Never be deluded by a man’s promises, because these are simply baits to get hold of you.  Plan your future and let whoever wants to join you do so on your terms.

While we discourage you from early romantic relationships, nature and your body, under the influence of hormones, will tell you a completely different story.  We have the confidence that you can manage those situations, but should the unfortunate happen, while we shall be very disappointed in you, we will, at the same time, be very understanding and loving.  Never keep from us secrets that can destroy you, because we are there for you at all times, both good and bad.

We never asked for your permission to produce you, so we promise to take full responsibility.  However, you must support us to support you, by being kind to yourselves.  Our understanding, our support and sympathy will not prevent you from suffering the consequences of your actions.  The wise thing is to keep out of trouble, and you can.

It is for this reason that I made a choice to keep writing to you because once you are above 18 you will find life very dynamic with very many new challenges, and in my humble wisdom no one else can perform my role better.  I see you daily and so I know what to tell you and when.

The old adage says, “you can take a cow to the well but can’t force it to drink.”  This iv=s very true, I will not force you but I want you to see reason and I have no doubt that you will.

The ABCDE of choosing a future partner:

I know children have visions of marriage even at 12 years.  They wonder who their dream man will be like; they relate with love stories in novels and imagine=e themselves in such situations.  It is therefore not too early for me to introduce to you some issues one should consider while picking out a future partner when that time comes.

Relationships are like a race, because a good start makes a good performance and people can avoid the problems that torment those who don’t plan.

Don’t spend a lot of time thinking about these for now, but having read them, keep them at the back of your mind and remember them when the time comes.  “A” stands for age, “B” for beauty, “C” for culture, “D” for denomination and “E” for education.

Age (A)

It is generally accepted that a lady should be younger than a man she marries, but the age difference should be preferably not more than 10 years because:

  • Women tend to grow faster than men physically. In addition they are drained by child birth and child upbringing.  This tends to make them appear older than men of the same age.
  • Women tend to think in more mature way than men of the same age. So to be at a common level of reasoning and decision making, and to avoid conflicts, the man should be older than the wife.

Beauty (B)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so one should choose a spouse of whom they will proud in public, rather than getting into a relationship of convenience, where you are even afraid to introduce each other to friends.

Culture (C)

Spouses should be able to fully appreciate, respect and get along with each other without misgivings even when they are from different cultures.  If this cannot be amicably attained early enough during the dating, then one is better off looking for a spouse from one’s own culture.

Some couples despise the other’s language, names and culture to the extent that they would rather have their children speak English rather than either of their own, because they can’t come to compromise.

Denomination (D)

It is not easy to have more than one religious belief in a home.  For that matter, if of different religions, one of the parties should consent to convert.  Some couples have gone ahead to get married with each retaining their religion, but it turns out to be a problem later in the relationship when each party wants to influence the children to their side.

Education (E)

A couple should have education levels that enable sustainable conversation about common developmental and social issues as well as changes in their community.  If there is a common difference in the level of education between couples, they will belong to two worlds with nothing in common to talk about.

Finally do your bets and keep healthy in order not to regret later in life.  Always be careful not to have scratches and scars on your bodies.  Pick your food wisely; eat a little carbohydrate with lots of greens, fruits and water.  Limit your intake of fats as much as possible and exercise regularly not less than three times a week, for not less than an hour each time.

Calculate your medically recommended weight and maintain it by weighing yourself weekly.  Do kegel exercises.  Learn how to do them at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/kegelexercises/wo000119.

Perform some basic compatibility tests, for example to check if you have sickle cell career traits and get medical advice on the likelihood of having children who are sufferers.  Also get medical advice from any other compatibility tests you could take.

Use simple make up and non breaching creams like plain Vaseline.  Use nail polish in cool colours like opposed to shouting red, green etc; you should remain a human being not a painted picture.  In addition, use simple lip balm rather than red lipstick.

Choose a lifestyle and stick to it without being blown around by peer pressure.  Don’t do anything because so and so has done so.  Never.

Lastly besides academics, adopt the culture of reading for pleasure.  Read a lot and about anything.  Be widely informed as survival is for those who know how to survive.

Plan your future and let whoever wants to join you do so on your terms.

BY REGAN LUTAAYA

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