Adding to the parenting debate: laying bare the thin line that Indian parents always cross!

India parents come in all types and forms, with varied perspectives and cultural-social biases and streams of thought and behavior. But what makes of a typical Indian parent is their supervising style of parenting. I here do not attempt to generalize every single parent into this criterion but tear open a few sealed packets of reality. We’ve come across individuals who wouldn’t move a finger without their parent’s permission and internalize the fact that it’s exactly how they will prove themselves as potential lovable and well- raised children. The problem with this idea is not all our personalities are same, not all of us what to live our parent’s dreams, not all want to blindly walk in the path laid by their mere birth givers.

Parenting is a tiresome task and that’s understandable but in India being a child is even more stressful. Our parents have an intransigent idea of raising us through values and disciplining us in the favor of our societal norms, that through time they forget that we are a whole new generation with different experiences and expectations than their own. We have our own dream and aspirations, different from theirs, suitable for our environment and age, different from what was suitable from theirs. But what most parents forget to understand is the need to evolve with time and change with the speed our world is progressing in. Many parents till date force their children to choose mainstream education paths just to make sure they have retained a sense of respect and dignity of the family; what they obliterate is that we as rational human beings have our own choices, likes and things that we are passionate about which become the driving force to our success and more over mental stability and happiness. I’ve had a friend for the longest time battling with his parent’s decision of him being an engineer and his self-choice of doing photography, but has for years together succumbed to traditional choices. Explaining the radical nature of our being only causes rusted relationships and an unhealthy familial environment, making us want to gulp our dreams down our throats and move on.

Blaming a child of being disrespectful is easy, convenient and the best that our parents know to do to deal with our thoughts and feeling. Here again I am not saying that they are completely wrong or have no purpose of doing what they do, but as insane as the truth may sound, Indian parents have a mask of worn- out ethics and traditions that has made life for children in our age increasingly miserable and difficult to cope with. This brings me to another major parenting trait, common among Indians. Authority! Indian parents want their children to listen to them and period, not another word. Where is line that we draw between trying to understand one’s point of view and imposing one’s point of view to be right. Our parents believe that what they perceive is how their children should perceive their surrounding owing to the fact that they have more experience. But it is equally important to address the fact that every individual has different experiences and what our parents would have experienced is not necessarily what we must experience. It varies from personality, age, maturity and learning. Don’t go out late in the night, don’t wear this, don’t sit like that, don’t stand like that, smile even if you don’t want to, who are you on call with? Why do you have a friend who is a guy/girl? These are normal yet vexing questions we are bombarded with on a daily basis. Again we understand that they are scared and protective but what’s more to it? What about out right to life? What about our right to freedom? What about right to privacy? Very covertly though but our parents are the primary sources who snatch our basic fundamental rights from us and here we are not deemed to question, since our lives are more of theirs than of our own. To me this notion is pitiful, pathetic and illogical. Why should a rational individual, capable of making his or her decision not be allowed to make the biggest life decisions for him or herself? From what to study to whom to get married to, to whom to be friends with and socialize is what parents want to decide for their children. Why?

Considering the patriarchal family structure most of us follow, these rights become minimal and almost unattainable for the female child. Again this does not apply to all the families but it is to only to mention social realities. Girls from the very young age are trained to be submissive either it’s their father or mother or anybody else; their age of marriage is fixed when they are in the womb and the only goal for an Indian parent of a girl child is to take off the burden from their shoulders. Neglecting every dreaming young girl is the mistake every parent makes and that is why our parenting styles are obsolete and can do no good to the society and our economy for that matter.

Talking in the lines of marriage, and for Indian families, marriage and family are the greatest institutions of all. To me it’s an institution where our parents can exercise full freedom in making decision for their children. The choice of selecting a partner is mere a concept in India and the freedom to love someone does not exist. Yes! We understand the world is full of atrocious people and you care but how sure are you that what you choose for is any less pathetic.

What we need is profound parenting. We need it to cater to the largest youth population of the world to live with mental peace and a better individuality. We need a parenting style that understands the need for their children to be free, who understands we learn more from our mistakes than our achievements and allow us to make our own decisions. We need them to think we are rational and not kids anymore or incapable of choosing our paths. They need to let us be independent and be ready to face the world on ourselves. They need to understand that we are more than just liabilities to some other household. We need parenting that helps us emerge as challenging individuals , rather than be knotted to outdated ideas of customs, rules and societal norms. We need a form of parenting that treats us like individuals, raw, unfiltered rather than just carriers of a surname.

We really hope you understand, Parents and to be Parents!

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About Ayushi Jain 3 Articles
Ayushi is 20 years old student majoring in Psychology, Sociology and Literature. She loves watching movies and is obsessed with realist writings. Often found emerged in books and research articles. Optimistically real, extravagantly patient and extremely disapproving of gender power plays and class hierarchies. Also, She loves meeting new people and having conversations that force her think.