I respect you all for the sacrifices, the emotions and the hard work that you put in bringing up your children. I understand our country is in developing phase and that the daily life of a common man is not easy here.
I feel the pain when I see fathers commuting through jam-packed roads amid the continuously blaring honking or traveling in rickety buses to reach work and I smile at the sight of the lunchbox dangling in one hand. I feel relieved to know that at the end of a hard day, you have a home to go to – one that you built with your hard-earned money.
My heart goes out to every Indian mom who is deprived of her sleep but still she gets up every morning to give breakfast to her children who start their days as early as 6 am.
I send virtual hugs to every Indian mom who hasn’t ever cooked a meal of her choice. It is always either the favorite dish of her children or her husband. I wonder if she still remembers her preferred taste.
My heart wells up when I see parents pampering their daughters thinking ‘don’t know if she will receive the same kind of love after marriage.’ As a daughter I was always loved more by my parents so I can relate to what is it like to be a daughter to loving parents.
I believe you may not be the best parents out there but you are certainly the most loving and most giving parents in the whole world.
But this makes me ponder that when we have such loving and giving parents in India then why is our society so competitive? Why do over 1,00,000 Indians commit suicide? Why do Indian women still haven’t gotten where they should have been decades ago? Why is India still largely a patriarchal society?
With such doting, hardworking and adoring parents, Indian society should be full of love, gentleness and kindness. But we are among the most depressed and competitive societies in the world.
Stop insisting on grades. Insist on Learning.
Enough has been said, written, ranted about and researched upon Indian parents’ fixation with grades and rankings and college names. We often hear them boasting of ‘I worked hard so that I could send you to that school.’ And all goes wrong right here itself. It is not the school or the college or the subjects or the grades that matter. It is the learning that matters the most.
Sending your kid to the best of the school or the best college will not guarantee excellence. Deep learning will.
For as long as I can remember I wanted to study literature but my parents pushed me to study science. Now, at the age of 35 I am studying what I have always wanted to. I wish my parents could let me study a subject of my choice and could save so much of my precious time.
Stop being obsessed with grades and rankings and subjects. Be obsessed with the talents your children have and let them hone those talents. Unknowingly we kills thousands of would-be Picasso, Da-Vinci and Kishore Kumars. Our country has abundance of talent but it all goes wasted in pursuit of grades that stop being of any use after a while.
Stop being risk-aversive. Let your children take risks. If they fail, let them own up to them. You do not have to jump in and feel responsible for their future and worry unnecessarily.
I think the problem is that Indian parents are way too attached with their children and their children’s future. This is the reason they cling onto their children’s performance in exams so as to be assured in their mind that their children would lead a better life.
But this isn’t the solution. Precaution isn’t the way to safety. Strength is.
Let them be strong. Let them deal with things on their own. Let them take charge of their life.
My parents never came to drop me off or pick me up from any place. He let me be on my own. Initially I was scared but with time I became stronger. Today I feel thankful to him for letting me on my own. This has instilled courage and fearlessness in me.
Stop being obsessed with marriage.
This is the biggest grudge I have with Indian parents. The day their daughters enter college, Indian parents find a new goal – to find a match for her as if the daughter is dying without getting married.
You do not realize what all you kill by putting her in matrimony at such an early age. I know many girls who were married young and are leading a happy, healthy life today. But I wish you could leave the decision of getting married upon the daughter. Let her decide. It is her marriage after all.
Another major problem of Indian parents that indirectly contributes hugely to patriarchy is that they teach their daughters to put marriage above everything else.
When it is mandatory for men to be able to earn before getting married, why isn’t it the same with women?
I understand in most cases it is about two things – societal norms and safety.
Safety isn’t a concern anymore as we see more and more girls taking up jobs at young age of 21 or 22.
Societal norms? Who sets these norms? Other people – parents of somebody else.
Even if others constantly brick you with questions about your children’s marriage, kindly ignore them. You don’t want to shape your children’s future based on what ‘others’ say about it.
Most Indian parents I know start working on the agenda of marriage early on. In the process of getting their daughters ready for marriage, they condition her in a way that her marriage is supreme to her and nothing else matters before marriage.
Please for God’s sake, teach her about the things that are of much greater value than marriage.
Teach her to never compromise on her self esteem.
Teach her to stand up for herself even when no one else does.
Tell her that she has every right to be selfish and stay happy. She doesn’t have to be a martyr every day.
Stop tabooing sex
Almost a decade ago a friend said, ‘before I got married, my mom told me to not only give one but also get one.’
I was amazed how conveniently her mom has said to her what girls today find hard to talk about even in their friend circle. I wish every Indian mom could teach her girl to not only give an orgasm to her husband but to also get one for herself.
Please stop making sex a taboo. Talk to her openly. Tell her what it is and how it is a pleasure.
Please explain to her that Orgasm is a gift to woman by mother nature. Suggest her to enjoy sex and not think of it as a duty. The act of sex can be as pleasurable for women as it is for men. Sadly, most Indian women don’t realize this.
Stop victimizing her
I understand you love your daughters a lot but love does not mean letting your daughter be a flag of your respect in the society.
Love means letting one live a life of dignity.
Teach her about her rights. Tell her what all she can ask for as a woman. Stop victimizing her by weighing her down with expectations of a perfect wife, mother and a daughter-in-law.
Instead stand behind her as she moves on the ladder to live a life of self-respect and a life of her own choices.
You are her parents. Love her now the way you loved her when she was a young child.
Dear Indian Parents,
With a little patience, tad bit of unconventional thinking and tiny bit of change in the way you bring your daughters up and get them ready to take on life, you can completely reverse the face of Indian society.
If all parents let their daughters choose
If all parents let their daughters live, laugh and loiter..
If all parents believe in this quote by Isaiah Mustafa – “I hope that my daughter grows up empowered and doesn’t define herself by the way she looks but by qualities that make her intelligent, strong and responsible woman”
If all parents let their children be what they truly want to be..
Indian parents will be the best parents in the world.