In the vast landscape of desi parenting, there exists a fundamental problem that impedes the growth and well-being of both parents and children. While it is essential to acknowledge that not all parents fall into this category, it is disheartening to observe that many still struggle to adapt their mindset to a rapidly changing world.
One of the key issues lies in the belief that parents can exert absolute control over their children’s lives. Hum apkey bachay hain, machine nahi. The inability to accept and embrace their children’s choices and independence often leads to conflict when their offspring deviate from the paths they envision.
Moreover, a prevailing misconception persists that success is purely materialistic, equating it with adhering to predetermined career paths dictated by parents. Parents must realize that each child is unique, excelling in areas beyond the confines of conventional academic pursuits. A football enthusiast may possess talents that surpass the memorization of chemical equations, just as an aspiring space traveler may harbor dreams beyond a mundane desk job. Har bachay ko Doctor Engineer nai ban na hota and its okay.
Another pressing issue is the emotional blackmail system prevalent within Desi parenting. Manipulation, guilt-tripping, and imposing idealized notions of filial duty have become distressingly common. Parents must understand that providing for their children’s basic needs is a fundamental responsibility, but subjecting them to continuous demands for conformity is unjust. Shaming children for not aligning with parental expectations tarnishes the individualism that accompanies growth and self-discovery. Our worth should not be reduced to how well we conform to societal standards or safeguard our family’s reputation.
Sexism remains a pervasive issue, perpetuating unequal expectations and opportunities for boys and girls. Girls face undue scrutiny and stricter judgment, while boys often bear the weight of societal burdens. Academic expectations are disproportionately skewed, with girls being pushed to achieve exceptional grades, while boys receive more lenient standards. We must challenge the separation of responsibilities based on gender, allowing both sexes to mature independently, unencumbered by societal norms.
The matter of mental health also demands our attention. Desi parents frequently dismiss concerns of depression and anxiety, urging their children to simply sleep it off or accusing them of overreacting. Boys, too, should be encouraged to express their emotions without fear of judgment, liberating them from the stifling burden of societal expectations of “manliness.” Enough with the “mard bano mard” statement. Every individual, regardless of gender, has the right to open up and seek support when needed.
Trust is an essential element in healthy parent-child relationships, yet Desi parents often struggle to foster it. The lack of open dialogue on subjects like sex education contributes to the increasing prevalence of sex crimes in India. We must educate sons to respect women and daughters to be well-informed and empowered, teaching them about consent and boundaries in a manner that suits their age and understanding.
Desi society, including parents, often possesses a judgmental streak, casting aspersions on everyone they encounter. This habit of biased judgment and unnecessary criticism is deeply ingrained, hampering individual growth and societal progress. Furthermore, rigid adherence to caste and religious boundaries impedes the acceptance of inter-caste and inter-religious marriages, reflecting a reluctance to adapt to changing circumstances. Therefore, desi parents, should reflect on their parenting approaches and adapt them to the evolving world.