Parents Speak - Parenting in India 101
"The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet" - Aristotle. This quote perfectly encapsulates the parenting style in India, where parents are known to be strict and traditional in their approach, but with the ultimate goal of providing their children with the best possible future. In this article, we will explore the state of parenting in India and how it shapes the lives of children in the country.
Parenting in India has come a long way from a conservative joint family system to modern-day mindful handling. Indian parents can often be described as people who aim to raise spectacular children, but their parenting methods don’t often yield those results. However, I had the opportunity to talk to parents who see parenting through a different lens.
Indra Ravindrakumar, 65 and a parent & grandparent herself says,
“I was never authoritative towards my children and was quite genial with them. I was never aware of parenting styles and hence adopted my own way of raising them. I often instructed them to be well-disciplined and obedient so that society will recognize them as good citizens. Since I was friendly, I never resorted to using force or arguing.”
Indra lived in an era where parenting couldn’t be “taught” and parenting knowledge was purely observation or intuition-based. Yet, she fully comprehended the need to ensure a healthy conversation with her children.
“I was never a mother, but a friend who they needn’t shy away from,” she says.
Gotha Hari Priya, a Parenting Counsellor, also has similar views. She recommends open and honest dialogues with children to earn their compliance through connection, not punishment.
“I communicate with my child just as I would communicate with my friend, a sibling or my spouse. I try to keep it as non-judgmental and non-critical as possible.”
Countless parents believe in putting in a constant, conscious effort to be a benevolent parent and cultivate a relationship based on mutual respect.
Where words like “discipline” and “punishment” reign champions in the parenting community, Indra seeks change.
“When my child was an infant, out of frustration, I had punished them by abusing them during their early years, which I now regret. If I was given the opportunity to correct this flaw from when I was a young parent, I very much would. In those days, we were never taught how to raise a child after birth. We accepted the norms back then without questioning them. But now, we live in an era where bringing up a child can be simplified! Now, parents are well-educated and well-advanced with knowledge and guidance on which path to tread.”
Being a parent in India, a country plagued with stereotypical parents with the characteristic “Indian-ess” is nightmarish, especially for young parents seeking proper parenting guidance and counselling. However, parenting groups and credible parenting resources provide a beacon of hope to those plunged in doubt.
There is no such thing as being the perfect parent. Parents, stop investing all your time and zeal into being a poster-parent. Be real. It does wonders!
Written by Nivrrithi Arvindkumar
Nivrrithi is a seventh-grader from Chennai who strongly believes that words are revolutionary, if exploited to their fullest potential. She is a ballet and tap dancer who firmly believes that it transports one into a world of reverie. She greatly enjoys public-speaking and writing powerful pieces that centers around intense emotion. She hopes to publish a short story and a photography blog which is currently in the making and is a part of her school's Newsletter Team. Her main drive is fascination that keeps her ardent about the generalized idea of learning.