The Expert’s Verdict - What does parenting look like in India?
How do parents interact with their children? What does the parent-child relationship look like? And what do experts have to say about this? In this article, we’re talking about what counsellors and medical professionals think about parenting in India.
Parenting. When you hear this word, what do you think about? For me, it’s an endless sea of diapers, toys, mashed-up potatoes and onesies. But I learned that parenting has a much deeper meaning than just this.
When it comes to parenting in India, a common parenting style is value-based parenting. This is when parents teach children core values at a very young age, which are linked to their behaviour, beliefs and decisions.
Another is family supported parenting. Here, the child/children have a family of 5-6 people living in one house, and everyone works together to raise the child. This is the parenting method used in my household too, where everyone looks out for each other without putting the pressure on one or two people.
However, as much as we can infer how to parent and raise children, it’s also helpful to get advice from sources that have studied parenting. I talked to some experts, and here is what they had to say about what parenting should look like.
“I think that parents should be more collaborative with their child. Even if you are helping them out, it’s always a really good idea to ask them what the child feels about that problem or idea or situation. And if it’s a problem, let them come up with their own solutions and help them if needed”, says Moksha Miskeen, a School Counsellor.
Ashutosh Sinha, a Paediatrician, who is also a parent, say,
“The relationship with my kids is more cordial and it’s more of a friendly environment, so if I have an issue I will not hesitate to tell them and if they have a problem, they will openly talk to me about the same.”
When I asked Ashutosh about parenting styles that parents choose nowadays, he said
“I think at the moment it’s more of a very open environment, because, a little while back parents used to take most of the child’s decisions, but now I think that has changed and parents have opened up to their kids. Openly discussing, comfortably sharing issues, listening to both sides and allowing children to speak and make their own decisions, helping them if necessary.”
However, the scenario hasn’t changed completely. Moksha shares the somewhat negative side of how parents usually interact with their child-
“Even though usually parents aim to help children become independent and responsible from an early age, they sometimes miss out on incorporating the choice and voice of children in decision making. Hence they usually reply to the information from their own experience rather than letting children have their own voice.”
So, even though parents in India usually rely on natural tactics and methods to parent, there are many new ways of the same coming in, one which is, namely, the RIE method (of parenting). This is essentially when a parent treats (or tries to treat) their child/children as individuals and paying attention to their emotions, basically, parents not cooing at or cuddling their baby all the time.
The RIE method is definitely something that Indian parents should aspire to, as they sometimes can be a little too authoritative over their child’s decisions. However, every parent has their own way to raise children, so let’s lean into that!
Written by Vaidehi Pant
Vaidehi is an enthusiastic study-lover by day, and an author/reader by night. She loves to dance, draw, write, swim and do internships :). She lives in Greater Noida with her family.