Friday, 19 February 2016

Let's break the stereotype!

We live in an era where we hear a lot about gender equality, but sometimes I feel the more we stress on something the more it acts like instilling primitive thoughts in people's minds. 21st century and we still have to have campaigns to treat boy and girl child equally even then the discrimination begins even before a lady gets pregnant. There are people who still chant mantra to get a baby boy, people who get disappointed when the nurse comes out with the baby and says "its a girl", people who feel a family is incomplete without a boy! Gone are the days when parents preach their girl child only to learn cooking and run a house, though at times a distant relative "aunt" drops by once the girl is 20 years old to check her skills on becoming a wife. As we know there is never a right way of parenting, it differs from person to person, but then here are a few things I feel may have a negative effect on the child on the long run.

Tell them they are smart, not handsome/beautiful:
Even from a very young age lets tell our kids that skin tone is just a colour people are born with and it has nothing to do with a person's character. I know a lot has been said about this these days, through social media and blogs, but still we find people looking for a fair bride for their son, force myths on pregnant women to get a fair skinned baby, the increasing mania for fairness products and the endless skin treatments. Still the society always associate beauty with flawless skin and fair complexion. As parents the most important thing we need to do is make our kids comfortable being in their own skin. We need to stress on the fact that physical appearance is only secondary and let them know it is being smart that matters and not being pretty.

Instilling fear:
This is more of an age old practice, wherein we hear the parent telling their kids "You better finish your food or else boo boo will come", "Do not go that far alone, there is boo boo there, it will come and catch you". By doing so, are we not inculcating fear in our kids? Somehow when I think of it, it has more of a convenience factor to it as well. The next time the kid runs a little faster, this so called "boo boo" comes to the parents rescue to get the kid back to them without them running behind the kid, next time the kid refuses to eat, boo boo comes handy to the parent without trying to figure out what the child wants to eat or even whether the child is hungry at all! May be this helps us run the daily errands with a bit more ease but we never know when another person might make use of this "instilled fear" in the child and all we would be able to do is sit back and regret.

You do not have to go with the society wave:
However progressed we think we are, we being social animals are bound to go by the norms of the society. The only thing a girl's parents should look forward to after her studies, is to get her married. Even if the parents don't care, the society panics if the girl crosses the "age to get married" or if a girl does not get pregnant after the "fixed period" after wedding. May be we should let our children explore and grow up and decide on their own. It is not a sin if you decide not to get married or if you decide not to have kids. it is purely your decision and you don't have to change it just because the rest of the world does not go by that.

Girls are usually expected to ignore, forget and forgive and in a way suffer in silence. Give them the confidence to stand up and react, let them know that as parents you are there to fight with them or rather to fight for them.