Cilla asked in a comment, “…what do you think about sheltering children, overprotectiveness to prevent children from going wrong or getting hurt? don’t you think such children end up doing just what their parents feared as if fulfilling some prophecy?… would like to know what is your perspective as a parent and in general…”
I feel parents cannot protect the children forever, so once they are adults, it is practical to guide them and trust them and teach them to take care of themselves. Also, I am not sure if the parents always know best.
I have blogged about this here. [link]
Many, many Indian parents believe boys and girls must not interact. I think children who are not allowed to mix might grow up confused. Boys and girls must see each other as individuals and humans, not as different species from Mars or Venus. More than anything if children are treated like they do have minds of their own they are more likely to get used to using them.
It is unfortunate when parents are the only people who do not know what’s happening in their children’s lives. The wish to control and protect becomes a barrier in bonding.
Sometimes ‘such children end up doing just what their parents feared as if fulfilling some prophecy?… because those who have not been allowed to mix may have stereotyped image of the ‘opposite sex’.
Curiosity also finds an outlet in street sexual harassment.
“Some boys who had never interacted with girls thought if you as much as laughed at their jokes you probably were in love with them. It wasn’t their fault. They had absolutely no concept that girls could have normal conversations with boys, or that girls were just like any other people.“
But ‘Why this segregation of young adults?’
In traditional families any wish to marry a girl he likes is seen as being irresponsible.
And always, always the parents know better. The parents can and do make mistakes while finding ‘suitable matches’ for their children.
If parents always knew better there would be no,
Children so busy with tuition and home work that they have no time to play;
Unhappy adults stuck in wrong careers or
Students taking their lives because they only got 90.2%.
Also absolute power is open to misuse. Parents do not always know how to handle the power they have over their children. Intelligent adults forced to save unhappy, abusive and violent marriages; dowry; violent beatings, demand for sex selection; honor killings and sexual abuse prove that.
Should any human have such power over another human?
There is also this thinking that the main purpose of having children is to provide support and care givers for the parents’ old age (generally through male children and their spouses). Now, can the parents self interest or biases not clash with what the child wants? Isn’t protection likely to be used to control the children here?
Then there are honor killings.
Again in the name of protection or honor, daughters are expected to understand that they can be killed (or made to give up her dreams/career/education/love etc).
Such thinking might have been the reason why a stepfather in Hyderabad chained and beat his 15 year old stepdaughter. Half this nation would say, if any girl disobeys, a father might be forced to chain her and keep her hungry, for her good!
I heard an eight year old screaming one morning. She was sent to take care of her construction worker sister’s baby. When she tried to run back home her legs and hands were tied with ropes. The older sister said she must obey their parents and help her. I doubt if their parents were doing what was the best for this little girl – but they had the powers to ‘protect’ them.
Parents in India are known to get their adult children sent to jail for marrying against their wishes. Sometimes they might get errant children and their spouse killed. Recently the Supreme Court had to put it in writing that any Indian adult is free to marry or live with anyone of their choice!
I also notice that the children are advised to not be influenced by their peer group, but the parents’ peer group* rules their entire lives!