The Powers of the Protectors.

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?’

Because, …the boys’ parents prefer that boys don’t meet girls who might trap them, and the girls’ parents fear that girls will meet boys who might exploit them.’

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,

Unhappy marriages,

Bride burning,

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!

*(society/relatives/community/biradari/samaj)

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64 thoughts on “The Powers of the Protectors.

  1. Glad, you feel this way [not from mars and venus way :)]
    When I was in NE Part of country I was surprised to see the interactive relationship between parents and kids, and I was glad 🙂

    IHM: I wish we also start interacting and respecting (mutual,not one sided) and even respecting their personal spaces, we don’t own them, and protection is sometimes merely an excuse!!

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  2. It’s all about trust. I feel, if you have given your child your values, a good education and a loving home environment then that means you have given them a rock solid foundation in which their roots go deep. So now give them wings to soar. Trust them. In doing so, aren’t you trusting yourself?

    If you take that trust away, doesn’t that mean you don’t have confidence in your morals, your teaching, your guidance and upbringing?

    Absolutely M4, I think if we have faith in how we have raised them, we will be more at peace… ! It really is about trusting ourselves!! So , so true!!

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  3. I agree with everything you have said…At some point parents should let go…

    I’ve never understood the honour killing concept…”Then there are honor killings. Again in the name of protection, daughters are expected to understand that they can be killed…”
    I thought the whole point of protecting daughters was to ensure no harm came upon them…Isn’t killing harming the daughter? Honour killing has nothing to do with wives and daughters – it has everything to do with husbands and sons…

    IHM: Absolutely Sraboney! It’s all about big egoes, controlling, and refusing to use their minds.

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  4. oh IHM, did I tell you that I love you? No? I love you and much more. This post so reflects the thoughts in my mind. The relationship of parents and children is confused. Doing the act of respecting and obeying parents, kids forget to love them. Or they mistake it for love. Even now I feel a hindrance when I speak with my parents, a sort of discomfort. Thinking that bringing up children and getting them good education is why kids have to do whatever they say, is not right. Right?

    Aww Lively hugs to you and honored and touched by your words.
    I think it is unfair to expect total obedience, and instead of demanding respect from children, we should talk about mutual respect.
    And no way do parents have the right to expect kids to do whatever they say just because they got them good education and brought them up. Totally right Lively. And thankfully the children do have the law by their side in this.

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  5. I think the society has so much pressure on parents that they fear if they let go… their children are sure to take up the wrong path.

    But Aathira what is the wrong path? For many parents a girl having a boy friend is wrong. Or children wearing some kinds of hair styles, tattooes, hairstyles etc are considered wrong by the society and parents… sometimes the problem is just the fear that the child might start thinking independently, and maybe hurt himself, but we really have to accept that if we have raised our children well, they must think independently and must also learn from their mistakes, and they will learn to move on after inevitable hurts.
    I can understand drugs, smoking and drinking & driving can be harmful and even dangerous, but this too should be a concern for parents again, unless the three are becoming a public nuisance… won’t you agree?

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    • “the fear that the child might start thinking independently “- yes, parents are very scared that they literally paralyze the kid and they wouldn’t mind sabotaging their education too — and i am not kidding when i say this


      I agree again Anrosh, I have seen this and I think nothing can be more selfish than this. Really, really sad! I think boys are subjected to this more than girls are.

      Like

      • and the usual chant of parents is

        ” we sacrifice for you and you are not grateful. a dog would have been better ”

        parents have literally held back tution for a girl child even after she got admission into one of the better schools in bombay for MBA

        i can keep writing such things that could fill a pages of a book – may be —

        Yes I agree and I can too Anrosh, and I have seen many, many such cases too.

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  6. i speak from my personal experiences. It is very difficult to let go one’s children. we want our children to fly, we provide them with wings, we teach them to fly and try out new pastures but when it dawns on to us that they are actually ready to leave our safe nest, that is the time it hurts the most.
    it is very necessary to let the children become independent, and shelter them, protect them till they are at the tender age of say 18 years. after that parents should let loose their ropes on the children and guide them , advice them and help them take their own decisions.
    but these days children have become so self sufficient that they themselves don’t want the sheltering of parents. even small children tell their mothers, “pl don’t drop me till the school, i can manage on my own”.
    when my children want to take their own decisions and lead the life they want , it hurts me a lot because till now I was their world, their whole life revolved round me and whatever i said was the gosphel truth.but I am slowly coming to terms with it that they have grown up and don’t require me at each and every stage( didn’t I tell the same things to my mother long time back,” mother please dont protect me, or shelter me, let me take my own decisions. U can’t live my life or hold my hands all through my life) so I am also letting go my children. But have told them that I am always there for them.

    IHM: Loved your last line..”But have told them that I am always there for them.”

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  7. How true!Parenting is a real challenge, we have to maintain that thin line that differenciates being protective and giving just them freedom…it is indeed a delicate balance…
    I was terrified of my mother and with my daughters’ I try to be free and open…But sometimes it has the opposite effect, they take me a little lightly…when I want to be serious…

    The balance is tough Sindhu, and it is not easy to let them go! I must admit my biggest worry and joy are the same, that they will find independence and a life of which I am not the axis … 😦

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    • “I must admit my biggest worry and joy are the same, that they will find independence and a life of which I am not the axis …:(”

      So true.

      Solilo this stage is easy to pass if we are also good friends with our kids, and if we also have some interests of our own… That way I must thank the blogosphere too 🙂 I have, after months called a friend and am starting evening walks with her from today 🙂

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  8. I agree with whatever you mentioned here. But then you already know that. Don’t you? 🙂

    Some parents often make it a point to remind children of the sacrifices they made and the emotional blackmailing continues in a way that more than love, it becomes some sort of ‘giving it all back’ for children. Now that’s sad!

    Parenting is tough but we have to strike a balance and also think that we brought the children into this world not to own them but to give them a good life and in turn tomorrow they will do the same for their children too. Life goes on. Give respect and earn respect.


    Absolutely agree Solilo!!!! I find the sacrifice talk extremely selfish, it’s the worst kind of emotional blackmail possible.

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    • you are absolutely right. children didn’t ask us to give them birth. but we wanted to enjoy the feeling of parenthood, we wanted to feel complete,we wanted that some one should be there for us in old age and to put more bluntly for our pleasure. so question of parents making sacrifice doesn’t arise. but children should appreciate that what ever the parents are doing , they are doing to provide a good, comfortable life to the children and parents want just the best of every thing for the children.so for that purpose if the parents have to be a little extra protective then I think it is justifibale.
      actually like so many other parents I want to justify my overprotectiveness, my emotional dependence on my children at this stage. 😉

      I can so understand what you mean Anju Gandhi!! 🙂

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  9. you know there is a lot of ambiguity when it comes to ‘independence’…like parents want their children to choose their careers independently, be able to support themselves financially, take other day to day decisions that involve financial survival independently…but when it comes to emotional survival, you are expected to depend on them…when it comes to using your evolved mind in choosing someone for yourself, choosing your friends, choosing which of your relatives you want to talk to, at that time all the independence is taken as arrogance, ungratefulness…how, how could you be different from us…it difficult for the parents yes that suddenly the child doesn’t need them anymore for certain decisions, but its not easy for the child too…the child finds it extremely difficult to deny all that he/she knows is right just because the parents feel that it is ingratitude…and the world keeps telling the parents how bad their child has been when all the child has probably done is to find something that ensures his/her long term happiness…and isn’t that also what the parents want ultimately?? so does it really matter what path is taken if the goal is the same?

    I agree Cilla, absolutely agree with you. And it is heart breaking when parents confuse their children like this… even condemn them as ungrateful.. but just ask ‘ungrateful for what?’ – parenting is not a favour to be returned, it is not a sacrifice either, we really do not – cannot own our children! And if we really want their happiness then what are we complaining about?

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  10. Absolutely true IHM… nothing to add more… parents are taking too much in their hands where they can let their children on their own 😦

    Yes, Kanagu… and our entire society suffers in the process! Such an attitude even stops progress in some ways.

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  11. Oh IHM!!! This is everything I try so hard to talk about sometimes and stuff that no one seems to ‘get’.

    I’ve maintained that parents are after all human too and are quite capable of making mistakes, specially when it comes to the lives of children, even though they may be mistakes made in the name of ‘protection’. Mistakes nevertheless, but mistakes that might undermine the lives of those very people they are trying to ‘protect’.

    I do not agree with the whole ‘parents are always right’ tenet nor do I get this attitude that one must be scared of parents because it shows respect. I don’t see how fear equals respect. I also don’t see why respect ought to be a one-way in any relationship. Surely it is reasonable to allow for individuality and respect space at some point, even if kids will always remain kids to parents? Plus, shoudln’t respect have to earned rather blindly given to anyone just because they are older?

    I’m tired of seeing people being the people their parents want to be, taking up careers, accepting partners that parents decree because it is ‘right’. And I am even more tired of being expected to follow the norm.

    IHM: DewdropDream I have been a norm breaker all my life without any reasons to regret this, and I am absolutely with you on everything here, including, “Plus, shoudln’t respect have to earned rather blindly given to anyone just because they are older?” Of course it should be!

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    • i am seeing a kid literally tremble at his mother’s sight – ‘don’t tell my mother ‘ is something that i often have to hear. actually, it is not that he is doing anything wrong in the first place.

      when we took the light rail back home, he said don’t tell my mom!. the kid was tired and i cannot let him walk another mile.

      is this power or abuse ? – i am sure there is a better word

      Some kind of control Anrosh, and really sad that the people who say they will do anything for the child’s happiness are not willing to hear some truth from the same child. I see this too, and never know what to think ….

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  12. IHM ” must admit my biggest worry and joy are the same, that they will find independence and a life of which I am not the axis …”
    even I want to say the same but the mere thought that I am not the axis sends shivers in my body. suddenly to find self a mere spectator in ur child’s life waiting in the wings to be called or turned to only in times of crisis or need gives me mix feelings. sadness that I am no more an integral part of their life and happiness that atleast they will turn to me in times of crisis.
    It is a tough road ahead for parents who slowly resign from their post of protectors of their children

    IHM: Yes Anjugandhi, I agree…. I am learning that too… 😦

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  13. IHM,

    This was interesting post, and so were the comments.

    Fortunately, there’s a lot of time for me to be a parent. 🙂

    I think, parents want their kids to emulate and/or obey them as that’s what they see as a certain kind of approval for the way they would’ve spent their own lives. Any departure from the above on part of their children is seen as contempt for their own thoughts and actions, and ideologies their lives stood for. Parents think like–“I did ‘this’, but my kid wants to do ‘that’, which means what I did, and what my life stands for is not good enough in eyes of my kid.” These insecurities arise in individuals right from their childhood ‘cuz at each stage they’re expected to have someone or others’ approval (usually, approval of ‘society’).

    Incidentally, my latest post is a story called ‘Residua’, which deals partially with the problem being discussed here in the post, and where Cilla has commented, and I’ve replied to that covering the reasons why parents force their children to marry someone ‘from the community’.

    Nice post!

    TC.

    PS: IHM, How do I subscribe to RSS feed for comments on your posts?

    Ketan, I agree with you about the insecurities that parents have, I do think we are obsessed with our peer group’s opinion, and need to avoid sacrificing our children and their happiness for this public approval. Generally if parents stand by their children , nobody else really bothers them… who has the time? But parents should first start accepting that their kids are not fools!

    Ketan that sounds like an interesting post… let me take a look!
    And let me check about RSS feeds… okay right on top, under “LIKE THIS BLOG? Click here to subscribe…”

    Like

    • The feed you’re referring to is for posts, which one can anyway subscribe to by ‘RSS feed’ bar one sees at the very top of your blog. The one I’m talking of would notify the subscriber each time a new comment is posted. I think, among wordpress blogs I know of you could find it at the bottom of Destination Infinity’s blog.

      If you put up such a link, it’d be much more convenient to know when a new comment gets approved by you. 🙂

      Thanks in advance!

      Okay I will find it and enable it Ketan 🙂

      Like

  14. IHM, all is fine but what age of children are we talking about here? I don’t see a problem if a father controls his very young daughter from marrying the wrong guy. Legally adult hood is 18 but I’m not sure if kids are mature enough at 18. Of course, sense needs to be instilled in the kids by parents on how to see right from wrong but at times, kids make silly mistakes and mistakenly feel the rush of hormones as love.

    I think there needs to be a balance.

    I agree Rakesh, but in such cases the father needs to stop the marriage by use of words not kicks or chains or locking up the girl. Also consider that more than half the girls in the country are married at or below eighteen Rakesh! They can vote, drive, be hanged for murder, jailed for doing drugs etc at 18!

    And then most marriages are stopped because the boy comes from a different community, now instead of getting the boy killed if the parents ensured that the marriage was registered, the boy had a job, or better still if the parents had found the time earlier to guide the girl as to why she should or should not marry what kind of boys. But in India the idea that the girl might actually choose a boy on her own is considered so unacceptable that parents will send the daughter to police custody but not be there by her side… if she is making a mistake shouldn’t they be even more sure to be by her side and not alienating her?
    Then I also wonder how likely the parents are to be wrong or right? Can’t the parents make a mistake?

    Don’t you think Indian parents need to understand and accept that after a point you really cannot control what your children do? And that children are not always less smarter than the parents?

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  15. I think we need to learn something from animals here. The parents have to let go their children after a certain time. How is the child supposed to learn, to fall, to make mistakes if the parents are always there like an umbrella over his head?
    No one in this world is perfect and parents must learn to stop this persuit of making their child perfect. Every child has a brain of its own and no matter how hard you try, you can’t increase the pace or change the thought process.

    I agree with you Amit, and it is true that we try to make our kids perfect .. or whatever concept of perfection is … and in the process we don’t even let them live their lives fully.

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  16. Rakesh,

    I used to feel the same each time a girl won’t fall for for me. 😉

    But jokes apart, yes, you’ve got a point. It’s for parents to determine after honest introspection what are their bases to oppose their children’s choice. Is it some sensible reason like addictions, past history of ditching multiple lovers, wrong kind of company, lack of sense of responsibility, reckless spending, tendency to show off, show others down or other such tangible traits, which they think could actually jeopardize the marriage of their child in the future; or is it concerns like what would our relatives think, ‘such and such’ community-people are lowly, unreliable (communalization), etc. The latter are clearly too flimsy a ground to dislike any person, including one’s child’s love-interest.

    Yes, I too feel, that vast majority of parents are torn between ‘what society will think’, and ‘my child could be unhappy if we force someone on him/her’, and hence they try to reach a middle ground by allowing their children to choose someone from ‘their’ community. This way they feel they wouldn’t invite society’s ire, and also that their children will feel that they did have a choice afterall.

    Very minuscule minority of parents are they way projected by media.

    Yes Ketan you are right, but do we really need to care for unreasonable expectations of our society? Is it worth it to be so keen to impress the society that we compromise our children’s happiness?

    Like

    • not “honest introspection” but biased introspection happens.

      you know what the funny part is – the sister-in-law can also become the ultra conservative, orthodox traditionalist sometimes but when its time to eat her own words, she finds it hard to chew !!

      Like

    • IHM,

      I think unfortunately, there’s always some sort of communication gap between us. You’ve read my article on ‘communalism’, and believe me, I find the idea of having to restrict one’s love interest to be restricted to a community that is determined by birth and not choice, one of the most ridiculous things afflicting our society. I’d never support that. I was just describing the current thinking of majority of parents, not justifying them. 🙂 If could term the very idea of ‘blind patriotism’ as redundant (again, in my post–‘communalism’), then there’s no chance I could justify caste- and language-based restrictions.

      That’s why to clarify I’d referred you to my latest post, but actually it could take around 90 min to read, so at least you could go to the comments’ section, and see my exchange with Cilla. 🙂 That’d take just over 5 min. That will tell you a lot about how I think on this issue, and maybe, give you some new ideas. 🙂 And of course, you could read the story, but that’d be time-consuming. 😉

      TC.

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  17. wo kehtey hain na “safedposhi mein aam aadmi mara jata hai” safedposhi is putting up a facade for society, if you know what I mean. Log kya kehengey is the bigger concern than what will my child find happiness in.

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  18. Very nice read. I second Sand’s opinion about ‘Log Kya Kahengey’. Well its gud to read this as I am going to be a parent in few years 😀

    I agree too and Thanks
    🙂

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  19. Very nice read. I second Sand’s opinion about ‘Log Kya Kahengey’. Well its gud to read this as I am going to be a parent in few years 😀

    Marcand13 I wish more people amongst us understood this 🙂

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  20. Absolutely agree with every word. Parents may not always be correct. But what`s worse is the fact that most simply refuse to acknowledge this. That is when things can go really,really wrong. Its perfectly understandable of course – just how difficult it is for a parent to accept that he/she has gone wrong in what was the most important task in his/her life. A parent has the toughest responsibility of all – to nurture and raise a lil child into a wholesome adult. One CANT afford to go wrong. Everyone realizes that. Hence the over-protectiveness as a means to blanket the child from the big,bad world. And hence the denial, when they do.

    Piper I wish one didn’t even think or aim to be perfect, life would be so much easier for parents! And we cannot protect a child forever no matter how hard we wish to… what’s worse sometimes we hurt while trying to protect! 😦

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  21. will leave more comments later……but i love….love…love…concluding lines.

    Thank You Indian working woman… nice to know there is a blog for Indian home maker and another for Indian working woman 🙂

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  22. Good to see that you are back home.
    For me Parenting is a tricky business. How much to protect and guide,and how much to leave the child alone is always confusing. I am learning and re-learning.

    Charakan I am doing the same 😆 Learning and relearning 🙂

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  23. “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.”
    Absolutely amazing! And yes I do agree with everything you have written here. Lovely post! I personally come from a fairly liberal family background. My parents have respected my space, my privacy and my freedom. They have been there for me when I have looked for support and given me the independence to choose to be ME! But yes, during my adolescent years I have often deen friends of mine who have not had so much freedom as me and have been livin a life which is far away from their parents perspective of them. It used to sadden me, but I guess each one to its own. Living a dual life can get taxing and that’s how a lot of them ended up going the wrong way. I just hope parents realise the choice of freedom is entirely one’s own and no one else, I mean no one can decide the way one wants to live.

    You are fortunate withinaninchoflife, “My parents have respected my space, my privacy and my freedom. They have been there for me when I have looked for support and given me the independence to choose to be ME!” I hope to be such a parent too!!
    Take a look at this post by Anrosh
    http://thetwentysecondline.blogspot.com/2008/11/21st-century-india-and-case-ism-that.html
    Many Indian parents have no concept of personal space or any individual freedom for their children… they feel they literally own their children to punish, reward, destroy and if when they do none of these they call it a sacrifice!

    Like

    • I’m sure IHM, you are and will continue being a great parent. Hugs to your lucky kids! 🙂
      Indian parents will grow, I’m hopeful. But literacy is the only way for progress to take its course 🙂

      Thank You withinaninchoflife!!! 🙂 I absolutely agree literacy has to be the first step !!! Maybe education and awareness-campaigns and TV serials can also help ….

      Like

  24. So very true! There are so many families where parents behave as if they “own” the children and the society including the kids think its normal..its the way it should be! So many people think its normal when a father beats a naughty son with a belt or when a daughter is married off as soon as she is 18.

    Yeah we Indians in some ways believe in Might is Right, children depend on parents, even to learn that they have some rights (like personal space, for example) and if parents bring them up to believe that obedience, not thinking for themselves is a virtue, then how are they to learn they have any rights too… 😦

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  25. Sorry for the delay in commenting IHM.
    I think the “parents are god” dictum is common in all patriarchal societies . Also traditional ones. And I think it is the kind of thinking that encourages stupidity ( not IQ wise, but applicability wise) and following of rules rather than questioning the status quo. People need to use their brains, those most essential organs to think and do things, rather than follow blindly what is told of them. But that thinking for oneself is a difficult task- for with freedom comes responsibility. most people would rather remain obliviously stupid to avoid taking on that responsibility.

    Hi Allytude 🙂 I agree … we are vary of questioning the status quo, and then there is the fear of responsibility, both make it easier for us to be controlled by anybody who will claim it as their right…husbands, Gurus, parents … anybody 😦

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  26. I think parents in our society at least may not even know how selfish they are being. Actually this “knowing whats best” is very selfish because they want something that suits them more than the child. For example a parent who wants a daughter in law who will look after him/her in their old age and no matter if their son wants someone who can be a friend and companion to him. In fact just yesterday I had this conversation with a mother son duo, some friends who had dropped in. They are looking for girls for the son and the mother went on and on about how a girl needs to look after the parents and should not be career minded. I asked the boy what he wanted. He said he wants an intelligent and educated girl and has no problem if she works! His mother didn’t like this opinion and it is likely that she might influence him.

    Yes, she might Nita, and then we will have another couple who find happiness and companionship at work and in children but none in each other, and then they will expect a daughter in law to be a companion cum care giver in their old age, the cycle continues…. 😦

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  27. Oh how agree! I believe everyone of us are to make our mistakes and learn.. If we listen to the kids they will listen to us too.

    Totally agree!!

    I have restrictive parents and I have done everything that was flagged as bad 😉 however my friend has such u\s parents. They never say No to anything without giving valid reasons. Valid enough and said in a reasonable tones so much so that even kid can the parent’s point of view and hence she has never done anything crazy like me 🙂

    Yes Winnie the poohie, I agree, I too found any unreasonable restrictions were not acceptable! 😦

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  28. IHM.. that last line had me in splits.. have always saaid the sme thing to my folks.. am so glad u understand!

    🙂 I feel strongly about it Esha … have said it my parents in my time, made sure not to fall into the same trap.

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  30. In India, and perhaps in many other countries, Parents more or less ‘own’ children and their bodies. This is why there is this attitude of shackling their spirits.

    me- Mampi I feel really touched and honored that you are reading these posts… and also that you share the same views. ((Hugs!)) -IHM

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  37. I have personally known one murder, one attempted murder and one dismemberment of a man’s genitalia after they went for the woman they loved. All this in the periphery of Delhi NCR. That teenagers have under-developed cognitive abilities and that parents have better experience is no good reason for obsessive parenting. It is unhealthy, because humans do not become independant unless they learn from experience. They don’t mature if they are not allowed to make major decisions in their lives, no matter how many mistakes they make in the process. Almost every social skill that humans learn, are learnt from observation, practice and experience. This includes interpersonal skills on how to co-exist with the opposite (or same) sex. And for the record, inter-gender skills go beyond marriage and sex, something that a lot of Asian parents are neither able to fathom nor admit.
     
    If parents keep obsessively parenting their kids till they are 21, they wouldn’t suddenly wake up more mature one day. I have seen countless instances where Indian men and women in their 20s behave like 13 year olds in the presence of the opposite sex and in various interpersonal situations. It is a rather common trend in the small towns of North India. A lot of women act as if every man who gets her hormones running is her ‘soulmate’ while a lot of men seem to believe a woman who talks to him has fallen in love with him. This might seem cute if they are 13 year olds, but is VERY unhealthy and unnatural for 21 year olds. And pushing them into marriage without the required maturity would simply make it worse.
     
    I guess a lot of Indians need a crash course in Developmental and Adolescent Psychology and the social realities 21st century that makes 17th century feudal traditions irrelevant. It is not a shame to admit that some traditions are obsolete. The core reason for the success of western countries is NOT freedom, but the ability to understand and accept the changing paradigms of the world they live in. If I obsessed on my tribal traditions, I’d still have been hunting bears and rabbits for meat and shooting dkhars (‘outsiders’) when they ‘encroach my territory’.
     
    @ Tarun Goel
    It is ironic you say that. While a lot of enlightened Indians see North Eastern societies as an epitome of ‘Eastern liberalism’, the reverse is the belief among North Easterns. My father and his generation of parents seem to believe that the reason for the relative academic and economic ‘success’ of mainland India is because of the obsessive ‘discipline’ parents enforce on their kids. Sadly, a lot of Assamese people are starting to lean this way, even though fascist parenting was never much of a cultural practice, because of course, being a IAS officer or a semblance of social stability has become more important than personal happiness.

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    • Have you ever blogged about this cases… whatever you know of them? I am amazed at all the talk of parents want the best for their children in the one country where parents are known to honor-kill their children and kill girl babies.

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  38. Pingback: Haryana panchayat cuts off married girls from parents’ property | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  39. My parents always gave me and my sister the liberty of doing anything we wanted to ofcourse with their ‘supervision’ . They were never over protective ,they wanted us to know the world,see it and understand it ourselves . I remember on my 12th birthday my mom told me she wouldnt pick a brithday dress for me and that I should do it myself ,she would only help.She also said I would have to make my hairs myself and I could get any haircut I want. I thought it was so mean of her that time leaving me all by myself but it actually helped me to develop my own sense of style with the freedom of doing anything new .
    I have seen my friends with over protective parents and and I am so glad I had such awesome ones

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  40. Pingback: “Only thing I can can think of now is to take a spoon of boiling oil and put on my cheeks. I will see then who marries a girl with a burnt face” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  41. Pingback: What kind of grooms, do you think, do honor killing, violent parents want their daughters to wed? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  42. Pingback: How do you think would the ‘social order’ be impacted with this kind of parenting? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  43. Pingback: “You can listen to your parents and be unhappy or you can go against them and feel guilty – those are your choices?” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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