“Ek poem suna do beta” 7 things Indian parents should stop saying right now!

“I asked her to sing, but she is so stubborn she never does. Once the guests are gone she will be singing by herself. One day I really scolded her. Even then she just will not,” says an exasperated mother.

Oh, Indian parents do love their children, I am not arguing that. It does get a tad out of hand sometimes. To the point that parenting becomes smothering. Child feels suffocated and unable to express his predicament and this leads to bad behaviour.

In the above complaint, the parent, in one swell move has introduced power politics, discipline issues and anxiety in a child. Here are 7 times when Indian parents totally bungle up the parenting game, unknowingly.

1. “Ek gaana suna do beta”

Most children are offended the first time they are faced with this. It sounds like a request but is delivered like an order that backfires most of the times. Children do perform, and love it too. But that is usually for the benefit of a parent they love. Never for people who do not live in the house, or ones children do not consider family.

Forcing a child to perform is guaranteed to have a undesired outcome.

You can try asking if the child is interested in performing and upon his/her consent promise your guest a fun show!

2. “Uncle/mama bolo”

After the bombardment of news in the media regarding child molestation beginning at home, why do Indian parents insist on co-opting friends as family? Other than child’s immediate family let the onus be with the child to choose who he/she chooses to call his family. Keep a close watch on who your child allows entry into her inner family zone.

If child chooses to stay away from/not interact with a particular person ask why. Ask the child, instead of forcing your decisions.

3. “You sit beta, main hoon na”

Indian moms are nothing if not extra loving with their jigar ka tukdas. Bringing food to the child, feeding and then clearing away well after the child is old enough to take care of himself. Sounds familiar? It absolutely is. What parents fail to see is that making the child wipe, clean after they’ve made a mess instils confidence in them. They feel better prepared for life if they know how to take care of themselves.

4. “Sharmaji’s son has scored more”

Comparing to peers actually starts much earlier in life. From the time children are babies, parents begin to compare height, weight, responsiveness of their own babies with others. This gets added and modified as child gets older. Child by him/her self is never good enough.

While parents mean well, this does not encourage children to perform better. Research proves that constant positive messages help in the long run rather than bickering about each and every failure of the child.

5. “What will people say?”

Indian parents are always preoccupied with what others will say.

“Boy doesn’t like cars? What will people say.. hawww”

“Daughter likes shorts? What will people say?”

With children under the age of 2, go through this level of examination, one can well believe that it snowballs into a mammoth problem by the time they are 20. They are taught to be slaves of public perception.

6. “I know better because I am your mother/father”

Subconsciously the child begins to believe that he/she doesn’t know enough. This is likely to cause damage as kids grow up imagining parents to have answers to all things. It stunts childish inquiry into things and can be detrimental.

7. “She is a girl.... say sorry”

In a misplaced desire to have equality for the sexes, Indian parents often dig it in even more. When a boy pushes a girl and is made to apologise for hurting a “girl” he learns things that are not implied. Such children struggle to comprehend things like equality and feminism as they grow. Its best to constantly reiterate equality of sexes, instead of making one out to be ‘gentler’ or ‘delicate’ than the other.