Let’s break the Streotype

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 instills primitive thoughts in people’s minds. We live in the 21st century and we still have the need for campaigns to treat a boy and girl child equally. Despite it all, the discrimination begins even before a lady gets pregnant. There are people who still chant mantras to get a baby boy, people who feel disappointed when the nurse comes out with the baby and says “it’s a girl”, and people who feel a family is incomplete without a boy!

 

We have to be a part of the change and thankfully we are heading in the right direction. 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. Some things we should/should not do.

Tell them they are smart, not handsome/beautiful:

From a very young age let’s tell our kids that skin tone is just a colour that people are born with and it has nothing to do with a person’s character. I know a lot has been said on the subject through social media and blogs, but still we find people looking for a fair bride for their son, forcing myths on pregnant women to get a fair skinned baby and a million other things. Still our society associates 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 and hardworking is what matters and not being pretty.

Don’t Instil 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 a convenience factor associated with it. 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 progressive we think we are, we are bound, at least somewhat by the norms of the society. The only thing a girl’s parents 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 a personal decision and you don’t have to change it just because your neighbour does it!

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.

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