The Worst Thing About Indian Parents

The dad who tells his son he has to do his MBA no matter what his dream is. The mom who informs their daughter that she must marry and give her grandchildren before she dies. Parents believing everything should happen their way because they have more experience than their child. These are some popular stereotypes expressed when someone asked a question on Quora about what the worst thing about Indian parents is. But not everyone thinks it’s as stifling. Some answers look at things the funny side up.

Many traditional parents can’t conceive why their sons would want to grow their hair. Amit Amola speaks of this – “The worst thing in my opinion is that whenever I come back home from college during vacations, no matter how small my hair is, they are just gonna ask me to get it shorter anyway.”

It seems, also, that Indian parents can’t do without divine rationale. An anonymous writer says that the worst quality of an Indian parent is to “go to a pandit or astrologer for every little problem.” Someone else speaks of dumping pressure on the child – Indian parents “put their child in TUITIONS right from first standard.”

Ramaswamy Subramanian, on the other hand, believes that India is too diverse a country to expect everyone to make the same parenting mistakes. He speaks of class as a factor that plays a large role in methods of upbringing. “India is a multi-cultural society, and one cannot expect uniformity in Indian parenting,” he writes. “Every parent is different, their attitudes and approaches will also be different.The poorest of the poor can’t take care of their children…and the children may have to grow by themselves. Middle-class parents…are ready to sacrifice their own comforts for the future welfare of their children. There is no need to say more about the elite groups, their children continue to go to schools and colleges, till they are able to settle down elsewhere, comfortably.”

Some answers take other sociological factors into account, even if they view it all from the middle class perspective. Pradeep Jayabal’s opinion gathers gender into the fold when he says – “Male children are more like an insurance policy, and female children are very much a liability.” Ravi Indluru says it all in the word CASTE.

But the worst thing about parents for Priya Saikia isn’t really that they want their preschool kid to draw the best apple in the class, or that they want their grown daughters to start popping babies as soon after nine months of marriage as is respectable. It seems her parents don’t understand how the internet functions – they can’t comprehend how a daughter buys dresses online without trying them on (it’s illogical that she’d want to risk having the size or fit wrong), but that risk doesn’t extend to long term choices; it’s absolutely fine to let a matrimonial site decide who her ideal life partner is.

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