Top 5 (unwanted) things Indian parents are learning from the West!

I have often heard ‘being yourself’ is the best parenting style. But, somehow we Indians most often look to ape others, especially after we become parents. The moment you become a mother, you suddenly want the ‘best’ in terms of everything- clothes, bedding, toys, books, school etc. And while wanting the best we also begin to believe that best exists only in the ‘West’. For a person who is raising a child in the U.S. a crib, a mid-night alarm or a rocker might be a way of life, but in our hunt for the ‘best’, it seems like we are desperately trying to cross waters and bring the West to the East. 

Here are 5 (unwanted) practices we blindly copy from the West!

1. Birthing classes

Lets’ start from here! Birthing classes are those that teach the couple how to cope with labour, change the diaper, carry a newborn etc. While this might sound like a BIG thing to learn in the U.S, haven’t Indian men seen other babies in their homes? And even if this was a trend, we most often forget that not all hospitals allow men inside the labour room. So, where’s the question of all the ‘birthing’ lessons being put to use?

2. Co-sleeping is criminal

I remember cuddling with my parents in that tiny little bed, even when I had entered teenage. Those were really the days! But, sadly, parents these days feel sleeping separately have a lot to do with the child being independent and confident. Really? In the U.S. a lot of effort goes into designing the baby’s crib and nursery and kids are expected to be in that room ever since birth. And we have happily borrowed this tradition from them and in fact, some mommies cannot be prouder if their kids take to the habit as well.

3. Let the child eat on his own

Last evening I was staring at the moon and also reminiscing how my grandma would always make me sit on her lap, talk to me about the most bizarre things, just so I swallow a few morsels. It is such an Indian thing to ‘feed the kids’, but it's sad how the tradition is slowly fading away as new moms are happier with the western culture of plonking their kids on high chairs, letting them self-feed. Yes, it is messy, but soon the kids get a hand of it and that’s exactly what parents seem to want. 

4. Bedtime

Most parents off late seem to be obsessed with bedtime routines. Early dinner, bath and off to bed by 7 pm, is the grind mommies insist their little ones follow. And this too is a very western habit. In the U.S., kids are expected to sleep early, so that they get to snooze for a good 8-9 hours. However, in India, kids are used to being up late and go to bed along with their parents. But, hey, in the name of ‘good habits’ this western culture too has made its way into every mommy’s routine.

5. Emphasis on independence

It seems like the world has suddenly become a tad bit fast in expecting kids to behave like grownups and be independent. So much so, that we are also proud about this western habit. In the U.S., kids move out of home once they turn 18, are expected to make their own pocket money, and in short be on their own. But, sadly enough Indian parents seem to be following this tradition too, (a little differently) expecting kids to eat, sleep and play on their own. Stop mommies, childhood is not a thing that will come back when you miss it!

So dear mommies, children raised in the West have a very different upbringing simply because their tradition varies. Why are we forcing ourselves to cross borders, change our age-old traditions and also follow it? After all, it's just a different style of love! 

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