Dr Divya Sharma
Parenting is the process of raising children and providing them with protection and care in order to ensure their healthy development into adulthood. Parents susceptible to trends currently are foundering because they fail to recognize that child rearing requires both an authority line that permits parents to guide their children and mutual respect that permits children and parents to grow together. The linear model of parents as caregivers to children needs to be replaced by a more realistic paradigm in which parents and children are seen as interdependent with parents in charge of the childrearing family.
Parental authority over children has been supplanted by the dispersion of authority among family members. In fact children today are under much greater stress than were children a generation ago, in part because the world is a more dangerous and complicated place in which to grow up, and in part because their needs for protection, nurturance, and guidance are being neglected. The importance of moms and dads, and of their joint commitment in raising the next generation, cannot be overstated. The future of humanity depends on how well moms and dads do in their mission as teachers in the “home school” where they form their children in so many essential human values, like socialization, trust, mutual respect and responsibility, education, hard work, affection, compassion, forgiveness, solidarity, and ethical development. While growing up in a patriarchal society, many of us wondered why don’t we raise our sons like we do our daughters or vice versa? It is heartbreaking that even in the 21st century this differentiation still exists. While some progressive parents are raising their daughters and sons equally in a gender-neutral world, there are many who still have different rules for them.
One of the most common threads of dysfunctional parenting involves the inequitable treatment of daughters versus sons. Our society is filled with “boy mothers” and “girl mothers”. There is no one right way to raise a child, we want to raise a self-reliant child with high self-esteem, we want our child to listen, respect and trust us rather than fear us. We want to be supportive, but not a hovering, helicopter parent but still sometimes, the differences in the way mom and dad treat their children is so subtle that mom and dad may not even realize that they are doing it. The treatment may not be intentional, and it likely is not, but it can still be there. This can be found evident even from “jokes” about dating rules parents have for their sons and their daughters. When they are speaking about more serious subjects, they don’t believe that they treat their children differently, and that may be because they don’t mend down the ways that they do treat their children differently.
Here are some habits that parents should mend to raise their children equitably:-
* Don’t make your daughters assistant parents to their brothers. If he scatters his room, rough handles his clothes he should be the one handling his chores. Never make them feel that their sister is there to serve them. Our sons should be completely involved in our domestic chores, there should be a duty roaster for all the household chores. We should tell our sons that anyone who loves to eat should learn to cook as a basic survival skill.
* Do not tell your daughters to respect their brothers just because they are boys. I have seen a lot of parents telling their girls why would you talk to your brother like that” he is a man. NO! tell your boys if they want respect from their sisters, they must earn it.
* Do not stop your boys from expressing vulnerability.do not tell them to man up if they cry. Let them express their full humanness and emotions without any judgments passed.
* When your girl child makes a mistake do not pass statements like “Is this how you will take care of your husband”. Her life is more than having a man. Teach her things should be done right not for having or keeping a man.
* Each child should be parented according to their individual needs and personalities. And parents should strive to create a home environment that is not just fair and equal, but doesn’t diminish one child over the other solely based on gender. Every parent needs to trust in the fact that they have raised each of their children to the best of their ability, and that they have instilled beliefs and morals that will impact their choices. When you trust in your parenting, you trust in your child.
(The author is MVSC Scholar Deptt of LPM SKUAST-Jammu)
Dr Divya Sharma