|Vivaan and Palaash|
Here we come with our own list covering the things, which probably we will never tell our sons (Very commonly used in a typical Indian Parenting scenario):
- Pink is for girls and Blue is for boys! – Even though this statement seems ages old, a color is a color. Why cloud a child’s mind with bias with a color. I say, Atta boy… if you like pink.. go ahead wear one if u want, it’s not going to make him a boy any less. And a girl likes blue her girlie instincts won’t diminish. It’s not the color but mind-set we are creating.
- Oh you are a boy, boys don’t cry- Here we go again! Boys are strong, boys don’t cry, boys don’t get scared… Why? A boy is also as much as a human as a girl and of course have equal amount of emotions (if not anymore) pent up within him. So he cries big deal… why wouldn’t he cry if he is hurt or he is sentimental or simply sad. He has every right to express himself the best way he knows. Let him know it’s OKAY to Cry out.. hand out all the tissues you can.. It’s better to let the steam off in a way u know wouldn’t harm anyone. Ditto for scared, he is no super human, don’t expect him to be… getting scared is a reflex to any action.
- GIVE UP! Because he/she is younger than you - All right so on a play date your tot has to suddenly grow up and doll up into all sacrificing youngster. And why exactly should he do that? His playmate maybe a little younger but so is your tot. He is a child himself why expect something so unnatural. If he doesn’t want to share his favorite toy so be it.. he’ll definitely share something less favorite and the playmate doesn’t have to know. It’s not just the toy, but also his stance he doesn’t wish to change at the behest of others. Let’s respect that.
- It’s a SPORTS thing, you have to do it - This may not go down too well with dads who were brought up with the same notions of BOYS = SPORTS. So your boy doesn’t like to wear the Ronaldo jersey u got him or the tennis racket that is gathering dust. The world isn’t going to end there. His interest may lie in music (either singing or playing any instrument) or literature or dance. A sport is not the only benchmark at learning teamwork, co-ordination, and sportsmanship. There are various electives today which teaches all of the mentioned above. So let’s not be hung up on such ideas that may make our children unhappy.
- Oh! Is that your GIRLFRIEND? Ok people hold your horses. So how old is your child to understand the “girlfriend” concept an adult mind has? And most importantly just because he is a "boy" the subsequent partner has to be a girl is written no where.. let him have his own orientation instead of inducing his mind with pre conceived notions. Why take things for granted.. an open mindedness from now will save us from any coronary at the later stage of our lives.. so it does work mutual. :)
- Show this aunty & uncle how u dance/sing/blah blah blah.. Ok so your kid is brilliant at tapping some feet or singing his rhyme. If he is willing to show his talent off to your guests he will oblige whether you like it or not. He is not an entertainment channel you put on anytime someone visits you. Do not take a false pride in pushing your tot beyond his guard and embarrass him.
- Lets hit the table harder, for hurting you: Or for that matter hitting back even some other kid for defending himself. First and foremost we don’t believe in hitting back as a defending mechanism. Be it a friend, living being or a non-living object. When a child hits the table, how is that poor table to be blamed? And is that what we want to teach our kids, that if by mistake some object or person hurts him, he should retaliate by hurting back. We teach our kids that even if a friend hurts him, the best way is to communicate verbally and move away. He will not become a coward if he doesn’t hit back.
- If you do this, the cop will take you/doctor will give you an injection: Lets get it straight, cops and doctors are their to help us and protect us. They are not the villains. Why to portray them as the one who is after our little angels life and watchdogs for all their innocent errors. Instead we prefer to tell our kids that cops help us in so many ways and injections if ever given by doctor are essential and good for us. In the same manner why to scare our little ones with harmless animals like cockroach, cat, dog or a monkey. If we don’t want our kids to do something, its simple, we tell them clearly why we feel it should not be done and they shouldn’t do that.
- Don’t go near the dog, it will bite you: Grrr.. a dog is an animal, not a Monster. They don’t go about biting everyone on the street. We know its important to teach our kids to be careful with strange dogs but not because they will bite us to scare us away. Dog bites because it gets scared of a strange human being around. And if it is a pet dog the owner knows his dog the best, u can ask for his permission before getting friendly with the dog. The world is already very strange for our kids, why to add to their fears. Little facts and carefulness is the key not ‘fear’.
- Let your grand-mom go now, I promise she will come back tomorrow: Why we think that we can make any promise to our kids and they will forget about it. Are we telling its ok to make false promises in life? Our kids are not fools nor they suffer from any kind of memory loss. They remember what we tell them and expect us to be true to our words. We might sometimes forget or break a promise, but never make a promise knowingly you won’t keep it. It’s ok if he feels hurt knowing the truth but at least he will have no false expectations.
- We are vegetarians, so you have to be a vegetarian as well - In growing up years we tend to defy our parents and try out things, which they have prohibited, often behind their backs. Why not just tell them the pros and cons, which we are aware of. Its just FOOD for heavens sake! Its perfectly alright if he wants to try something, let him make a choice.
|A tail of a mouse and a lion... at school|
What ever we tell our kids repeatedly now, plays a very important role in modeling their perception of the world around them. They grow with these notions and start believing them as a way of life. They suppress their own opinions/emotions fearing the norms of the people. But we moms are not the ones to let them fall prey to this. We want them to build their own individuality without any bias or social pressure.