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Khalil Gibran has famously said, "You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts." Do you recognise this and let your kids think and make decisions for themselves?
Khalil Gibran has famously said, “You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts.” Do you recognise this and let your kids think and make decisions for themselves?
Gomathi’s small-town upbringing had made her view with disgust the whole concept of western clothing. Until recently, she even detested the women who preferred them. Her notions change in a few months of her migration to a big city. However, her mother’s lewd remarks ring loud and clear every time she sees a girl in shorts or revealing outfits.
Ambika’s typical day starts with an early morning prayer, prior to which she dusts the patio in her house and decorates it with colourful rangoli. She always snarls at the neighbours who sleep late. In her school of thought, ignoring the rituals is equated to atrocity and criminality.
Gomathi’s and Ambika’s acclaimed decorum makes them powerless in atypical situations. Their reputation will be ripped if they stand-up for anything out of the ordinary; even if their minds dictate otherwise. They will, therefore, ignore a transgender in need; flee from a suspected queer, will suppress their urge to assert even when circumstances demand. They are prisoners of the dictatorial belief enforced on them in their homes.
There are in our midst men and women who find it difficult to break the shackles of the dogma that was central to their upbringing. The perceptions are woven deep and strong into the core of their thoughts, and non-adherence is often considered sacrilege.
Freedom of thought is only a derivative concept, and it relies heavily on three other aspects:
This is not about the constitutional rights you are accorded in a democracy. In modern societies across the world, the freedom of thought is a primary constituent of living. It is integral to the development and progress of a community.
The liberty of thought is giving an individual the power to hold a view or a fact that does not resonate with the popular ideals or belief. Have you received that power as a child? Most importantly, did you entrust your child with the same?
Did you let your grown-up child choose his/her dress this morning? Do your order for them in a restaurant? Do you let them voice their opinions? Do you listen to them speak on a topic that does not appeal to you, or do you cut short even before they begin? Do you constantly dictate what is ‘good’ for them and what is ‘bad’?
These are just mild forms of Orwellian conditioning, where a child is controlled by a parent’s constant surveillance. The adjective ‘Orwellian’ also connotes subjecting to misinformation and denial of truth in a political sense.
Channelising your child’s thoughts to reflect that of yours is camouflaging Orwellian disillusionment as parenting. Similar genetic makeup does not necessarily mean similar ideation and thinking.
The new-age parenting adage, ‘You are only a guide’ is such an advanced thought. The more you follow the principles of dictatorship at home, the more you kill the child’s chances of holding independent thoughts.
Let your children search for their own vision of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. Give them room to explore the depths of individual reasoning. Let them make the wrong decisions. They will gradually learn to weigh the outcomes.
Give your children the control over every aspect of their lives. Guide their decisions without being too overbearing. Grant them the benefit of intellectual liberty and watch them blossom into enlightened beings.
Promoting intellectual liberty will lead to the rise of an all-inclusive society, which is a dire need for the progression of our nation.
A version of this was first published here.
Image source: shutterstock
Content Consultant/Editor/Writer by profession. Published short stories and essays in various forums. A rebel by birth, I find my solace in words. read more...
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I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
Why is the Social Media trend of young mothers of boys captioning their parenting video “Dear future Daughter-in-Law, you are welcome” deeply problematic and disturbing to me as a young mother of a girl?
I have recently come across a trend on social media started by young mothers of boys who share videos where they teach their sons to be sensitive and understanding and also make them actively participate in household chores.
However, the problematic part of this trend is that such reels or videos are almost always captioned, “To my future daughter-in-law, you are welcome.” I know your intentions are positive, but I would like to point out how you are failing the very purpose you wanted to accomplish by captioning the videos like this.
I know you are hurt—perhaps by a domestic household that lacks empathy, by a partner who either is emotionally unavailable, is a man-child adding to your burden of parenting instead of sharing it, or who is simply backed by overprotective and abusive in-laws who do not understand the tiring journey of a working woman left without any rest as doing the household chores timely is her responsibility only.
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