Life after marriage is tough for everyone, but here are six basic lessons all parents need to give their daughters before the big day.
One of the most difficult tasks a parent does is to let their daughter go to another family after getting married. And this is not just in India, but across the world – most women start living with their husbands and their families, they shape, adjust and mould themselves to be part of the husband’s family to the extent that we often see them lose their own identities as individuals and live on the terms of the new family that is a part of their lives after more than 20 years.
It is believed that the parents’ responsibility is fulfilled after getting their daughters married to an appropriate guy. And in this process they forget to teach a few things that are essential for any girl getting into this institution.
There is so much advice coming from all over, from parents to siblings to relatives and friends on how a woman should behave, as a daughter in law and a wife. However, rather than these things, what is necessary is to teach her how to be an “individual”.
Time has changed and it is very imperative to look at the situation from a different and positive perspective.
Commitment, Respect, Integrity, Love and Affection, Trust, Patience, Communication and Companionship are the important ingredients for any successful marriage; but today there is more to add. So here are 6 teachings all parents should give their daughters during the process of getting them married:
It is of utmost importance for any parent to help their children learn to respect their own selves first. And it becomes even more important for the parents to tell their daughters that she has a bigger responsibility for maintaining her own self respect and dignity.
There should be no compromise on these two things. This should be a part of the parenting process right from the beginning rather than teaching girls this at the time of their wedding.
It becomes an essential lesson especially at the time of marriage since the girl will supposedly take the responsibility of two families. (Not that the boy doesn’t have the same responsibility but often it is seen that the girl is tested and a lot of pressure is put on her.) She needs to remember that her own respect and dignity will in turn earn a lot of respect to her own families too.
Come what may, happy times, difficult times, girls need to be financially independent. She should try to be mentally unperturbed by any financial crisis, that she ever has to witness. Also on a positive note, her financial independence will always be a support for the family in a long run too.
We often see our mothers and sisters have somehow developed a habit of being martyrs even when it is not required. Many of them become such a slave to this phenomenon that they start believing it as a pattern of their lives and there is no respite from it. The pattern is repeated when the same is advocated to their daughters while preparing them for the institution of marriage.
It is time that parents realise marriage is not a relationship where one needs to be crucified every time. Rather daughters have to be strong enough to fight any situation. They may not have to sacrifice all the time and mostly, there is always a scope for various ways to resolve the issue.
Teach your daughters to be a strong woman, someone who finds solutions rather than someone who succumbs to any situation just because their mothers have been doing the same and that is their fate as well.
Spousal violence can manifest in two forms – either physical or emotional abuse. Women have internalised the disastrous habit of tolerating that abuse without reporting it. Parents should teach their daughters to push back any such abuse and stand for their rights. While women are free to take a legal course of actions in case things are slowly worsening and moving to a place where it can lead to a doomed relationship, they can also narrate the incidents to someone they trust.
It is seen in many marriages that the girl is forced to stop socializing with people she used to be friends with before getting married. This leads to them becoming become isolated and losing all contact with their friends.
Girls should be told that socializing and having friends is their right. In fact, the couple should try to mingle with each others’ friends. This will help maintain a balance and give them their own space in their social circles. Marriage should not be a relationship of captivity. Such confinements are signs of control and may lead to an abusive relationship.
Lastly, the most important thing to tell the daughter is that marriage does not mean the cord with the parents is cut. She will still be their daughter and she has one more family to support her during difficult times. She has to be a given a lot of moral support so that she believes that come what may, her parents are always there to pull her up from any fall.
Other than these 6 pieces of wisdom, it’s the duty of the parents to make their children understand how to strike a balance in their relationships.
In every relationship, one has to be willing to change and adapt to each other and make the choice to create a foundation of unconditional love. The first two years are years of adjustments and a pattern is set for the rest of the marriage.
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