As Women’s Web celebrates ten years of awesomeness, here are ten best Parenting posts published on Women’s Web in the past 10 years. #ADecadeOfWomensWeb
It seems like it was only yesterday that we discussed Mother’s Day posts, and Father’s Day is looming around the corner. And with several wonderful posts on each of these, Parenting is definitely a topic of interest for a lot of us!
I remember that one of my first ever posts with Women’s Web was a Parenting post. Now, I am definitely not a parent but the knowledge in that post was something even I could use!
Over the years, parenting styles have definitely changed! I mean, I can see it in how my parents raised me and how my uncle and aunt raised my younger sister.
And though parenting isn’t the same as it was earlier, the love parents have for kids hasn’t changed at all. Today, parents are more involved in their kids’ lives and helping them understand their own selves. At the same time, the children too are much more in tune with their parents.
And we have a number of wonderful posts from mothers’ experiences of their breastfeeding woes to seeing their kids grow and things they’d want to tell their children. Right from telling children to make their own mistakes to learning things about themselves, our writers have told us it all!
Now, before your patience runs out, here are the top ten posts from the past ten years by moms, sometimes, straight from their hearts!
A Letter To My Daughter For Her 18th Birthday
Turning 18, as exciting as it sounds, is a little scary too! But with Anupama’s letter, I am sure her daughter knew she had her anchor right by her side. She tells her (and a lot of us) that life may throw a curveball at us, but we are strong enough to tide through it. And isn’t that exactly what you would want your 18-year-old or even your own self to know?
Don’t be wary of failure because honestly papa and mama have failed several times but, but look at you now. You, young lady, are our biggest success. No, matter what you decide to do, we are there in every step because you will always be our little girl.
13 Things You Must NOT Do While Talking To Your Kid About Their Adoption; Be A Sensitive Parent
Adoption is a topic that is forever and always a sensitive one. And one that needs to be dealt with with utmost care and sensitivity. But with Sangitha’s guide, it becomes a tad easier. For, doesn’t a list of dos and don’ts always help us all?
She starts her article by telling us that she is an adoptive parent and not an adopted child and based on her experiences, she tells you what to say. Backed with scientific data, this is one article, I believe all adoptive and non-adoptive parents ought to read.
Imagine this from a child’s very literal perspective: Who was my first mother? I don’t know. Where is she? I don’t know. Why did she not parent me? I honestly don’t know. But she must have loved you a lot and made this decision in your best interests.
How are we so sure that we are in the child’s best interests? Parenting is still parenting and there are better parents out there for my son everyday. I am the one he got and will have forever, but I won’t ever be pompous enough to say that I am the best choice.
5 Gutsy Women Share Their Stories Of Being A Single Mother In India
Another taboo and hush hush topic is that of single mothers. Right from wondering if they are ‘available’ to claiming they’d ‘steal’ other women’s husbands, they hear everything. And yet, they remain strong.
Can you imagine having to play the role of both the parents to your child or children while also listening to such comments? Yet, we have five gutsy as hell women who took up this job like a pro!
She doesn’t think that single parenting is special rather she says that in today’s age, conscious parenting is a challenge. “I’m against the glorification of motherhood. My father was a brilliant parent, better than a lot of mothers. My parenting comes from him. Your gender is immaterial. What matters is how evolved you are as a parent. I’m just a facilitator in her growing up process.”
This Viral Blog Post By The Mother Of A Trans Woman Is A Must Read For Every Parent!
A third topic that’s rarely spoken of is someone’s kid being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, especially if they have gender dysphoria. And while, things are, thankfully, changing for better now, parents widely and openly accepting their child with their gender identity sometimes, feels like a distant dream.
However, Meha’s post about a mother from Gurgaon openly accepting that she is the mother of a transwoman. She penned down her thoughts, fears and experience, and through it all, the mother is nothing but supportive of her daughter, who at the time when the post was written was on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
She is ready to accept her child with open arms as she writes, “The boy will soon be the girl- and we will embrace her in her new form with gratitude and complete acceptance. It is we, the parents, who will help the world accept her beauty, with her multifarious capabilities, and so she will start afresh, reborn as it were.”
10 Regressive Things You Must STOP Saying To Your Daughter
Parents are usually the most fierce protectors of their children. And they say and do things in order for the children to have as easy a life as possible – shielded from all the darkness of the world. However, often, in their quest to protect the children, they end up saying things that are a little regressive.
With her post, Apoorva tells parents ten things they can avoid saying to their daughters, especially today, in the 20th century.
Why must you shout? Lower your voice!
I’ve heard this very often. And it’s usually said when the daughter presents a reasonable and extremely valid point, in a slightly raised voice – not screaming – against her elders. The fact that she’s raising her voice is indication enough for her frustration and instead of hearing her out, you immediately make her feel invalid by saying this. You’re not listening to her and you’re not acknowledging her emotions.
It’s so important that as parents you let her know that whatever she says deserves to be heard. And if she can’t even express herself in front of you, she’ll just learn to suppress any emotions of anger she feels in the future.
Only, Not Lonely: Raising A Child Without Siblings
As an only child, this is something close to my own heart! Shilpa here, tells us how growing up as an only child didn’t really bother her, since her life was filled with books, space and silence. However, it was a different tale for her daughter when they moved to another city. Having grown up with grandparents, the child feels lonely and craves someone around her.
It is not how many children you have, but how well you raise them that makes them the adults they become; plus, I have numerous friends with siblings – and they seem to need me as much as I need them – which means, they are not very different from me.
Besides, aren’t there examples all around of single children who have grown up to build stable families and professional lives? But how right was I? – A single child, yet to see her own single child through Grade 1, let alone adulthood.
To Raise A Strong, Independent Woman, Teach Her To Raise Her Voice, Not Lower It
Do you remember the number of times you’ve been asked to ‘speak like a girl, sit like a girl’ or told ‘girls don’t raise their voice’? And while doing all this, parents seem to only instil in their daughters that they don’t deserve to be heard. But Shailja, says, if you want to raise confident daughters, you don’t have to squash their voices, instead listen to them. With four simple points, she helps you understand how to raise girls who speak up!
Every parent needs to ensure that their daughter is strong enough to raise her voice if she is being wronged. She needs to know that she can and must stand up for herself and that you will be by her side, when she does.
Finally, I just want to say, that if girls don’t want to get married, they should say it directly, without making excuses. Teach your daughters to be independent, to raise their voices and to have an opinion of their own.
3 Important Lessons I Teach While Raising A Feminist Son
Some times, it’s not enough ONLY teaching your daughters to raise their voices, you also need to teach your sons to be feminists, that the kitchen isn’t just a woman’s domain. And that is exactly what Prerna does!
Along with her husband, Prerna tries to imbibe certain subtle values in her son whom she is raising to be a feminist. She and her husband are doing their best to show the kid that dad isn’t the only one who drives and neither is mom the only one who cooks!
In my house, there are no rigidly defined gender roles. My son sees his father and I do every task. He sees us speak and treat each other respectfully and lovingly. And sees us handling our emotions and resolving conflict in a mature way. These are daily teaching him the power of EI or EQ. Hopefully, he will integrate these actions into his attitude and mindset and reflect it his behavior.
I consider it a win when my son notices inequality and questions it. When he asks why a particular woman hasn’t learnt how to drive a car. Or why his naanu cannot make his own tea.
Talk To Your Sons About Periods, You Might Just Raise Compassionate Men!
Though raising feminist sons is very important, it is equally important to teach your sons about periods too. We live in a country where, even today, periods are considered a taboo! So, while raising your sons, if you teach them that periods are a completely natural process, you might just raise compassionate and wonderful men.
Gunjan recalls two incidents, one of which she personally faced, where she understood what a hush hush situation periods are. Both the incidents strengthened her will to teach her sons about periods.
I think my elder son would be ready, in a couple of months to hear about menstruation from his parents, and we would want to be honest with him. As it could be an awkward topic to discuss I want to be prepared ahead of time for that. My idea of wanting to explain it to my kids is to ensure that they grow up to be allies and empathisers.
Conversation about this topic at home would help children create healthier relationships with their female counterparts. Understanding menstruation can help boys be more compassionate brothers, sons, boyfriends, and fathers or simply – better humans.
How To Talk To Your Child About The Birds, Bees, And The Whole Jungle
Talking to your kids and educating them about menstruation is important, but it is equally important to talk to them about sex, sexuality and everything in between.
Given how curious they are, children will have questions and answering them as honestly as possible will go a long way. I remember the ‘birds and bees talk’ I had with my mum. Similarly, Tanu also says, tellings kids how they are physically different from the gender is one of the first steps.
Do not let them believe that God sent them over with an angel or a stork. I remember the younger one at the age of three asking where he came from. The older one muttered something about him being found in a drain but I told him he was in my tummy.
When my younger one accidentally stumbled on to a pornographic site, we talked – about what it was, why it was there and what harm it could to a person. When the older one told me about his classmates jeering at another boy for being different and calling him gay, we talked. When they saw news articles on molestation and rape, we talked. Again, present facts. Our job is to help them cope with the truth, and not distract them from it with lies.
Now I am sure you have an idea of all the abundance of awesome posts we have on Women’s Web in the past ten years! So wait for one more day and we will be back with another set of amazing authors and articles.
Check out this space for more #ADecadeOfWomensWeb tomorrow in a different category!
Picture credits: YouTube
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Reader, writer and currently an Associate Editor at Women's Web, I survive on coffee
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