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What We Hide From Our Kids As Indian Parents Could Fill A Book!

Unparenting is a brave much needed offering for Indian parents who still focus on academics, obedience, and believing in an age hierarchy.

What do you get when a poet writes a book called Unparenting, about raising children and ourselves—by embracing the spirit of continuous learning, vulnerability, and breaking patterns of processing trauma and emotions?

Unparenting brings the focus to us—the child and the adult—as individuals who have needs we know of and are still figuring out. To call this a book on parenting would do it a grave injustice.

Reema Ahmad shares her journey as woman, writer, daughter, divorcee, mother, sexuality educator, and NLP practitioner while dismantling notions of what makes a well-adjusted life.

What we as parents might be hiding from our kids

The tag line ‘Sharing awkward truths with curious kids’ is just one part of what the book is about. I’d say this is a book on healing as a parent so we can be more present, and carve our sense of self without constantly pegging on to our children.

To read this book is to be prepared for truths we may have known all along but kept buried to avoid the work necessary to change how we react to uncertainty and conduct inner dialogue.

Many passages made me weep. It was not easy to discover that the places she faltered are areas I continue to struggle with as a woman and mother. We are all treading similar paths, finding our own demons and dancers, making choices that transform us or induce guilt or keep us stagnant. Are we willing to pay attention to what’s going on around and within us?

Knowing we hurt our children in the name of doing what’s best for them is an inevitable part of the parenting package, and yet, how easily this can all be avoided through self-awareness and conscious healing and forgiveness… something that Reema reiterates throughout Unparenting.

A brave and essential book

UnparentingUnparenting is a brave book, much needed for Indian parents who continue to measure their children’s wellbeing through good behaviour, academic performance, and social skills.

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Most of us lack the courage and trust to let our children be, let them choose, let them forge their own desires and ambitions. Reema shows us the dangers of following conventional formulas in today’s world, one that will require a generation of authentic, compassionate, and strong-willed adults to undo the damage of unbridled greed and capitalism.

Throughout the book she is kind, forgiving and generous with her story. While I have read my fair share of books on this topic, this one resonated with me because of her unassuming attitude on the topic. There is no judgment, no ‘Oh I know better because I struggled and grew strong and now you can too’ sentiment that usually makes its way in books on similar subjects.

Some lines that stay with me…

To have the children we deserve we must empower mothers, not intimidate them, offer help and support, not censure and blame.

If love, attraction and early relationships were discussed in an open and natural way, and not treated like they were ticking timebombs that we had to either defuse or hurl into the stratosphere, I feel young people could evolve around each other.

But we cannot save anyone, not even ourselves entirely. It takes an entire system of nurturing and caring to help support an individual.

In a world that denies us joy openly, it is okay to be a fugitive and seek it on the sly. I think of this kind of fugitivity as a kind of turtle life; I have an inner universe tucked into my shell and it is for me to enjoy. When I feel safe and ready to be visible, I poke my head out and say hello to the world.

Want a copy of this book?

If you’d like to pick up Unparenting: Sharing awkward truths with curious kids written by Reema Ahmad, use our affiliate links at Amazon Indiaand at Amazon US.

Women’s Web gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!

Image source: shutterstock and book cover Amazon

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