Raising my Indian Daughter Differently

The Indian value system is quite complex. On the one hand they have great core values like parents always standing by their children in every life situation and promoting joint family living situation. On the other hand every Indian Daughter is subconsciously taught that our contribution to society is valuable only in the context of wife and mother.

Being from a moderate yet conservative family, My life was not an exception., My parents tried their best to raise me well by providing for my many needs. I was happy with the choices they made for me.

To their credit, they tried to keep themselves update with the ever changing society norms. I was blessed with a perfect family with full of love and joy but there was always a subtle criticism involved when it came to some of my behavior and attitudes.

Even the best parents will yell at their daughters if they are sleeping past 9 a.m, laughing out so loud or being to social  in the crowd because they think it is not appropriate.

” What will your future in-laws think of you and the way we have raised you “ was a frequent lament!

My Story

When the marriage topic was began for me at age 23, I felt I was in a different world altogether. I saw a completely different side to my mother. There are other families where getting married gets discussed when the daughter  turns 21. I guess it’s fine, at the least you were be free for 21 years, sort of.

Yes, my in-laws are so sweet and caring and I never felt feared being myself around them. Initially though I cared for them because “in laws are your own family now.  They come first and should get all the love and respect the second you become a wife. “ Thank god after some days I realized they really deserved it all for treating me like a daughter.

It’s like they were not only worried about society but also the future family I was going to get married. Our story is not unique though and unfortunately, many girls get influenced by this thinking. There are other families where getting married gets discussed when the daughter turns 21. I guess it’s fine, at the least you were be free for 21 years, sort of.

Raising World Children Indian Parent Girl Child

Raising My Indian Daughter Differently 

Girls are taught to take up as little room as possible in this world, not just physically, but also in the way they speak, laugh and assert themselves. When I had my daughter I decided to parent her differently.

    • If my daughter wants to play cricket in the street with boys, if she loves to climb trees or to laugh loudly or be boisterous, I will never stop her. I will trust my kid forever.
    • I will wish to stand by her side in all situations. I will not accuse her of bringing shame to my family whenever she does something unreasonable.
    • I will never ask her to put her passions and dreams on the back burner for getting married.
    • I will not ask her bear a  child within the so-called time limit of 28 years.
    • She will be valued for the same reasons as every son for their intelligence, strength, creativity and passion.
Indian girls are taught to take up as little room as possible in this world, not just physically. Click To Tweet

If the parents like us don’t see our son and daughter as equal then how will the society see and treat our girls equal? Especially during the marriage phase, I don’t want to intimidate my daughter and make her feel that her husband’s family are so different and she have to convince them in each situation. I need to teach her what marriage is all about and how lovely it is to be getting married and taking care of the family. Naturally she going to be an endearing daughter in law.

I want her to know self-love is the best thing she can do to herself. It is the greatest love of all. To show respect to everyone and their feelings regardless of their age is a basic quality she should never give up.

With these values she will surely grow to be of strong character. What else do you think I can do differently to empower her? 

Raising My Indian Daughter Differently www.raisingworldchildren.com #indianparenting #india #indianvalues #parenting

Author: Suja Dinesh

Sindhuja Kumar is a proud mom and a lifestyle blogger living in Connecticut, USA and origin from Tamilnadu, India. She is happily married and nothing excites her more than being a mom. She blogs to keep herself sane, more or less writing about positive parenting adventures, DIY Craft tutorials & scrumptious recipes that empowers every mom and woman to stay inspired and living an elegant life in a creative way. Check her work @ PassionateMoms.

8 Replies to “Raising my Indian Daughter Differently”

  1. First of all, your daughter is so beautiful! I grew up in a neighborhood where there were only two Indian families. We would visit them for dinner and would play together outside. Their parents definitely had different expectations for their daughters vs their sons. I think it is a beautiful thing that you are raising your daughter differently!

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment. It really means a lot. The girl in the picture is really adorable but she is not mine though. My little munchkin is just 26 months old. Sorry for the confusion as the picture for the post was added by the admin.

  2. Sindhuja, it’s the best way to teach your daughter and she will grow leaps and bounds. Sadly, we live in a society that limits a daughter in what she wants to do and it stifle the personality. respect.

  3. So cute your daughter is, Suja. I too agree with your insights on raising your daughter. They should be raised with more love, compassion, kindness and confidence in this modern era.

  4. I love that line about most Indian parents wanting their girls to take up minimum space, it’s so true, Suja. I’m 52, and continue to embarrass my parents by being outspoken! God bless you and your daughter. May she grow up to be free and unencumbered by the ‘musts’ and the ‘shoulds’.

  5. A standing ovation for you for taking the decision to bring up your child as an individual rather than as a “girl”. She’ll forever be happy because of this. It’s high time….really high time for the Indian parents to bring up and nurture a child as an individual than stereotyping him/her based on genders.

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