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!
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 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.
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?