I love my parents. They have successfully raised a crazy, little kid like me into an adult without ever giving up. They taught me my first lessons in a lot of things – They’ve taught me to respect elders, listen to people before speaking, to never give up, and so many other things that make me the person I am today. But sometimes, I wish they could be open to the idea of some things that they aren’t.

I know nothing about parenting and might just suck at it when the time comes. But if there are 15 things that I will make sure to tell my kids, it would be these:

1. Crying doesn’t make you any less of a man.

It’s okay to emote. That doesn’t make you any less stronger.

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2. You can play with dolls as much as you can with cars.

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3. It’s normal to be gay.

Being gay or lesbian is natural. Be comfortable with your sexuality and of those around you.

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4. You can marry whoever you want to – caste, religion no bar.

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5. You can wear whatever pleases you.

Wearing pink doesn’t make guys girly or wearing baggy clothes doesn’t make a girl any less girly. Grow out of these stereotypes.

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6. Date as many people as you like before finding the one.

I will not marry you off to a stranger, I promise.

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7. Always respect and smile at the autowaala, peon, maid and all the people who make your life easier.

Gratitude is a rare virtue. Develop it.

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8. Feminism is not about pulling men down, nor is it about treating women in a special way. It’s just about treating both genders equally.

Respect women, but while you’re at it, don’t disrespect men.

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9. If you’re curious about anything and want to try it out, talk to me about it.

I swear I won’t judge you. I will guide you in what is best for you.

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10. You can be whatever you want to be.

Become whatever you want to. If you like engineering, go for it but if you want to be a cartoonist, here are some crayons.

11. Women don’t necessarily have to cook for the house, and men don’t have to be the ‘man’ of the house.

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12. Periods are not a taboo.

They are a totally natural thing that women undergo once a month. Stop talking about them in whispers.

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13. People might try to pull you down, but always be confident and remember that this too shall pass.

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14. Abusing is not cool.

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15. Sex is natural.

The doctor uncle did not gift you to us. We produced you.

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And after I am done teaching this, I will let them be and encourage them to do whatever they feel is right.

What would you teach your kids?

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