Now, as much as we love our parents, there are times they really should take, as King Khan so eloquently put it in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, a “chill pill”. You see, in India, no matter how old your child is, he or she is still your ‘Raja/Rani beta/beti’, which, while flattering, is not always convenient for us kids. So, here are 8 common parenting mistakes almost all Indian parents make.
1. This: “Engineer ya Doctor nahi banoge to aur kya karoge?”
Because there are no writers, musicians, designers, mechanics, CAs, lawyers, hotel owners, HR professionals, advertising executives, travel guides, air hostesses, pilots or people pursuing sundry careers in the world.
2. Anything that starts with this phrase: “Sharma/Varma/Agarwal/Random name-waal ji ke bete/beti/pet ko dekho…”
Note: retorting by mentioning that the kid in question (Sharma ji’s spawn, that is) is actually not their child does not help.
3. Anything that starts with this phrase: “Jab mai tumhari umar ka tha/thi…”
Are you sure you scaled mountains to get to school or did it only seem so because you didn’t have a phone with podcasts on it?
4. Calling you out after watching movies like ‘Baghban’ but turning the other way when watching ‘3 idiots’.
Because choosing a career based on your strengths and interests is unrealistic, but adopting a child and hiding him away for his entire life isn’t.
5. Ignoring what kids eat after a certain age.
Just because your children use pens in their notebooks instead of pencils doesn’t mean their pickiness with food will change. Children experience a second growth spurt between the ages of 8-15 years, which is why it is particularly important to see whether they’re getting the required nutrients to support this growth. Here’s where switching to milk mixes like Protinex Grow, which contains twice the amount of protein than regular mixes, thereby helping kids to fulfill their daily protein requirement, comes in handy.
6. Dismissing mental health problems as temper tantrums.
Listen, if we don’t have problems every once in a while, are we even human? Depression among children and adolescents is a growing concern, and those suffering from it need support, not rebukes labeling their problems as ‘tantrums’.
7. Expecting their children to achieve their own dreams.
All through high school and college, too often did I come across children who took a certain course because their parents pushed them into it. The logic behind it was even more absurd: the parents wanted the kid to fulfill the dreams they couldn’t. Disappointments and failures are nothing new to anyone who is old enough to understand the gist of life, but they are not licenses to disregard your children’s wishes and force them into pursuing something they dislike.
8. Two words: subtle sexism.
Let’s get this straight: we are millennials, so we won’t hesitate from calling our parents out on the glaringly obvious ways girls are subjected to policing in India. Over time, though, that sexism has cloaked itself in nuances. Some exhibits: ‘Papa se pucho’, ‘Ye line ladkiyon ke liye fit nahi hai’, ‘Bossy mat bano.’
*Forwards to parents*