The bond shared between parents and children is something which is very typical across cultures and is somewhat indescribable. Irrespective of everything, it is true that no one in this whole world loves and cares about children more than their parents. But, parenting differs from family to family. Indian parents have always believed in being overprotective of their children, which is a good thing most of the time, but this good mentality becomes overdone when parents absolutely control and dominate their children’s life at every stage. The over-possessive, controlling nature of Indian parents affects the children both positively and negatively.
Within the Indian family structure, children are raised with the understand that their parents know what’s best for them, and hence will be the sole authority that decides their future — education and career. The biggest problem with Indian parents is that they are not able to adapt their minds with the dynamically changing world. We are not saying all parents are like that, but especially in rural India, many parents still don’t want to adapt their minds to modern approaches and methods.
Parents believe that “smart” kids should automatically belong to the science and technology field, while “average” kids should go for commerce, and “below-average” kids can go for arts or sports. In this modern world, this way of thinking and planning should no longer be happening. It is called pigeon-holing when kids are predetermined by adults into career paths that they may not want to follow or feel are right for them.
One of the main reasons for this predetermination and pigeon-holing is that parents believe that success is measured by materialistic gains. Money. But, our new generation is more concerned with making a positive difference in the world from our heart, and not judging everything by money, materialism, and power.
India’s parents generally do have an inclination towards encouraging their children obtaining a government job. Parents believe that there is more job-security, higher salary, less job-strain, and more respect in society for government workers as compared to workers in other fields. Moreover, it seems that parents believe that getting a government job is a smoother and easier path than the struggle of entrepreneurialism. In India’s urban centers, this way of parental thinking is changing and adapting to modern needs and discovering what is newly available to younger Indians now than in the past, but in rural sectors, the mentality still has not adapted and grown.
One reason that we believe parents do not support careers in the arts and sports is the uncertainty which the feel is associated with those careers. Middle-class Indian parents think a child should go for graduation and post-graduation instead of going for professional sports, dance, music, or their own start-ups.
Our society has a mind-set that imposes unfair restrictions on girls. Girls still have to face a lot of hurdles whether it is about going to school, going out for studies, or for a career. Even if a female graduates, some parents say, “What is the need of a job for you when we are here to fulfill all your needs”. This negative and restrictive attitude towards girls is mostly seen in rural India, but we if are to move forward as a modern country, we need to eradicate this mentality from our thinking.
Many examples of discrimination exists between males and females, sons and daughters in India. There is undoubtedly a preference for sons over daughters. Some people don’t want to spend a rupee on girls’ education because the parents think that the girls will anyway marry and go away to do household chores in their in-laws’ house. So, as the thinking goes, “What’s the use of spending time and money educating the girl-child?”
Additionally, parents also face peer pressure from friends and family. Parents are afraid of what people might say if they adopt a more modern mentality towards supporting their child’s interests and personal strengths.Parents tend to take a back seat with their girls because of the taunting reactions of society and older cultural thinking.
Yet another reason which we believe negatively affects the mentality of parents in rural India is that they are simply not aware of the current possibilities, accessibility, and support for these new, modern career paths. Moreover, they believe that these modern career paths require a more expensive and risky investment than the straight-forward, age-old career paths and ways of thinking. Parents feel they cannot take the risk of supporting their children’s desire to follow their heart and their own unique abilities, so they play it safe by retreating into old ways of thinking, which, we feel is preventing rural India from advancing towards modernity as it has in other parts of the world or in India’s urban centers.
Indeed, there are cost-effective systems and ways of helping their children follow their unique gifts towards a meaningful career, but it may perhaps take many years for our parents to fully understand these pathways. Perhaps they don’t want to expend the effort or take the time to break out of the old mould. Instead of taking the risk, parents retreat into old thinking and easier pathways because they don’t want to adjust and adapt to the modern world.
In conclusion, parents in rural areas of India must be made aware of the modern education system and how the subject differ from each other. The students must improve their capacity to lean new technologies and become modernized with the current state of what is available to them. But they need the support of their parents to do this.
Students must convince their parents that following their heart and unique abilities is a viable and actual path forward. Living a “successful” life is possible in modern times, but we must not continue to be stuck in the old ways of thinking and planning. Times have changed. We are behind the times. We must adjust and modernize our thinking, open our eyes and minds. India can only modernize and improve to meet the future when our children are freed to become what they were meant to be. Higher education and material possessions are not the only definitions of “success”. Times have changed. The new generation must be allowed to develop in their own way for the good of India.
Thank you for reading our article.
The Satya Niketan Higher Secondary School Website Editorial Team and Student Leadership.
(The views expressed in this article are not necessarily the same as the school management. These are the views of the students, and we support free speech and open opinions for discussion)