Recently many of us might have heard the power packed response given by Sania Mirza to a question raised on ‘Settling Down’ during an interview with a very senior journalist.  A video snippet of it:
Now this post is not about Sania Mirza or the controversy but definitely, this news piece compelled me to write about an often ignored aspect of our society and that is teaching our children to look & think beyond the clichéd! The emphasis here is on teaching children because as parents we have the responsibility of carving future of the nation. So the kind of upbringing  a child has and the mindset that the child grasps during the development days is bound to reflect in his decision-making capability & thought process.

So why prepare the child to make cliches a part of his or her life!

For instance, some of the stereotypes that are especially prevalent in Indian society and which surprisingly start from the very childhood days are getting good marks in exams, complexion & beauty issues for girls, religious orthodoxy, choosing a stable career, getting married at the right age, planning a baby and more.
I don’t say that our parents and their predecessors faltered in our upbringing but then one can learn from their own mistakes, and here the once petite child has now grown up into a parent and the onus of the future is on us.

Why do we need to look beyond ‘Marks’?

Ask yourself do you remember the marks that you received in your 8th standard in social studies? Do you really remember that? Then why so much emphasis on excelling in exams? Perhaps as parents, we should emphasize on ‘learning’ rather than the ‘grasping’ or rata-fication because learning and its practical application are the ones that truly help in future life.

Why do we need to look beyond ‘Complexion/beauty’?

If complexion and beauty of girls would have been such a dire requirement for a better life then how come celebrities like Naomi Campbell & Priyanka Chopra make their way for the position they are in. I remember even Priyanka Chopra in an interview had mentioned that most of her childhood days and pre-teens she thought herself to be rather average looking and was looked with worried eyes by relatives. She had also added that only due to the belief of her parents was she able to come over this and rest, as they say, is history!

‘Religious Orthodoxy’ – why we need to look beyond?

In my opinion, a child is born secular and child birth is the ultimate representation of national integration. Simply because at the time of child birth hardly anybody is concerned about the religion of Doctors and hospital staff attending the mother. Isn’t that so? Then why is the child literally burdened with religion & orthodoxy! Why is there a restriction to celebrate festivals of other religion, mingle with other sect people and so on? Just ask yourself do you really feel that your sect is superior to other? If yes! aahh maybe you are from the dinosaur clan!

Stable Career – why do we need to look beyond?

Today there is no dearth of opportunities in any field. You name a particular field and there are thousands of possibilities for having a great career then why pressurize our children only to focus on becoming a doctor or an engineer?
There is famous saying we all naukripesha (working) people love saying – ‘Make your hobby your work and you would love it!’
We read, see and hear about people in our social network and friend circle who are living their passion and a dream life much better than ours. They may be pursuing acting, dancing, adventure sports and more then why the heck we try and pressurize our children to choose a safe career?

Thinking beyond Marriage & Babies

Well, I don’t consider either of the above wrong. But in my opinion with the growing number of divorces and the complex lives that we live, marriage is a thing that one should first be mentally prepared for and should never be age bound.
Pressurizing a young adult for marriage can completely ruin his or her future. In TV daily soaps and movies marriage is shown as the ultimate aim of life, a ‘happy ending’ but as responsible parents, we should teach our children to live a happy, peaceful & independent life with no clauses of being single or married attached.
So is true for planning babies because pregnancy can happen in a single interaction but the duties and responsibilities that it brings along is what the growing children should realize. In our society, sex is a taboo but in teenagers, it is a matter of great curiosity only we parents can teach them to look beyond & grow up as responsible adults.
Well, let’s give our children ‘wings to fly’ and see the miracle that out little minions can do! Leaving you with this beautiful speech given by Deepika Padukone on receiving an award as a dedication to her parents!

Feature image courtesy: http://www.activekids.com/parenting-and-family/articles/stargazing-with-your-kids