13 Genuinely Khatarnaak Things Desi Parents Should Be Careful About While Raising Their Children

By Rabiya Jaffery | 6 Apr, 2018

Nobody does family like Pakistanis.

Family ties are a huge priority and most desi parents are known for their unconditional love and support – there’s no denying that. Still, it’s time we admit their parenting tactics are sometimes less-than-stellar and kabhi kabhi just plain toxic. These are some mistakes many Pakistani parents make while raising their kids that can have some really troubling consequences the children will deal with for the rest of their lives:

Source: Dharma Productions

1. Discouraging them from challenging traditional beliefs

Instead of putting a ton of effort into ensuring that kids maintain the usual traditions – encourage them to do their own ‘research’ per say, decide on their personal views on things. And just lead by example? Also, maybe be okay with the fact that culture is a fluid thing and it is perfectly okay for it to change over time?

2. Worrying about “Log kya kahein ge”

Maybe it is time we stop considering what people may or may not think to be such an important factor in making any important decisions.

Seriously, it’s kinda ridiculous.

3. Raising sons and daughters differently

It is safe to say that the longstanding sexist values are developed at home, where desi parents often raise their sons and daughters differently. Sons are overly-nurtured to the point where they become entitled and self-righteous, and daughters are bombarded with rules that restrict most aspects of their lives. 

Keep repeating the “boys will be boys” and “larka hai” argument, and sons end up experiencing life to the fullest with all their mistakes forgiven forever.

Meanwhile, daughters live under a microscope.

Nobody wins, you know?

4. Not taking mental health seriously

We need to acknowledge mental health is a real thing and mental health problems exist. It is literally the first step in solving them. But so many Pakistani parents refuse to notice signs of mental health illnesses and kids grow up unaware of their psychological problems or are too embarrassed to ask for help. Also when they refuse to acknowledge these problems, often they just end up making it so much worse for the kids.

5. Steering clear of taboo topics

It’s also SO important to talk about consent and rape culture and explain these things to kids once they are ready to understand them. Shying away from these topics adds to the problem. And of course, it goes both ways. There is a certain disconnect in Pakistani families when it comes to having an open conversation about certain topics we gotta fix it by open dialogues.

6. Body-shaming your children

Staying healthy is very important, larka ho ya larkiBut stop drilling body image issues into your children. Nahi motay honge, khaane dou unhay. Teach them the importance of being healthy instead of forcing them to abide by ridiculous beauty standards. Don’t be the reason behind their eating disorder. 


In fact, eating disorders are a real thing and can also be fatal at times. Recognize them and seek professional help.

Source: VantageHomeMedical.com

7. Repeating the “You can do better” comment

Pakistani parents are sometimes difficult to please. However, there has to be a way to motivate children to reach their full potential without sending them down a spiral of anxiety attacks and a constant feeling of never feeling good enough about their accomplishments. Right?

8.  Not pushing their daughters towards financial independence

While it is undoubtedly their way of expressing love and concern, many desi parents continue to nestle their kids deep into their adult years. 

Teach sons AND daughters to work towards financial independence.

It is an essential skill.

Source: Lilly SIngh/YouTube

9. Not nurturing all their talents – especially the ones that aren’t straight-up moneymakers

Most parents tend to push their children towards traditionally-prolific careers (medicine, engineering, all that) and fail to nurture their talents in arts, sports, or whatever the kid is truly passionate about.

10. Constantly comparing them to other kids

Competitiveness definitely is a driving force in life. But no two people have the exact same talents, interests, strengths, and aspirations.

11. Raising girls to believe that their sole purpose in life is to get married

There is nothing wrong with marriage. It is great. But when you raise a girl to believe her absolute goal in life should be becoming a person that someone else would to get married to – that is a problem. We should teach young girls to be smart and kind and ambitious – not because it scores extra points in the rishta-meter but because it is just what a person should be. Also, that shaadi countdown as a girl gets older needs to go away. It’s okay for a girl to have other priorities that she puts before shaadi. That is fine.

12. Not allowing kids to disagree 

From a very young age, kids are taught to respect their elders and follow their orders, no-questions-asked. Parents often fail to explain their rules to their kids and rarely engage in constructive debates with them, using “because I said so” and “adults know better” as excuses. All that leads to is kids who grow up with poor communication skills that are unable to express their sincere thoughts and feelings or actively take part in important discussions.

Source: Dharma Productions

13.Fretting over “yeh toh hamarey zamaney main nahi hota tha”

Dekhain, times change. In some ways, for the good. In some ways, for the bad. Yeah, parents should always make sure their kids don’t pick on the not-so-great stuff. But not everything that is done differently today than how it is was done when you were growing up is a bad thing.

It might be different. But different doesn’t always mean bad.

It’s time that desi parents let go of these toxic parenting norms since they do a lot more damage than good. Can you think of any more? Let us know in the comments.


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Cover image via: vydehischool.com

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