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:
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?
Tip for desi parents; want your children to carry on your traditions, tell em who they are, so they can be proud, don't say cos I said so
— Build a wall, line all the nazis up along it (@SamAmbreen_) April 19, 2016
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.
Family reputation amongst desi parents is so Toxic. Don't do this/that for people who don't even matter to say anything. Just gives me a headache
— urooj (@uroojayyy) February 3, 2018
Seriously, it’s kinda ridiculous.
don't u love when brown parents care about other's opinions
me: can I go out
mom: no beta our neighbor's sister's son's dog won't like it
— Desi Humour™ (@DesiHumour) March 9, 2018
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.
Desi parents when you tell them you suffer from depression and/or anxiety pic.twitter.com/WOvQhd7sdx
— MK (@myrakhan5) January 31, 2018
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.
Desi parents sex talk:
Beta, I can’t wait till you’re married and I become a Daadi
— Munazza (@omunazzao) October 9, 2017
6. Body-shaming your children
Staying healthy is very important, larka ho ya larki. But 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.
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?
I told my mom I got a 86% on my pysc exam cuz I was pretty happy about it & my moms response:
“Why wasn’t it an A?”
Why are desi parents so hard to impress ?
— Hibah (@Hibahhhhh) February 14, 2018
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.
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.
"always follow your dreams"
unless you're pakistani, then you gotta follow your parent's dreams.
— Aquib Noman Lodhi (@aquiiibs) March 3, 2018
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.
When your parents start comparing you to your friends. #desiparents
— Khalid Ahmed (@MFFL_Khalid) February 20, 2018
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.
Who says Desi Parents aren’t into Surprises?! My friends mom came to her and said, ‘Baita, menay ap ka rishta pakka kar dia hai’.
— Sara. (@BauhatSara) March 13, 2018
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.
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.
The only and most important problem with desi parents is they don't accept generation change.
— Xaimah Khan (@RealXaima) March 11, 2018
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