There is no denying that parents are not handed out manuals on how to raise children; half of it is just experimentation and the other half is the emulation of how they were brought up. This procedure does not always guarantee that parents have the right approach to raising children.
We are going to go over certain behaviors which parents indulge in out of love but these eventually have a negative impact on the personalities of their children
We also got in touch with a few adolescents to see how prevalent this is.
“You can trust me, consider me your best friend and share everything with me.”
Parents are your best friends or at least that is what most parents make it out to be.
There is nothing wrong with the idea of confiding in your parents and it is a healthy exercise too, but the problem starts when they either ridicule you for sharing that information or use it later to scold you and make a point against you
“I remember sharing my point of view with my mother. She would do nothing but mock me in return for thinking like that. For the minutest of things, like my opinion on people I befriend. But later she would want me to share everything as well. I could never then share anything because I knew the response that I would get.” – Leena
Parents, especially desi parents, do not know when to respect the child’s boundaries
They want to guide their children about each and everything to the point that they start controlling every aspect of their lives. From the kind of clothes to wear, the friends they make, the way they sleep and the subjects they choose – they control everything. Since they force them to choose what they think is best despite understanding that each child is unique, many children end up failing or not getting the desired results. However the parents then instead of understanding that it was their mistake, blame the child for not fulfilling their expectations.
“My father pushed me to get into debating. I was never cut out for it. It was not in sync with who I am as a person. But that did not matter and I was constantly belittled for not being able to perform.” – Shahmeer
The relationship of love between a child and parents is quite complicated in the Pakistani society. Children usually grow up scared of their parents because of the constant reprimanding and threats
When a child grows up in such an environment, it is difficult for him to nurture feelings of love. Respecting someone out of fear is not love – a concept which desi parents desperately need to understand.
“They never told me they loved me but would constantly scold me for not saying it to them. How do you express something like this when your parents have never done it?” – Afshan
While desi parents always encourage their children to improve themselves in terms of personality, academics, and socialization, they are never allowed to plan ahead for themselves
Their future plans are laid out for them in entirety. They don’t get to choose where they want to study, what they want to study, where they would like to live and what they would like to do.
“I always thought that working on improving myself would mean that I would be able to have my own dreams but that was not the case. You improve yourself every day to be who they want you to be and at the end of the day, it hurts.” – Shah
The relationship of trust is also very complicated is desi households
Remember the times when your mom has sneaked into your room and gone through your stuff but also blatantly refused to accept that there is lack of trust in the relationship? This is exactly that. This will never let them develop as healthy individuals, who will also doubt those closest to them because the idea is reinforced again and again that while you promise trust, you should always keep an eye out.
Parents need to understand that children should be encouraged and made to feel good about themselves. While you may be trying to teach your child humility, you can be overdoing it too
“I have seen many parents appreciating their children and celebrating the minutest of achievements of their children but my parents have never been able to do that. There is constant pressure to be the best but then when you actually achieve that, there is pressure to be better. And there is a constant reinforcement of the fact that we are not special.” – Hania
Children are expected to act all mature and adult-like but when they want to decide things for themselves, they confuse their children by saying that they are only kids and do not know anything, and so they cannot make their own decisions
Of course, parents do not always know these things but these actions tend to hurt children and confuse them to their core. It is not about blaming parents but just pushing them to make informed decisions when it comes to their children. The cultural setting of Pakistan propagates these actions but this is what experts call toxic parenthood.
Childhood is the most crucial part of anyone’s life because the physical, emotional and social development that takes place at this time has a huge impact on how they turn out as adults. What this means is that children at this age need the most attention because everything that they are exposed to is bound to shape their personalities
Their first bond is with their parents and the healthier it is, the healthier they turn out as individuals.
cover image via coe.int