“How much freedom is okay?”
It’s the eternal question that parents seem to ask, especially parents of young girls. How much should we let them go? Is it even safe to? What could happen?
What we would really like to ask is: What really goes on in the minds of parents?
With this question in mind, we spoke to a few groups of parents in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
What we realised was that they have three big fears when it comes to raising daughters:
We get it: Parenting isn’t easy and despite endless fears, a lot has clearly changed in the last few years. Most parents we spoke to wanted their daughters to study and have a career. They wanted to send their daughters to different places to study, an idea which would have been unthinkable even a few years back. However, while the wheel has moved on things like education and career, some things just don’t change. Can you guess one very important one?
And it’s pretty non negotiable. How? A parent explained it to us:
So basically: go ahead girls, study, get a job but eventually you have to get married – at the right age, with the boy of our choice and please don’t mess it up before by doing something ‘aisa waisa’!
What we realised was that while parents do want to give their children freedom, this freedom comes with terms and conditions applied. As another parent told us,”Parents are always in preventive mode regarding their fears.”
So, the question that we need to tackle is: what is the fine line between parents being in a ‘preventive mode’ and them controlling their daughters?
Is the answer in letting go despite the fears? Or is it in realising that there’s only so long that you can actually ‘control’ your child and at some point, you’ll just have to trust them?
So what we would like to say is simply this: Dear parents, we understand that you have your fears and that you just want to do what’s best for your child. All we are saying is that don’t let your fears define your daughters’ lives! Prepare them for life and for the choices they will have to make.
Like, they say, be the wind beneath her wings. And, most importantly, let her fly! Her freedom is your freedom as well. Bas, #TrustKarkeDekho.