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Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Meddlesome parenting


I came across this article yesterday about a mother being killed by her own daughter. Although the case of extreme reaction was an exception but this power struggle in relationships especially for mother daughter duo is very much a reality. Irrespective of culture and community, mothers love to control their children. The intensity may differ but this innate instinct does lie somewhere.

It is more vocal in a country like India because the women folk here are generally not considered equivalent to men and children are not supposed to move out on parents. It is the control and power that some mothers lurch for and end up victimizing their own children in the name of being 'protective'. Mothers monitor their every move and especially when it comes to daughters, the protective nature becomes intrusive. And even without realizing, a normal intriguing parent turns into a meddlesome authority.

A very close friend of mine went through a typical hypocritical phase in her life where she ended up losing her genetic family but found love in those who were never related to her in blood. It was when her mother decided to be her marriage breaker. For the reasons best known to her, mother tried to manipulate the circumstances that brought her and her fiance on the threshold of putting an end to their otherwise very strong and loving relationship. It was my friend's confidence in her fiance and his family that gave her the strength to break all ties and be with the ones who truly loved her. They accepted her despite all the ill treatment they received from her parents and continue to adore her just like a member of their own family. Till date, I am unable to understand what prompted her mother to do that and what did she got by paving the way for her own daughter's misery. Whether it was the desire to control her and her new family, or a hunger for power or money or just an ego issue? Whatever it was, she ended up losing her only daughter, giving her child the pain of lifetime and I can easily bet that she would still be blaming her daughter for the rift.

Indian mentality does not allow children to be treated as grownups even if they are well past their 20s or 30s. Mothers refuse to let go and believe that its right to be preachy about anything and everything. But little do the mothers realize that this tendency pushes teens and adults even far and they burst either by revolting or taking extreme steps like the one that hit the headlines. Parenting is not about possession, control and expectations. It is about giving and understanding the individuality of the little ones whom you have brought into this world but eventually they are going to grow up, make their own decisions and live their own life. Just a little more thought and sensitivity can make life and relationships lot more loving and easier.

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16 Comments:

Sigh....sad indeed....especially when mother's rule out of culture and fear of 'talk'. Very common among the Asians...

But we will make a difference in our generation. Things will be better.

June 11, 2009 at 4:12 AM  

@Ann

For sure Ann. We will make a difference.

June 11, 2009 at 11:40 AM  

We must know how to draw the line btw being protective n intrusive.

June 11, 2009 at 6:36 PM  

this is quite a tricky situation...

i hv heard of parents giving their kids too much freedom and they become too independent and start to "abandon" the parents...and some became bad ppl when they took the wrong path (without guidance or protection fr parents)

so i would say a lil balance of protection and freedom given to the kids is the BEST!

having said that, parenting nowadays is not an easy task...and hopefully like Ann said, we will make a difference in our generartion :-)

June 11, 2009 at 8:42 PM  

an excess of anything is bad. parents need to understand the mindset of their children and agree to the fact that they are a different generation and need to be treated a bit differently.

we need to be a friend to them without being over-friendly and without losing the respect that parents should get. i agree to what everyone has said here - we will make a difference! :)

June 14, 2009 at 5:41 AM  

How much a parent should control(if I may use the word) a child is heavily dependent on the child's nature as well. There is a limit, like you rightly said but a parent cannot just blatantly watch his/her child loosely break off the boundaries between right and wrong. I think the relationship that needs the maximum patience and understanding is that of a parent-child. However modern we get, there is always this generation-gap that comes in between. Nobody can help that.

June 14, 2009 at 11:17 AM  

our society now keep changing and many unwanted crime are hard to avoid

June 15, 2009 at 7:57 AM  

@ Dubu

I agree... Without understanding and respect for their decisions, you can't find a balance in such relationships.

@Purple Heart

Well control is not the wrong word but I would say its heavily overused... Its a proper mix of control, respect, understanding and appreciation that takes a parent child relationship further.

June 15, 2009 at 9:35 AM  

Hi Jaanvi, this has or is happening here too, not only in India.
And recently, case still going on, a mother killing her baby daughter, and a mother throwing her baby girl away.
These people have lost their minds totally.
They must be mad!
I feel so sad and disgusted at what is going on here, your country as well Middle East.
You keep well Jaanvi, Lee.

June 21, 2009 at 8:43 PM  

Sad incident...sigh.
I think now new generation shd be better.

July 7, 2009 at 12:01 PM  

What a tragedy...sigh!...It boils down to communication and understanding I suppose...

July 7, 2009 at 2:27 PM  

Definitely a balance. Very interesting debate. As another commenter said - excess of anything is not good. Balance, balance.

July 15, 2009 at 3:19 AM  

Why can't these people learn from their own misery and start to make a change so their children won't have to go through the same thing. If only they open up their eyes and their mind, they should know better what's best for their child.

July 16, 2009 at 7:10 AM  

It's sad when the one that you look to for love and understanding is the one that is messing up your life. Sometimes we are most cruel to those that are closest to us and kind to those we call strangers.

September 4, 2009 at 2:46 PM  

Hi Jaanvi

Long time no hear from you and you have not been updating your blog too. Hope all is well. God bless

October 29, 2009 at 3:06 PM  

Very true,but difficult to follow in real life I guess
TC
CU

February 4, 2010 at 6:10 PM  

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