My mother always keeps raving about how safe Gujarat is, especially Ahmedabad. This has always been her number one argument to why we have deadlines at home or why all of us should move to Ahmedabad. At some level even I believed that maybe Gujarat is safer than Delhi which is infamous for all the crimes, especially against women.
I visited my aunts and uncles (all in Gujarat) after around eleven years. Meeting my younger cousins, I had assumed that they have an amazing life here in Ahmedabad because they can all be out till 2 am without any issues (according to my mother). Loving the idea of partying with my cousins, I asked them about places in Ahmedabad they go to at night. Both my 23 year old sister and 16 year old sister told me that their parents don’t “allow” them to go out for such “useless” things.
More than safety, the concern is of the parental control in the lives of children. I have a strained relationship with my own parents because of this issue but the reason these people fail to actually talk about anything with their parents is the idea that every argument is “disrespectful”. I have always wondered why these conversations are avoided and why people don’t even consider this issue important enough to talk about.
1. Talk about toxic parenting. It is an issue and we’re raising rebels without a cause who have been emotionally manipulated from a young age. Believe it or not, these things shape the lives you lead.
2. Physical violence is not the only form of violence that demands attention. If parents use “love” as a weapon to silence the child, it is emotional abuse.
3. Stop making “obey your parents” a thing.
4. Freedom is a basic right, not a privilege that is “earned”.
5. If your child is old enough to vote, they’re old enough to make certain descions too.
6. Having constructive arguments at home is important.
7. Respect is not equal to full mindless submission.
8. The point is not to make the parent the bad one and make stupid life choices that damage your relationship with the world and them.
9. All “I hate my parents” are not teenage tantrums.
10. Hating your parents because they don’t accept your gender identity or sexual orientation or career decisions or anything, IS REAL AND ALRIGHT.
All said and done, don’t take your parents for granted. Love them and let them love you. But let’s make a conversation with your parents a normal thing where you can actually TALK.