Sunday October 22, 2017

Do Parents have different Standards and Expectations from Sons and Daughters?

There exists a double standard in dealing with sons and daughters

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A family (representational image), Pixabay

– by Athina Ann Thomas

Jan 16, 2017: All parents want their children to do well in life. They even dream and plan for their children before their birth. They want the best for their children. But when it comes to girls and boys, do parents have different hopes and standards? Yes, they do!

Most parents are more concerned about their son’s education than for their daughter’s. It is sad to see that some parents though educated, subconsciously think that the daughter will get married and leave while the son will be there for them.

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Sons are considered as a blessing, the person who will carry forward the legacy of the family. At some parts of the country, it is even said that “educating a daughter is like watering a plant sowed in someone else’s garden.”

There exists a double standard in dealing with sons and daughters. Girls are trained to be homemakers and brought up with a mentality that their main purpose in life is to take care of a husband and two children.

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On the other hand, sons are encouraged to be outgoing, to take part in sports and given all the liberties that girls are generally deprived of. They are brought up with a mentality that in the future they will be earning a living for their family.

It’s not that these families do not educate their daughters, they do but their focus is more on the boys. They are not bothered for their daughter as much as the son. The saddest part is that even educated families do this. They are willing to spend a good part of the family resources on the son’s career building but are not willing to do the same for their daughter, but they are willing to spend on the daughter’s marriage.

In many countries including ours, higher education is a privilege of the boys. Parents are unwilling to send their daughters to higher classes because they are physically mature. There exists an unexplainable fear that danger lurks behind them.

Even now parents do not appreciate their daughters freely mingling with classmates especially students of the opposite sex. There is a limitation in freedom of speech and freedom of expression. There is fear that if a girl is given freedom she may revolt and go against traditional beliefs and customs of the society in which first comes marriage to a person of her own choice.

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No matter how educated a person is- these are some customs that the society follows since time immemorial. Thus I conclude by saying that even in the twenty-first-century parents do have different hopes and expectations from sons and daughters. 

Centre for Social Action (CSA) is the development wing of Christ University. Set up in 1999, it believes in strengthening student community with a view to enabling positive changes in the society. Athina Ann Thomas is a volunteer at the organisation.

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Is Longer Screen Time Bad for your Child’s Health? Experts say it might be time to relax the rules

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group focused on kids’ use of media and technology, said in a report that kids ages 8 and younger average about 2 hours and 19 minutes with screens every day at home.

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New York, October 22, 2017 : Parents of small children have long been hearing about the perils of “screen time.” And with more screens, and new technologies such as Amazon’s Echo speaker, the message is getting louder.

And while plenty of parents are feeling guilty about it, some experts say it might be time to relax a little.

Go ahead and hand your kid a gadget now and then to cook dinner or get some work done. Not all kids can entertain themselves quietly, especially when they are young. Try that, and see how long it takes your toddler to start fishing a banana peel out of the overflowing trash can.

“I know I should limit my kid’s screen time a lot, but there is reality,” said Dorothy Jean Chang, who works for a tech company in New York and has a 2-year-old son. When she needs to work or finds her son awake too early, “it’s the best, easiest way to keep him occupied and quiet.”

Screen time, she says, “definitely happens more often than I like to admit.”

She’s not alone. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group focused on kids’ use of media and technology, said in a report Thursday that kids ages 8 and younger average about 2 hours and 19 minutes with screens every day at home. That’s about the same as in 2011, though it’s up from an hour and a half in 2013, the last time the survey was conducted, when smartphones were not yet ubiquitous but TV watching was on the decline.

While the overall numbers have held steady in recent years, kids are shifting to mobile devices and other new technologies, just as their parents are. The survey found that kids spend an average of 48 minutes a day on mobile devices, up from 15 minutes in 2013. Kids are also getting exposed to voice-activated assistants, virtual reality and internet-connected toys, for which few guidelines exist because they are so new.

SCREEN TIME
Students play with their iPads at the Steve Jobs school, Aug. 21, 2013. The Steve Jobs schools in the Netherlands are founded by the Education For A New Time organization, which provides the children with iPads to help them learn with a more interactive experience. VOA

Mixed message

Some parents and experts worry that screens are taking time away from exercise and learning. But studies are inconclusive.

The economist Emily Oster said studies have found that kids who watch a lot of TV tend to be poorer, belong to minority groups and have parents with less education, all factors that contribute to higher levels of obesity and lower test scores. For that reason, it’s “difficult to draw strong conclusions about the effects of television from this research,” Oster wrote in 2015.

In fact, the Common Sense survey found that kids whose parents have higher incomes and education spend “substantially less time” with screens than other children. The gap was larger in 2017 than in previous years.

Rules relaxed

For more than a quarter century, the American Academy of Pediatrics held that kids under 2 should not be exposed to screens at all, and older kids should have strict limits. The rules have relaxed, such that video calls with grandma are OK, though “entertainment” television still isn’t. Even so, guidelines still feel out of touch for many parents who use screens of various sizes to preserve their sanity and get things done.

ALSO READ Few Tips For Parenting Boys, Which Will Make Them Kind And Gentle

Jen Bjorem, a pediatric speech pathologist in Leawood, Kansas, said that while it’s “quite unrealistic” for many families to totally do away with screen time, balance is key.

“Screen time can be a relief for many parents during times of high stress or just needing a break,” she said.

Moderation

Bjorem recommends using “visual schedules” that toddlers can understand to set limits. Instead of words, these schedules have images — dinner, bed time, reading or TV time, for example.

Another idea for toddlers? “Sensory bins,” or plastic tubs filled with beads, dry pasta and other stuff kids can play around with and, ideally, be just as absorbed as in mobile app or an episode of “Elmo.”

Of course, some kids will play with these carefully crafted, Pinterest-worthy bins for only a few minutes. Then they might start throwing beans and pasta all over your living room. So you clean up, put away the bins and turn on the TV.

In an interview, Oster said that while screen time “is probably not as good for your kid as high-quality engagement” with parents, such engagement is probably not something we can give our kids all the time anyway.

“Sometimes you just need them to watch a little bit of TV because you have to do something, or you need (it) to be a better parent,” Oster said. (VOA)

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Few Tips For Parenting Boys, Which Will Make Them Kind And Gentle

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Parenting boys.
Parenting boys. Pixabay.

The upbringing of a child plays a major role in how that child turns out to be in real life. In a country like India, where the crime rate concerning female sexual molestation and rape is high, upbringing by parents is often questioned. Parenting boys become a significant factor to prevent such crimes. From their very childhood, they should be taught to respect women and the quality of being gentle and sensitive. Crime rates are one thing, but many times, unknowingly, we pass comments which are sexist and derogatory. For example, a parent may often scold his/her son by saying, “don’t cry like a girl”. These statements showcase women as inferior to men. This makes the elders responsible for first discerning the concept of parenting boys well.

Below are a Few Tips for Parenting Boy

Be The Ideal Role Model

Most boys look up to their fathers as a superhero. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of the fathers to act like one. They should be the ideal father figures who instil values and responsibilities in their sons. The fathers must model the behavior to teach their sons the men they hope them to become. Mothers should also act as the same role model to their sons by inculcating good values in them.

Teach Them As To How To Deal With Emotions

When your son is upset or feeling low and wants to vent his feelings, then don’t stop him. Don’t just say: Be strong or Be a man! Talk to them. Make them realize how important is it to act mature at tough times. Don’t hush them by stopping their tears. Instead, understand the reason behind those tears so that they become stronger persons for the tougher times to come in life.

3. Teaching Empathy

One of the biggest things which parents should keep in mind, especially when parenting boys, is to teach them to be more empathetic. Kids of today’s times are more aggressive than how kids used to be 20 or 30 years ago. And one of the biggest reasons of this is technology. Boys are much more attracted towards violent video games, which make them more aggressive and numb towards human emotions.

Also Read: Relationship Advice : If a Guy Makes You Choose, Choose Yourself over Him 

Don’t Hold Back Your Care And Affection

Just because your son has grown up and needs to be strong should not be mean that he doesn’t deserve the same amount of care and affection as he used to when he was a child. Parents after their kids reach adolescence get distant from them. At this age, parents try to tutor their kids, especially their sons. Being under constant instruction without the same amount of care and affection being rendered, they’ll disconnect and never share what needs to be shared.

5. Give Freedom To Sons For Making Important Decisions

If you want your son to not go off the track, then trust him and let him take important decisions of his life. Your decision to give him the freedom to make decisions of life will make him think that he has grown mature, and he would start understanding his responsibilities well. He will also be able to distinguish between right and wrong. This is one of the most important things to keep in mind while parenting boys.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.

 

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC