Growing up and discovering yourself is a tough journey, but it’s especially tough if your parents refuse to budge from their pre-conceived notions and standpoints. In a conservative society like ours, the struggle is much, much worse.
Here’s a list of things Pakistani children really wish their parents understood:
1. Your child isn’t your clone.
So expecting your child to have the same set of preferences, similar career and life choices is not only futile, it’s plain stupid.
Try this instead:
2. It’s okay if your child is different than “Farzana ki beti” or “Chacha Kaleem ka beta”. There’s this thing called individuality.
We’re all different, and we’ve got our own niches. You can’t expect us to be a certain way simply because most children behave that way. Our individuality is what differentiates us from other people, and it defines us. Please don’t try to take your child’s essence away from them; you don’t want them to spend the rest of their life like this:
3. Speaking of conformity, our happiness should hold priority over upholding society’s dictates;
We’re not mass produced robots with similar specifications. It’s sad that you let 74874 people, who don’t even know your son/daughter, determine what they ‘should’ be doing in life. So stop throwing that “Log kia kahengay” line to deter us from doing what makes us happy.
Kaheen 4 loug offend na ho jayen.
4. The comparison conversations hold no relevance; please accept that times have changed.
“Hamaray zamanay me toh bachay maa baap kay samnay saans bhi nai letay thay”
20 years later, living in a world that’s markedly different than what it used to be, you can’t expect children to act the same. We don’t need you to shed all your values and beliefs, we’re just asking you to not be stagnant and rigid.
5. Religion and culture are not synonymous; and the latter is man made.
“Hamaray culture me larki ki arranged marriage hi hoti hai”
6. Giving us reasons as to why you wouldn’t have us do a certain thing will be more effective than a “Because I said so”.
If you just explained to us what your reasons are, we might just agree. “Because I said so” only makes us feel angry and misunderstood, and chances are that we’ll still go ahead do it, just without you knowing.
7. Not giving in to your choices doesn’t mean they don’t respect you.
Respect ≠ number of things you do my way.
8. Don’t discriminate between your sons and daughters.
Imagine the feeling of pride you’d feel when your son brings home his first pay cheque.
Now imagine what you’d do if your daughter brought one home.
By ‘it’, we really hope you mean stereotypes.
9. We’ll make our own mistakes and learn our own lessons.
Let us stumble, fall, and learn to pick ourselves back up. Just be there for us while we do that.
All we ask for is a little flexibility and space so we can mature into happy adults.