The other day I came across this quote and found it to be extremely hard-hitting and powerful.

I was raised in a typical Bengali household where importance was given to academics, good manners, morals, values, ethics, and I am also passing on the same to my children albeit with few differences.  My kids can question me more, about anything and everything.  They are free to voice their opinions, sometimes to my dislike and dismay too!  Fair enough because despite being my children, they are their own person.

Most Indians are conditioned since their childhood not to question someone who has authority; be it parents, teachers, bosses, or any other elderly person.  Questioning them or challenging their thoughts is considered to be disrespectful.  Having a different opinion is not taken too kindly.

What happens?  These children who are hushed as kids fear questioning as adults.  Yes, I have been one such kid too!  It took me years to come out of that shell and speak my mind.  Girls specially are taught to be quiet and not too opinionated as it’s considered to be “unfeminine” and “unadjusting”.

The other day my daughter came home and told me that she questioned a teacher about something that she disagreed with and that gave me a panic attack.  I could never dare to question my teachers out of the fear of being labelled as disrespectful.  Yes, we as parents should be particular about how our kids speak with others, their tone and language, and tell them that there’s a way of putting forth their queries, questions, and doubts across.  But should we really stop them from asking questions or voicing opinions?  No, never!  We should raise them to question, to think and not train them what we think is correct or is the norm of the society.  They should have the courage to stand up against the wrong, raise their voice against injustice, fight the bullies everywhere.  Girls should be taught to fight oppression and not accept it as society’s norm.

As is mentioned in the quote, we should resist the urge to “tame” the voice of the children.  Today’s strong-willed children will have the guts to change tomorrow’s world and make it a better place.

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