|Image courtesy : blog.madeforschool.com.au|
Yes, it is our duty to teach our children to be proud of who they are and value their strengths and understand their weakness. We need to praise them genuinely for their achievements and not be to harsh them on their failures. But we have to be vigilant that we don't make them feel that they are better than others. This will make them arrogant and which creates problems in social interactions.
Let me assure you that my parents are not at all responsible for my low or let us say negative self esteem. If at all I am able to survive today, that is because of love my parents showered in childhood. Remember we are talking about a story 40 years ago. My parents never told us to be submissive just because we were girls. They never dragged us to temples for every festival or forced us to pray daily. I experimented with my religious beliefs and finally have realized that God is like an SOS number, whom you can call when you scared in the middle of the night in semi-awake state. They never told us not to be friends with children from other caste/religion/language. We could bring our friends over to food any time - without being asked his/her caste/religion. So the religious tolerance (which is overflowing in me :)) is what I learnt in childhood.
They never forced us to learn cooking just because we are girls. So when I was married, I had the impression that cooking is nothing short of some black art. I knew basic rice, sambar recipe for two. From there, now I have come to the stage that given the ingredients and recipe, and more importantly 2-3 trial rounds, I can cook almost any Indian recipe.
They taught us not to give importance to physical beauty. So at the age of 48, and at a weight of 66, I do not feel conscious of my body image.
They introduced me to my best friends - books and old hindi songs. They gave us all good education according to our likings. They taught us that we should never hurt others, we should be honest and we should try to help others when possible. That is religion according to me.
Wish I were such a good parent!