Where the East meets the South and settles in the West, enough stereotypes are broken already. We are a multilingual, multicultural family and we devour on Bengali cuisine and Kerala cuisine alike. Hubby and I speak English and Hindi at home and at the same time, see to it that the kids learn Malayalam and Bengali. Although they are not speaking either of the native languages fluently yet, but they understand those languages completely along with Gujarati , the regional language here. They have a lot on their plate already and we understand. So, no serious complaints thus far.
No Faking.. The Real Deal, Mostly
My hubby and I fight. Yes, infront of the kids. Ofcourse , we don't do it like the hooligans, but heated arguments, showing disapprovals, difference of opinion etc. are very common between us. Earlier, my husband would be cautious of the kids' presence at such times, but I explained to him that it's ok. They need to grow up knowing that there will be differences, bad days, but they don't last long. Hubby and I are great friends, so my children witness that fun element in our relationship and that kind of balances out the dark days.
We Don't Like Our Pants on Fire
We try not to lie to our kids. I have seen parents hiding facts from their kids, eg, if there's a death or some negative incident , thinking that children are sensitive to such news. But we believe in being honest with our kiddos as much as possible. If there is life, there will be death. If we don't want them to be a part of certain conversation , we politely tell them, please excuse us, 'Mamma and Daddy are discussing something serious, which you will not understand at this age'.
No Need to go the Highway...Make it 'Your Way'
Academics is very important in our family and so is sports. But that doesn't mean my children have to score the highest in the class or be a national level player and they know it. But, they can't take us for granted. Yes, we expect results but based on their individual capacity and not on the performance of the children of our friends and acquaintances . We are trying to instill in our little ones , whatever they do should be driven by their passion.
A Touch of Diplomacy, perhaps!
There was a point when my son wouldn't watch T.V at all, which was completely OK with me. Suddenly, in the past one year, I noticed that he has become pretty hooked to cartoons such as Doraemon, Pokemon, Motu Patlu (much to my chagrin) etc. While I try my best to minimise his T.V. time , I don't tell him that they are a complete waste or I don't approve of him watching of those cartoons. Instead, I ask him to draw the characters, write some words about them or discuss the episode. What if too much restriction makes more attracted to those cartoons?!
Gender Equality all the Way!
It's not just me who takes care of maintaining the gender equality at home, my husband plays a fair role too. He is hoping that someday the daughter would follow his footsteps and pick up his passion for biking and would ride like his favourite Gul Panag. So, while my kids and hubby plan their prospective bike rides someday, with me being the shared pillion, I make it a point to teach my kiddos that household chores are not just meant for mamma. Get up and get going and they happily relent. Initially, my son would be amazed to see the Daddy helping me in the kitchen on Sundays or when the house help is on leave, but now it's a very natural sight for him.
Since, me and my daughter, are very fond of classical dance ( Bharatnatyam to be precise) and apart from dancing ourselves, we often watch dance videos , especially the fusion dance performances and that made me ask my son one day, if he would like to take up Bharatnatyam too. He declined saying he prefers tennis over Bharatnatyam.
Since I am a WAHM, my son started believing that all moms work from home. It took me a while to explain that some mums go to the office to work and some moms work from home. Immediately, he shot me a question. ' So which is better? I further explained to him that it depends on the nature of the work and career options. I also told him that some moms are probably taking a career break or take care of the family. There's no good or bad, it's all about choices and that we must learn to respect everyone's choice.