Parenting – physical or mental?

Parenting – A word very much loved by women. Almost all women I come across consider themselves experts in parenting. If you are in India, and if you happen to have a child, you will receive advises and guidance on this subject from almost every woman you come across.

I was walking down the street the other day with my 10 month od daughter sleeping on my shoulders. A woman called out to me from inside her boutique shop. Curious, I stopped only to get a long advice on how I should cover my baby’s head while taking her out etc. I had the urge to explain to her that a mild exposure to the sun will not harm my daughter, neither will a pleasant breeze. But such explanations will only earn me stares and curt replies. I have even had people call me a mindless mother and my husband, a selfish father when we refused to load our daughter will all the customary gold and silver jewellery that a new born child is supposed to wear in this part of the world.

free childImage source: Etsy/terbearco

By parenthood, do we mean only the physical growth of the baby, and over protectiveness of it’s physical comforts? Is it not more important to bring up a mentally and psychologically mature baby? I would be proud to call myself the mother of a mentally mature, independent and sensible daughter, than to be the mother of a fair, beautiful, pretty looking daughter. Not that appearance and physical attributes are to be neglected. A good appearance is vital for a confident and happy mind. But, the point here is – physical appearance is not the only aim of good parenting.

In a society where the older generation’s view points on parenting and pregnancy are highly valued, it is a disappointment that the generations old advises and beliefs largely confirm to physical aspects like eating, massaging, sleeping routines etc. Not much is said about nurturing artistic talents or an independent spirit.

To nurture over all development, parenting needs to rest on the belief that every child knows what it needs to survive. Trust your child’s instincts to sleep, eat and live. Do not force your ideas / discipline on the child… instead feed him when he is hungry, let her sleep when she has tired herself out, let her play in the water to  enjoy her bath, let her enjoy a walk in the sun if she wants to play outside… Over protectiveness tends to make parents proud of their parenting skills, but it narrows down the child’s all-round development.

Common sense and respect for freedom is the best guide to parenting, now and forever.



  1. lovely read !! so nicely you have described parenting .. its so true .. in India still kids are forced to do things which does not interest them .. mainly academics !! At the end the kid becomes everything but a happy human !!

    • Very true.. They become everything, except happy humans. Academics ends up killing the child’s spirit and creativity… Many times I have this strong feeling that education and schooling are of no use to any child.

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