Friday, February 16, 2018

Raising Boys

There is so much talk about ' Raising the Girl Child',' Giving her Wings to Fly' and ' Educating the Girl Child' but one seldom hears about' Raising the Boys'! In a male-dominated society and the fixation of treating the boys as special is still the bane of our society.The untold rejoicing on the birth of a male child still prevails almost everywhere. At the same time, the birth of a girl in the family is often seen as a burden for which parents have to work for a dowry for her marriage right from the word 'go'.
I consider myself as one of the most fortunate to be born with other siblings( younger brothers) in a family where it did not matter to be a boy in every sense. Right from the early childhood, mother gave us lessons in the clean ship of the house, assistance in cooking and everything which is generally considered to be a domain of a girl. Every evening we would help her in cleaning the vegetables, peeling them and even chopping for the meal. The thrill of peeling the peas in winter and chopping the sticky ladyfingers were thrills we awaited almost every day. As she was a teacher and would return from school much later than me, I warmed the food and sometimes added a side dish to satiate my craving to experiment with cooking! Not only this, very early we learnt to wash our own clothes, ironing them and ensuring that all buttons were intact. The lessons in handling the needle and thread helped a long way when I lived alone especially during the summer training in a different city when in college. Luckily, after joining the Navy, most of the things I learnt helped in managing things but fortunately, all odd chores were handled by the orderly and food was managed in the mess. 

The idea of sharing all this stems from the fact that most children I come across these days are only playing on mobiles, and not even indulging in the outdoor sports. Most families are nuclear and both parents are working. From an early age, children are left at the 'creche' where the maids take care of the children and in the evening the kids join their parents. No wonder as they grow up most of them have not learnt much apart from bookish knowledge and are hardly of help in assisting their spouse when they get married. A few advertisements in the media showing the husband in handling the washing machine to assist the wife are a rare exception even today, in most homes

In the fast-changing world where women are rubbing shoulders with men in every walk of life, it would be grossly unfair to expect them to run the house the way boys have seen their mothers do for them in their growing years. Even for the young mothers, rather than being too indulgent with boys, it would be better they taught them the domestic chores and learn to respect the opposite sex to make their lives easier as they grow up.More freedom to women implies that the males share in almost every activity to make a happier home.Also, the cases of domestic violence, sex-related crimes have a direct correlation to the upbringing of boys and will surely bring in a much-needed change.

Read the lovely poem that I came across:

PS: Images Kind courtesy Google


  1. Glad you addressed this subject. Boys (and girls) need to be taught that chores have no gender.


  2. I can relate to all this.Lots of things going wrong in our society.

  3. Yes, very rarely boys get involved in kitchen work or other household work. My sons helped when they were in school but after they entered college and then work, they never come inside. But I see many boys helping wives in cooking and other things nowadays. I am very happy to see this change. Thank god, the trend is changing slowly.

  4. Thanks for reading and agreeing to the need for boys to share all work, Sandhya!

  5. So well said, Rahul. We need to bring up our sons right and mould their mindset away from patriarchy from a young age. Kudos to your mum. My parents also did not differentiate between my brother and me and my sister when it came to household chores or otherwise.

    1. Coming from you it means a lot as you are a mother of two young boys, Rachna:) Your persona is reflected so well in your posts that one needs no further proof of your potential!