I am writing this letter to the parents, who have daughters, all around the world. The motive behind this letter is to present a checklist that could come in handy for them. The society, where I have lived, so far, does not equip the daughters for their future. The majority believe that the daughters must be household-ready, when, in fact, they should be survival ready? What is this term: survival ready? I am glad you asked. Survival ready is a term that I am using, in this context, to highlight that a girl should be equipped with basic instinct and knowledge to live her life with well-deserved dignity. Instead of filling her head with “obey your husband and in-laws” nonsense, parents must plant the seed of “live with dignity.” Sweeping the floors come naturally to most of the humans. Why should we limit to the humans, I have heard that even animals sweep a place with their tails before sitting. So, spending all the time in teaching your daughter to remove the spots from the floors is not very helping. Just by indulging your kids — both son and daughter — in the normal household tasks would make them self-dependent.
If a husband treats his wife with love and care, she will cherish him and keep him happy, whether her parents tell her to do so or not. Trust me, I am the living and breathing example of the power of love. The concept of marriage never amused me, and till the day of my marriage, I was silently wishing for the world to end, so that I would not need to be trapped in the cage of this society’s imposed institution. However, as you know, the world continued to survive, and I started my journey as a wife. Even after three years of my marriage, I have stayed far away from embracing typical wife like appearance, but my husband’s unwillingness to change me has developed a little respect for this tradition in my stubborn head. I wonder how would I have reacted if he would have tried to impose social rules set for a wife on me. I don’t think I would have been admiring his gem-like qualities on my blog. In fact, the real respect that I feel for him would never have made an appearance in my heart.
I did not share his divine qualities to flaunt the joy of finding an amazing husband. Not at all! I shared it to showcase that a parent does not need to instill the “respect your in-laws and husband” lesson in the heart of their daughter. This feeling appears as soon as she observes real love in the eyes of her husband and new family. On the contrary, if there is no love and respect for her, no matter how many lessons of “fulfill your marital duties” you plant in her heart, she would never feel a part of that new life. Instead of spending hours to feed these lessons, if parents teach their daughters appropriate survival lessons, then they would be doing a huge favor to their daughters. From my own book reading, observing the life of my friends, exploring various cases of domestic violence, and watching movies, I have come up with a checklist for the parents. The points on this checklist could be increased or reduced, as per the need, but this should act as a guideline to raise a daughter you would be proud of, later.
- Invest in her career. She may decide to be a housewife and help raise her family, but she should never be forced to stay in this role because she is incapable of doing anything else.
- Give her a voice. She should know that she has brains and her voice is equally important.
- Develop her backbone. There is nothing worse than a person who cannot take a stand for oneself. Ladies are not an exception to this rule. A daughter must never be taught to “shut up and tolerate.”
- Make her aware of the law. In many cases of domestic violence, I have observed one simple unawareness. Sometimes, a woman, who has suffered domestic violence, decides to get up and leave, but she is not aware how much protection she may get from the law. Keep yourself and your daughter updated with the laws that may help her if the need arises.
- Show her that a wife and a husband are equal in a marriage. Parents must set an example that a marriage is a tradition in which a man and a woman walk together. A daughter must know that the decisions of a life are taken together, not enforced by one partner. It is never okay to suppress one’s emotions and feelings. Compromises are an essential part of a marriage but never assume that you have to surrender all your dreams just because you are a woman.
- Violence is never an answer. Some women justify the violent acts of their husbands by thinking that they caused the pain on themselves by making a mistake. There is no issue that cannot be resolved by discussing calmly. If your partner raises his hands on you, then it is ALWAYS unacceptable.
- Last but not the least, engrave it in her heart that you will always be there for her. If she knows that you would protect her, she would be able to face any storm and return in the safety of your arms.
- Although I did not join any self-defense classes, I believe, it’s a need of the hour to make your daughter capable of facing a dangerous situation, bravely.
Add your own points to make this checklist more effective. We must take a step in the direction of a safe future for these beautiful creation of God to ensure that they are survival-ready!
P.S. This post is in response to the daily post prompt: Survival