Guide to raising children as dynamic citizens- The New Indian Express

Express news service

The media we consume, the language we use, the relationships we cultivate, the discreet behaviors we apply to our families and societies all affect our children. Our culture and upbringing can make us believe that parents can never be wrong or that mothers know best. “This is the most dangerous parenting myth that can do more harm than good,” said author Manisha Pathak-Shelat, Professor and Chair of Communication & Digital Platforms and Strategies, Center for Development and Communication Management, MICA, and Kiran Vinod Bhatia, Ph.D. School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison, as they begin their book, Raising a Humanist: Conscious Parenting in an increasingly fragmented world.

The book is the result of more than three years and interactions with more than 120 parents. Initially, the authors reveal that they experienced some reluctance and discomfort. “The parents we interacted with did not immediately join us in this project. It took time and effort to encourage them to share their fears and concerns about bringing about change in their homes and communities. Some of these fears were very real “What if you challenge an elderly person in your community and then all the other members drain you?” for change without necessarily disrupting peace and love in our families and neighborhoods? »» Say the authors.

According to them, as parents teach their children ways to be in the world, they must constantly change and update their own ideas, values ​​and practices. Parents need to learn to learn. While it is important to respect wisdom in some old traditions, dismantling parental myths is vital to stopping cultural practices and rules that perpetuate prejudice and threaten the peaceful coexistence of different communities in a pluralism. Shelat is a parent herself and is upset by growing suspicion and hatred in society. “I want my daughter to grow up in a world that nurtures, is fair and respects difference, dialogue and empathy,” she told The Morning Standard.

“This book is written as a discussion of what we can do together in our homes and communities so that our children can live life to the fullest and contribute to making this world a better place,” he added. As a researcher, her long-term interest was to examine how common people use communication and the media to participate in positive social change.

“Kiran and I are both academics who have a close relationship with people, their reality and the challenges they face in everyday life. We understand that these are moments when what is happening in our world makes us question the wisdom of being good, fair and critical. But I am an incredibly optimistic. I believe there is a lot we can do to make society a better place for all if we ask some critical questions and develop empathy for others, and hence this book. “The book talks about how our socialization creates echo-chambers where we just want to be with people like us.

According to Shelat, he traps us in labels of caste, class, religion and gender and these labels are used for discrimination. “We are discussing how these discriminations limit people’s chances of survival and well-being. We show how the religious and cultural texts were created from which we draw lessons in different eras and why it is important to question their relevance today, while still respecting our core values ​​”, adding,” We suggest how learning is required to open hearts and minds, how critical thinking helps and how we can communicate through our differences while exercising self-care.

We analyze the way in which the media reinforce certain stereotypes and show the ability of the media to challenge stereotypes as well. We offer many tips on parental involvement and the use of technology and art to connect and create a better world. “Speaking about the research done in its creation, Batia informs that as experienced media teachers in many schools they have adopted an ethnographic and participatory approach to the research.

“We immerse ourselves in the routines of parents and children with whom we work to understand their life experiences – sociocultural rules in their communities, beliefs and living conditions. “Based on this in-depth understanding of their lives, we encourage them to work with us and identify some of the limitations they experience in the child-parent relationship.” The authors aim to address a range of issues – from digital literacy and media use, gender realities, art and activism, to family rules and interpersonal communication. “Never in the book do we undermine the uniqueness of the individual parental journey and the importance of self-care.

We recognize the real challenges and at the same time show the possibilities of creating a better world. Next on their list is to write a book that is aimed directly at young people and helps them interact positively with the world. beyond local cultures and geographical boundaries and how these commitments shape young people today.


by Dr. Manisha Pathak-Shelat and Kiran Vinod Bhatia
Publisher: Sage India
Price: Rs 495
Pages: 260

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