And So The Fight Begins

Dear Book Publishers/ Syllabus Makers of Bombay Kindergarten – Please note that I am not very sure I want my child to learn the following…
1. Mother works in the kitchen and gets children ready to school. Father works in office and teaches children and tells them stories.

Jeez! Seriously! thanks for telling me that. Honestly in my house, both Father AND mother work, both father and mother get the child ready to school, only mother teaches the child (father does it under very dire circumstances) and only mother tells stories (no RD just replacing R as the tortoise in the rabbit and tortoise race doesnt qualify to be a story okie?) In short, my child is seeing something at home, and learning something completely different in school? how the hell do you expect children to learn equality if they are not taught that in school.

Are you teaching an entire generation that women are meant to work at home and men are meant to work in office. Are you teaching an entire generation of children that women are expected to get the children dressed to school, while men are supposed to just sit at tell stories…please!

They say the KG children are the easiest to influence and brain wash. Isnt that what you are doing? I am astonished that no one has ever thought about this issue. and the brat of mine, for whom whatever her teacher says is ‘pather pe lakeer’ (A line on stone) she is perplexed how she is going to explain to teacher that her Amma goes to office and her Appa makes hot cheese dosas for her! Is this what we want to teach our children???

2. More than two children family is NOT happy family.

No you didnt tell that explicitly, but you show a family with 4 children and 2 children, and then point out the one with 2 children as happy family. seriously? I dont believe it. I can have 10 children and yet be a happy family. I dont think happiness lies in the number of children you have, it lies in the fact that how cohesive are you as a family. If you want to point out that having lesser children means better provisions provided for each child, I dont think that message comes across. you dont even need to compare na. Just say a mother, father, two children make a family. Thats all you want to show kids right?

3. A joint family is a large family (read as not a happy family) who said that? Personally, I am not a fan of a joint family, but I know loads and loads of joint families which exist in total harmony and seem to be extremely happy. Are you telling us to teach our children that they cant live with parents and spouse and grand children together? What is the logic of that!

4. A father is the head of the family.

Jeez! in my house, there was no HEAD of the family. The parents were just the brains and heart of the family who took decisions TOGETHER. Again what are you teaching my child? That her father controls the family. Honestly, I dont think RD does anything without discussing it with me and vice versa and thats how a marriage should be.

Are you teaching young boys that they can dominate over the women in their life. No seriously tell me whats the logic of calling the father as the head of the family! I am really upset when I read such things!

While you may say, its only about teaching young minds, but honestly I dont agree. These are the future generation of our world, if we dont teach them equality who will? And as publishers/syllabus makers of books for young children, these are point you SHOULD have kept in mind, isnt it?

If you want to teach a kid about family, just say father mother grandfather grandmother na? whats the point!!

and then what takes the cake

Parents live for their children. Please note that most parents I know have children because THEY want the children, but that doesnt mean they live for their children. They live for themselves and enjoy having children. Dont give wrong ideas to children. Tomorrow if the parent says no, they will think ‘arey in the book it was written, they live for us and now they are not giving us what they want‘ Dont teach children such stuff. I dont think its a very healthy attitude.

Yours sincerely

A very very concerned working mother


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56 Responses to And So The Fight Begins

  1. DI says:

    You jeezed twice, so you are really bugged! 😮
    Ooh, but that’s some out-dated syllabus huh? Mine would me Mommy gets children ready for school by asking daddy to give them a bath so she can sleep a little more before going off to work! 😀
    ‘Parents live for their children’ made me laugh! Hahahaha!
    Ok. Sorry. 🙂

  2. sangeethamenon says:

    Hahaha… I can understen you completely .. But I think even we have learnt the same things , but we don’t apply this in our everyday lives right ? The same way our children would also be mouldede , dont worry , and yeah father is the head of family gives me headache , a point worth require double thinking nowadays as both mom n dad work …

    Your hubby makes cheese dosas? How sweeettt!! Am sending my hubby to him for cooking lessons ..:)

    • R's Mom says:

      I agree..but the point is Sangeetha, we are going to teach an entire generation of kids just the same thing..why do you think India still has so much female infanticide, rape etc etc..because somewhere down the line in your childhood you have learnt that women can not do the same thing as men! Its not just my child, I am worried about the entire generation we are bringing up!

      LOL come any time, he will treat you with yummy ones as well

  3. Swaram says:

    Exactly. I could not relate to things when I was taught that father was the head of the family too or that only mothers work (and they do only that) in the kitchen too. What I saw at home was always both of them working outside and both of them working at home too. Same about nuclear/ joint families and about families with 2,3,4 or even no kids – its all about loving and understanding each other! When will they realize what they are doing, hmmmpf!

  4. Deeps says:

    Brilliant RM! I wish, I so so wish each and every publisher and syllabus maker in every part of our country reads this!

  5. rainmusings says:

    hmmmmm, very bad nah… Luckily S doesnt have books, and hopefully her aunty doesnt teach them these things . But her school is a bit patriach, the circulars/ invitations they send out are addressed to only the father’s name (if father is there). And this is the same school I studied as well

  6. Reema Sahay says:

    Wow! I agree with each and every word (yours of course!). It makes one think whether we should start homeschooling now! But that takes a very different kind of commitment.
    This reminds me of a book I bought last year for my son. I just picked it up while shopping for books myself. That was the only time I did not research his book. It was a story book. At the end of each story was a ‘Moral of the Story’. One such ‘moral of the story’ said “dreams never become reality”!!! Needless to say, that book has been chucked out. But alas! that cannot be done to the book in the little one’s syllabus so you got some tough job on your hands!
    The other day I was discussing with my husband, since our son will start playschool in 6 months time, what kind of people decide the syllabus and curriculum, I wonder!

    • R's Mom says:

      oh yes, even someone gave R such a book with moral of the story…I usually avoid telling her stories with moral..I find them pretty bugging honestly!

      Dreams never become reality..huh! how is that possible eh?

  7. Sumana says:

    My son is in 1st std CBSE, fortunately i do not see this around anywhere. They do have nuclear and joint families etc but nothing more then that. That is real annoying when things are not generation sensitive. But these kids have something like what does your mom do and what does your dad do around the house kind of activities which we kid around…..

  8. Nidaa says:

    I guess I should home school my child when I have one. (But then she/he will fall victim to my prejudices). You know for all my talk about equality, feminism, empowerment and all that I never questioned once ‘why fathers are given the tag ‘head of family’. Yes, my parents too took decisions together and all that but I always saw him as head of family. May be these KG brainwashing is too hard to wash off from your mind. Thanks for this introspection-trip RM 🙂
    You should send this letter to publishers.
    Rem the charts on ‘Good Habits’ we used to get when in primary school? Girl shown as helping mother in kitchen while boy goes to play. Large difference between the serving size for boy & girl. I rem this becz now I see the same old charts making rounds n facebook with captions like ‘rem the good ol days or bla bla’ 😀
    Seriously… Is it that hard to come up with gender neutral syl for kids?

    • R's Mom says:

      See..this si what worries my house, I knew Amma Appa had an equal say in things, but again I know of loads of couples of their generation in whose houses the husband’s word was final…I dont think we need to raise another generatoin the same way right..Marriage is about adjusting definitely, but it doesnt make one partner superior!

      Oh thats the next chapter in her book, and I am waiting for her reaction to write a nother post on it! the good manners one!

  9. RS says:

    Oh is it only parents . I remember a Hindi Textbook where the girl child would help the mother and the boy child would play outside.

  10. Richa says:

    Last night I was thinking of asking you to give me a list of children’s books that I can read to my son who is 16 months. 🙂

  11. Sangitha says:

    God, these biases! They teach them young and we have to work to reprogram it all. What they put in is much more important at this age. Please do send a note to a higher-up who will understand where you’re coming from versus pooh-poohing you. This is important.

    Was talking to pre-schoolers on the bus today, playing cooking-cooking….mother cooks, father eats! Asked why, don’t fathers know to cook too and then one by one, it tumbled out about how fathers help at home!

    • R's Mom says:

      See…didnt the kiddos tell you fathers work at home..most fathers I know, do help out..though on an average a mother definitely spends more time in the kitchen, but on the whole today’s generation men are learning to help their wives…

      My Amma as a teacher always told me that kids learn most of the stuff about manners, morals values, etc etc till the age of 5 when they are moldable..after that their thought processes become kind of rigid..and if you teach kids below 5 about such things, it just bugs me 😦

      Planning to speak to the higher ups in the next parent meeting!

  12. BB says:

    I can totally understand your disappointment. It is amazing that such blatant sexist views are propagated casually in children’s text book. It is great that you & RD have a mutual team effort system as opposed to the typical workload characterized by gender. I’m sure R will learn more from real life experience at home and even more reason to be vigilant with what kids are being taught.

  13. Well said RM 🙂

  14. And are you kidding me ..these are from R’s books..unbelievable ?

  15. pixie says:

    oh my!! and to think we are supposedly “moving forward”!!

  16. Mini Nair says:


    What you have written is sooo valid!! I am afraid of what the teachers at the twins’ school tell the twins. There is this sterotype image of a beaming mother waiting with hot cupcakes for the father and children…I work and travel and take immense pride in the fact that I am independant! I want my daughters to be that too!And as the twins’ parents we are equal partners. But sometimes the school dmages more…..

  17. Smitha says:

    That is just so much crap! How can they have text books like these? Clearly nobody reviews stuff!

    Is there any way of approaching publishers, I wonder.

  18. Couldn’t agree more, RM. Through the contents of these books, we are not ONLY teaching children, we are shaping young minds. We are setting in motion thoughts, mindsets, ideas that will build a person, the society of tomorrow. Cliched but true. The minds of children are extremely impressionable, and hence, it is very important that we teach them the right things right from an early age. That will go a long way towards building an individual who thinks healthy thoughts, who will go on to become a healthy adult who influences his/her family positively. The family will then go on to positively influence others in the society. It is a chain reaction. I wish such things were paid attention to.

    When we were newly married, we got our ration card done. Below the OH’s photo was his name and the caption ‘Head of the family’. Next to his was my photo with my name and the caption ‘Wife of head of the family’. I was super duper pissed off to see that, and the OH couldn’t understand why. Gah! Seriously, is that what I am supposed to do all day – be a ‘wife’ and do as the ‘head of the famiily’ dictates me to do? 😦 Sometimes, I feel our government departments are still living in the 1900s. 😦 I don’t think these are small things, no.

    • R's Mom says:

      yes yes and more yes to your first told everything that I wanted to say in such an excellent manner!

      I didnt know the ration cards have stuff like head of the family aand all

      Even RD told me initially that I was over reacting but now he does realise because R is so influenced by her teachers and books..he now tries to correct her saying Amma goes to office, Appa makes cheese dosas 🙂

      • BTW, how does RD make cheese dosas? They sound yummy, and I would love to try them out. 😀 Yes, yes, in the middle of a serious post, I was drooling, thinking of cheese dosas! Do you need any more proof of what a foodie I am? 😀 Please do share the recipe!

  19. aarya says:

    I never thought about this stuff…but I totally agree with each point you raised…it is sad to see that authorities pay no attention to these aspects and I wish some one takes charge to scrutinize the years-old syllabus and change it according to today’s time. It’s high time schools watch what they teach.

  20. Ashwathy says:

    I was reading an article in the newspaper some months back that said exactly… about how our syllabuses need to revamped. A lot has changed in our society since we were kids, and our kids definitely need to be taught the message from the beginning, otherwise we are passing the damage down to another generation!

    • R's Mom says:

      My Amma was a part of the editorial committee for English medium books in Gujarat board some years ago and the group of editors insisted that such comments are removed from the books..Of course she handled only English language books (even those had such instances) but at least someone is trying to make a change!

  21. Amit says:

    I think you should keep telling R that all that is wrong. This is something that worries me too. You can teach them well but the moment they step outside, that is when the real fight begins. The child has to be constantly reminded that all that she is hearing from outside is not true.
    That will be confusing the child, no?

  22. dipali says:

    Very well said, R’s Mom. I think you can tell her teacher to give them more options orally at least!

  23. Pingback: The Thursday Thoughts | R's Mom

  24. telugumom says:

    Agree with every word of yours RM! My parents took decisions together. Me and S take decisions together. It is really hard to un-teach what the kids learn at school.

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