Parenting and Condemnable Traditions


On my previous post, one of my friends was concerned that I posted the photo of a father that might be promoting the tradition of precocious marriage to celebrate Father’s Day. I reassured her that he does not. But this bode the question to me: can the parenting ability of someone be judged based on their practice of a tradition that in the western world is not only deemed archaic but also abusive, and an abrogation of human rights (such as precocious marriage, excision, etc)? What if they have never been exposed to a different way of acting or thinking?

Personally, while I judge and condemn these practices, I prefer not to judge my friends. I try to understand where these cultures stem from, and then engage in discussions and activities that I hope encourages them to see the world differently. I work with the bold few that are open to change, so that they may be the leaders of evolution within their communities. Our Amman Imman team also strives to change traditions that repress women and girls through discussion, example and projects geared toward this purpose.

But these changes can only come to fruition, I believe, with a compassionate and loving approach. One that seeks to understand before changing… one that supports without condemning. One that involves a great deal of patience, as change always takes time.

And yes, I think that a parent that engages in reproachable traditions, particularly when they have never been exposed to other forms of thinking and acting, can still be esteemed a good parent at other levels. I believe that with time and education, they can change, because the vast majority also want what is best for their child in the deepest, most authentic way.