Punjabi Fathers And Discipline

Recently, I read a 1997 research article in the Journal of Marriage and Family on Fathering And Acculturation: Immigrant Indian Families With Young Children, which stated that:

Older fathers spent less time playing with their child more educated fathers engaged more in disciplining than other fathers, and that more father-child play occurred when there were fewer children in the home and when the target child was the only child ….

I was excited to read a study that focused on fathers as parents and not just mothers, particularly in the Indian context. Generally when it comes to Indian parenting, the focus is on the mothers because they are traditionally viewed as primarily responsible for their childrens day-to-day emotional and social well-being. Fathers in the parenthood are often given little notice, as their duties are usually associted wtih providing financial security.

However, we know parenting is far more complex and nuanced. Gender roles in a family are never quite so separate and distinct. Even though many of our fathers were not involved in our daily predicaments, kept a distance, and focused on making money, they still influenced our emotional and social upbringing through discipline, protection, and/or silence.

I was particularly struck by the preliminary finding that more educated fathers engaged more in disciplining than less formally educated fathers. While the sample pool in the survey may be limited and not characteristic of the general “Indian” father population, it is striking.

[The sample pool consisted of highly educated fathers (averaging 19.4 years of schooling), mean ages 34.5, and working on average 45.9 hours per week in Central and Southeastern Pennsylvania.]

While I was disappointed that yet another research study failed to mention what kind(s) of Indian background the fathers had, still it presents an opportunity to reflect on how the results may resonate in our community.

Thus, I ask our readers with immigrant Punjabi fathers:

What is his educational level? What was his occupation in the United States when you were a young child (1.5-4.0 years)?

How involved was he in disciplining you as a young child? How about adolescence?

If you feel comfortable sharing, what did this discipline look like?


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64 Responses to “Punjabi Fathers And Discipline”

  1. Jodha says:

    [ADMIN WARNING]: While we appreciate the general civility expressed by differing points of view, we do ask you to keep the topic to Punjabi Fathers and Discipline. While we understand that gangs may be a related topic, we will leave that for another post. Please stick to the issue!]

  2. Jodha says:

    [ADMIN WARNING]: While we appreciate the general civility expressed by differing points of view, we do ask you to keep the topic to Punjabi Fathers and Discipline. While we understand that gangs may be a related topic, we will leave that for another post. Please stick to the issue!]

  3. P.Singh says:

    Suki, you wrote:

    If you read my comments, you would see that I want changes to the immigration policy and the type of immigrant that comes into Canada.

    I read your comments quite carefully, especially the ones where you make broad, sweeping generalizations and those where you demean and devalue immigrant contributions to the fabric of Canada, other than that of the Brits and the French.

    Perhaps you need to read your comments a little more carefully – I've cut and pasted a few of your gems for your reference:

    But how many cultures would you have to learn. The problem is that most Punjabi’s when they come to Canada move to Toronto or Vancouver area and live like they are still are in 1950’s punjab. Alot of the newcomers are from the village and not very educated

    Here's another beauty, with reference to how Sikhs deal with intercultural relationships in contrast to "real" Canadians i.e. Caucasians:

    They may not be happy. But they won’t kill there daughter

    In response to a statement expressing the contributions of many different ethnicities and immigrant groups to the growth and evolution of Canada, you wrote:

    They make be changing the landscape of Vancouver and Toronto. But there is more to Canada then those 2 major cities. They are making very little change to the rest of Canada. Maybe they bring in great thing like sharia law.

    Your comments do a great job of showing how you feel about certain immigrants, their unsavory cultures, and their lack of contribution to Canada – their lack of 'Canadian-ness'.

  4. P.Singh says:

    Suki, you wrote:

    If you read my comments, you would see that I want changes to the immigration policy and the type of immigrant that comes into Canada.

    I read your comments quite carefully, especially the ones where you make broad, sweeping generalizations and those where you demean and devalue immigrant contributions to the fabric of Canada, other than that of the Brits and the French.

    Perhaps you need to read your comments a little more carefully – I’ve cut and pasted a few of your gems for your reference:

    But how many cultures would you have to learn. The problem is that most Punjabis when they come to Canada move to Toronto or Vancouver area and live like they are still are in 1950s punjab. Alot of the newcomers are from the village and not very educated

    Here’s another beauty, with reference to how Sikhs deal with intercultural relationships in contrast to “real” Canadians i.e. Caucasians:

    They may not be happy. But they wont kill there daughter

    In response to a statement expressing the contributions of many different ethnicities and immigrant groups to the growth and evolution of Canada, you wrote:

    They make be changing the landscape of Vancouver and Toronto. But there is more to Canada then those 2 major cities. They are making very little change to the rest of Canada. Maybe they bring in great thing like sharia law.

    Your comments do a great job of showing how you feel about certain immigrants, their unsavory cultures, and their lack of contribution to Canada – their lack of ‘Canadian-ness’.