Akshat and Rishita Jindal immigrated to the US from India 10 years ago with their daughters, Samriddhi and Charvi, who were 5 and 3 years old at the time, respectively. They had suffered the loss of their eldest daughter, Prisha, before they came to the US. But, Akshat and Rishita had Adamya, who was born in the US.
Akshat’s parents later emigrated from India to join Akshat and his family. They reside together in the same household as they did when they lived in India. The health of his father, Aadit, is declining, though his Mother, Dhriti, remains strong.
Samriddhi was just 3 years old when her big sister, Prisha, died. She remembers her sister as a sickly child who required all of her mother’s attention and care. Samriddhi and Charvi were cared for by their grandparents while their mother tended to Prisha’s needs and their father was at work. After Prisha’s death, their mother was distraught. It was common for the sisters to go several weeks without interacting with their mother, who spent most of her time in bed, sleeping. Aadit and Dhriti did their best to care for the children, since their mother could not. They were particularly saddened for Charvi who was not breastfed, nor did she get to sleep with her parents during her first year of life. The grandparents continued caring for the children until the family moved to the United States. The grandparents, Aadit and Dhriti, felt disrespected and were angered by Akshat’s betrayal of the family. The Jindal family had been in the same village for 9 generations! As their only son, they worried about who would care for them in their old age, and they missed their grandchildren tremendously.
The move for the Jindal family was difficult in many ways. Samriddhi and Charvi missed their grandparents deeply. They also missed the familiar Hindi language, their favorite foods, and the comfort of the many people from their small village who were like an extended family. The move, however, seemed to help their mother, Rishita. She spent less time sleeping and more time with the girls while their father, an engineer, worked, often late into the evening hours. The three spent all of their time together, much of which was devoted to learning English. While not as stern as their grandparents, their mother was a firm disciplinarian. She expected much from the girls, especially when it came to academics; less than 100% was unacceptable. Complaints were not tolerated, and disobedience would result in physical punishment by both parents. For 2 years, they studied English and embraced many cultural experiences, which helped to dull the pain of homesickness. Things got even better for Samriddhi and Charvi when they started school and made friends. Rishita even befriended a group of ladies she had met at the girls’ school. She enjoyed socializing with them, much to the displeasure of Akshat who expected his wife to abide by traditional Indian customs. Their arguments worsened; it was not uncommon for Akshat to strike his wife. The girls often overheard these fights, but Rishita consistently dismissed the bruises left by her husband. Soon, their brother Adamya was born. Their father was elated at the birth of a son. For the first time ever, their father interacted lovingly with his wife, who had finally given him a son.
Sam and Char, as they now preferred to be called, thrived at school. Academically, their mother’s diligence prepared them well. Socially, they were eager playmates who reveled in opportunities and adventures that appeared to be underwhelming and typical to their American peers. They wanted to participate in everything from karate and dance, to playing soccer and guitar. For years, they begged their parents for permission to participate in these extracurricular activities, but their interests were dismissed as “not for girls” and “an unnecessary waste of time that should be devoted to studying.” Good study habits were important in order to become a physician, or an engineer, as their parents expected. At last, their father surrendered to “another Western idea” and agreed to allow each girl to choose one activity with the understanding that if their school work was compromised, the activity would be discontinued. Their daughters were abiding by the arrangement. Akshat and Rishita enjoyed attending their games and concerts, and even made a few social acquaintances, but Adamya remained the apple of his father’s eye.
Sam and Char were 16 and 14 when their grandparents left India and moved in with them. They treasured the fond memories they had of their grandparents, yet were filled with mixed emotions when they arrived. Dhirti was strong as ever, but Aadit had become old and frail, and required much assistance from Dhirti. At first, there were hugs and tears of joy, then came the questions, comments, and criticism. Both grandparents refused to call the children by their preferred Western names and were not shy about expressing their overall disapproval of the family’s lifestyle. Aadit berated his son for not being the leader in his own home; Dhirti apologized for not choosing him a better wife. Dhirti was appalled at what she called “frivolous parenting” and even took it upon herself to spank Adam for turning on the TV while his grandfather was napping. Dhirti accused Sam and Char of bringing shame to the family with their “indecent” clothing and casual interactions with boys. The children tried, to no avail, to share Western customs with their grandparents, who perceived this as disrespect. Conflict escalated with all family members, but the last straw was when Dhirti and Aadit insisted on returning with their granddaughters to India where they would marry like a “respectable” Indian female. Akshat, the leader of his home, informed his parents that his family had embraced a multicultural life in America where they intended to stay. Dhirti and Aadit returned to India where they were welcomed by their many life-long friends who helped Dhirti care for Aadit throughout his remaining days.
|After reading the case study, explain how Akshat and Rishita’s beliefs were formed and maintained. (50-75 words)|
|Explain how Akshat and Rishita’s beliefs were influenced by Western culture. (50-75 words)|
|Citing two scholarly sources, explain what lay theories in parenting are. (75-100 words)|
|Citing two additional scholarly sources, explain some evidence-based practices in parenting. (75-100 words)|
|Explain some similarities between lay theories in parenting and evidence-based practices in parenting. (75-100 words)|
|Describe the lay theories about parenting that Akshat and Rishita relied on. (50-75 words)|
|Explain all the cultural influences on Akshat and Rishita. How did these cultural influences change over time? Why do you think their parenting style had to adapt? (100-150 words)|
|Notice the roles of father and mother in this case study. Explain how their roles differ from contemporary Western roles of parents. (100-150 words)|
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