In our pursuit of becoming a friend to our children, have we lost that precious parent-child relationship?
The other day I had an argument with my teenage son. A kid who everyone had high hopes from and who had wanted to go to NASA to research on life on other planets, suddenly started focusing more on Minecraft and techniques of becoming a You-Tuber and a gamer. I tried to understand this shift in priorities but did not receive a satisfactory answer, i.e. satisfactory as per my standards of being a mom. I was told that this was the in-thing and the most happening new-age career and although everyone thought this as a waste of time it actually required a lot of skill and use of grey cells.
I agreed to whatever he said but this set me thinking… Does my son and for that matter, today’s generation, need their parents to give advice on matters of career and education? What is the right age when parents should stop “meddling” in their kids’ affairs? In our pursuit of becoming a friend to our children, have we lost that precious parent-child relationship? And in doing so, haven’t we pushed our children to early maturity, taken away their innocence & childhood? When and who decided that it wasn’t enough to be a parent and blurred the boundaries? Weren’t we happy with the way our parents raised us? And if some people were not satisfied with their upbringing and had parental issues, does this mean that they got the right to decide what good parenting was?
During adolescence, my parents were my role models. I looked up to them and learnt the most basic lessons of life from them; lessons that have helped me to stand up for what’s right & take failures in my stride. I’m sure each one of us did the same. We might not have been the best of children but the values ingrained by our parents ensured that we turned out fine. Are we doing these for our children? And I’m not talking about missing PTAs, birthdays, poem recitals etc. We all make huge efforts to attend such functions and post pictures on Facebook to show how attentive & hands-on parents we are. I’m talking about that knowledge each child has……….that no matter what, my mother/father will always be there to support me and guide me. This knowledge allows your child to confide in you about every single thing that happens in their life.
When you see a child misbehaving in public or read about children who run away from their homes, cast-out their parents or fall victim to abuse of some kind or other; what is the first thought that crosses your mind? Is it sympathy? For whom? And who do you blame for such an incidence? Is it the child who refused to listen to his parents or is it the parent who drove that child away by being too busy or too tired. When we substitute and justify our presence with that of a maid, are we not compelling our children to do the same. There are numerous articles and every day you find someone delivering a talk on encouraging a child to be independent, nurturing their individuality and so on. Are we not independent? I don’t remember my mother reading a book on how to raise kids or how to be a good mother. None of you would remember something like that. They just saw their parents and learnt & improvised.
So why does our generation needs to refer to books or forums? Are we dumb? We boast of great professional achievements but can we say the same about our personal lives. In order to be better versions of our parents, we have over-complicated our lives and we justify it by saying that in order to gain something you have to lose something. That is not true at all. Nature never says that if you need air, you’ll have to let go of the sun or if you need rain you can’t have air. We have it all. We only have to open our minds and embrace it. Keeping things simple is easy but our fear of being left behind in the rat race doesn’t allow us to do that. And if you notice, it’s called a “rat race”not a “lion race” because a lion does not need to run to prove to other animals that he’s better. He is happy and satisfied in his state.
Children see and absorb things from their surroundings and then react in a similar manner. It is then our responsibility to provide them with the right kind of atmosphere & guidance and no matter what experts say, as a parent, it is my privilege to be a candle for my child – burning to illuminate his path.
Image is a still from the movie Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
A dreamer who believes that life is bigger than anything that can happen to you. A fighter, a survivor, a daughter, a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend but above all..a woman. read more...
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