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‘You Will Know When You Become A Parent’ I Shouldn’t Have Said That Dreaded Sentence To My Son

Posted: February 28, 2020

It was as if it were pre-installed in the database. It felt like it were programmed in a manner that it knew when to pop out my mouth. I was stunned.

“You will know when you become a parent.” I am sure most of us have heard this phrase at least once in our lives. No, actually multiple times. But I never really thought I would say it to my kids.

“You will know when you become a mom” was definitely the most powerful  statement used in every argument. I definitely can’t say, “You will know when you become a mom” to my sons. So I resort to saying, “You will know when you become a parent.”

When I said it the first time

I have been saying it for a while not but the first time it came out of my mouth, it was as if it were pre-installed in the database. It felt like it were programmed in a manner that it knew when to pop out my mouth. And for the first few seconds, I was dumbfounded at actually having said it.

But I gathered enough courage to look at my son in the eye with a face that said, ‘I mean what I say.’ He was waiting for more, but I didn’t know what else to say because my mum always finished arguments with that one statement.

I tried to get something out of the database but nothing seemed available after that one statement. So, I just told him that we would discuss it later and left. Knowing my son, I knew he would come back for a discussion and this time, I wanted to be prepared.

So I thought of the issue at hand

Like I always do, I thought of the problem first. Every generation demonstrates behaviour that challenges the values and beliefs of their elders. There’s nothing new there.

But what triggered this particular argument was my observation that all these kids look, dress and talk alike. “You are an entitled lot,” I’d said. He probably didn’t expect that from me because I’ve always believed that our children belong to a different time. Some times, the mother in me takes over and I guess yesterday was one of those days.

When I come to think of it, aren’t we the reason for their self involvement? It is actually a continuation from our generation. We teach self esteem to kids as young as two. And we know that kids with high self esteem will do very well for themselves.

It just a new learning

Like I said earlier, self esteem is a continuation of previous generation. Our kids are just trying to adapt to the environment. They are adapting to the world of abundance. And they put off their life choices because they can choose from an array of career options. They don’t think of marrying early, or becoming parents early because the advanced technology allows them to postpone it.

These kids are better educated, ambitious, optimistic and determined to enjoy a more well-rounded life. They have mastered the art of doing what they love and making money out of it. And they are going after what they want. There are times when it can be a little irritating how they want to be on the next rung so quickly.

‘It’ll only help you’

The only bone of contention is that sometimes all this may lead to disappointment when the world refuses to affirm or validate. But, I believe they will figure out a way around that too.

So, when my son comes looking to continue where we left off, I’d just say, “What I meant was, we belong to different generations. So it is always a good idea to understand each other. And this will only help you when you become a parent.”

Smart, aren’t I? I should be, after all, I am the mom of the smartest generation, yet.

A version of this was first published here.

Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Taare Zameen Par

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