“Eclectic, interesting…will fill you with hope and resolve!” – Pick up our new short story collection, Women.Mutiny
Instil in your child, the awareness of being unique and holding on to that uniqueness no matter what the judgement. Let them do things in their own unique way!
Every child learns by emulating behaviour that they observe. Very recently my daughter came running to me brimming with pride, saying ‘See, I arranged my toys just like mama.’ ‘Very Good’, I replied.
Ever since that day ‘Just like Mama’ became her mantra. She strived to become ‘like me’ because she perceived with her little mind that mama is always right. We often tell our children, ‘Don’t cry, be like a good girl. See your friend is not crying.’ Little do we realise the damage that we actually do by making these comparisons.
My daughter emulating me led me back to the time when I was a little girl myself. I always wanted to be like this girl in my class who was a miniature geek. I have always been naturally inclined towards arts and creative pursuits, but just because I observed everyone holding this ‘miniature geek’, in high esteem, I always wanted to be like her.
So, I kept aside my paints and crayons, my literature books and focused on subjects I could never find interest in. Naturally, I failed in my attempt to earn praise and ended up feeling good for nothing. This ‘good for nothing’ phase went on for quite a while until I realised that I am who I am and should strive to be where my heart takes me.
Not listening to my self has also brought to me a lot of emotional problems. When you always believe that the other is right, you give in to wrong relations, wrong advice and wrong crowds. You try to please people who would never value you; never be satisfied no matter how much effort you put in and always take you for granted because they know that you will try to live up to their expectations. More sadly, when these people tell you that ‘you are not enough’, you believe them. During that phase, I realised that the more sensitive a person you are, the more cruel people are to you.
Secondly, a little appreciation becomes more like an addiction. I remember I had given up the role of a business journalist for a higher paying job because I thought that it would raise my image in front of someone. Raise my image, it did, but I was caught up in a job that did not at all sync with what I wanted to create as a career.
Thirdly, when you do not listen to your heart, you try to fit in with crowds who do not match with your vibe at all. All in the name to get a little acceptance, a little appreciation. This led to me finally transforming into someone who I was not. In the way I talk, the way I behave and the aspirations that I have. Naturally, one fine day, I just could not recognise myself. More emotional upheavals later, I realised that no matter what, I need to do what syncs with me.
I realised that people in my life might be heading corporations, featuring on television or maybe bringing in more money than I can ever aspire to bring. But if my heart says that I need to spend my life sipping coffee in a cafe bookstore and being a writer that is exactly what I should do. It took a lot of experiences, a lot of people to bring me to the realisation. I must confess, I still find myself deviating from this lesson. It takes enormous strength to follow your heart.
Coming to the present, I held my daughter and asked her ‘Why do you arrange your toys as mama does?’
‘Because it’s good.’ She replied.
‘Would you like to arrange it your way and see how you like it?’
‘My way?’, she asked eyes widening with wonder. It broke my heart to realise that it never occurred to her that her way can ever be right.
‘Yes, your way.’ I said.
We spent some time re-arranging her toys. After she was done she asked me, ‘Is it, good mama?’
‘What do you think?’ I asked her.
‘It is good.’ She replied brimming with pride.
While learning by observing is good and natural human experience, it is never wise to trade your heart for someone’s approval. Instil in your child, the awareness of being unique and holding on to that uniqueness no matter what the judgement. You will make sure that your child grows up to be confident and emotionally healthy.
Image credits – Pexels
A Social Media Content Writer by profession. A writer by heart. A genuine foodie. Simple
Acceptance: The Secret To Good Parenting In A Gender Biased Society
When My Child Was Bothered By What Others Thought Of Her…
My In Laws Interfere Every Time I Try To Discipline My Child. Can’t They Just Let Me Be? [#ShortStory]
Pregnant For The 1st Time, I Want A Daughter. Why Does Everyone Consider This Strange?
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!