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As a parent, I don’t think being conscious about image, hair and nails should take precedence. I’d rather let the innocence of childhood remain.
Almost every parent loves their child. I say almost for there are strange cases we read about daily, that refer to children being assaulted or beaten up by the same people they entrust their life in.
The innocence of childhood is one that sadly isn’t here to stay. As a Mother to two teenage daughters, I find myself constantly second guessing myself when it comes to their perks and allowances. I admit I disapprove certain choices in attire and drink. I accept that our home has rules which other children their age may not have. I am certain I am labelled as Cruella De Vil; even though it may be in jest amongst the two sisters… But in all this, I am also grateful to know that I have children who listen.
Peer pressure is a BIG deal, even to us adults. So, needless to add that at an impressionable age of 15 or 16, children often tend to emulate others in a bid to fit into the ‘Cool Gang’; lest they be termed as prude! It isn’t something that only happens in the western world but is very much a part of life here in India too.
One of our night time rituals is a brief chat about our day as a family. Both the girls, the Mr and the Mrs, i.e. me… cuddle up on the couch and talk about the things we did or saw. Last evening, our elder one showed us some instagram stories featuring the people she calls ‘friends.’ All of them are about 16. The girls had perfectly blow dried hair and nails, wore short designer dresses and were enjoying a beer as they took a video of themselves dancing. We saw that and then looked at both our girls. One had paint, that had dried up on her hands as she had just finished some brilliant artwork and the other had flour dust on her sweater from the cookies she had just put into the oven..
‘Do you think you are losing out sweetheart?’ I had asked.
Within seconds, both the Mr and I were smothered with kisses. The younger one says, ‘No way Ma. When I become a Michelin Star Chef, I’ll dance every night!’ and the other punches her round tummy and says, ‘We love being us and like you always say – there is a right time and place for everything.’
It is important to instil the value of being different. As a parent, I don’t think being conscious about image, hair and nails should take precedence. I’d rather let the innocence of childhood remain for that is one thing that will go, as the children reach adulthood.
Parenting is a two way street wherein the crossing over from one side to the other is necessary. It isn’t written in stone and as the years progress, the need to cross over from this side to the other and back increases in frequency.
In my belief, as parents, we need to leave a world that goes beyond the superficiality of image consciousness. Being well groomed is necessary, but there is a fine line that turns it into an obsession. What we need is to tell our children to just be themselves and most importantly, to be happy from their soul.
Image source: pixabay
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Pooja Poddar Marwah is an Indian author and blogger. (October 22,1978) Her foray into
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