Parenting is not an easy task. I think most of the parents will agree with me. If you start taking it seriously and think, there is a huge load of responsibility on your head. Right from worrying about whether he is eating right, sleeping enough, growth is at par with his peers, studies enough, plays enough, his marks, his position in class, his manners, whether he is doing enough extracurricular activities, what is he watching on internet, what kind of company he has, etc etc. Believe me during the last 10-15 years I have stressed on and worried about all of these things and more.
But one thing which worries me above all is whether I am raising good human beings or not. Whether I am passing on the right values to my kids or not.
The kids these days have a lot more exposure than what we had during our times. There are hundreds of distractions – TV, Computer, Mobile, Internet, Social Media. They are gathering information from many sources and not all of them are good. So it becomes very imperative for the family especially the mother to inculcate values in the child. These family values stick in the mind of the kids and shield them and guide them even when parents are not around. I just hope to God that I am able to give them this protection.
I have been acquainted with the mothers of almost all the friends of my kids. And all of them represent a different kind of parenting. Some are strict, some are not so strict, some believe in being friends with their children and others believe in smothering them with their love.
I myself have always tried to find a balance on how much to control and how much freedom to give. My kiddos are teenagers now. They are slowly finding their wings and are always probing for more freedom. Staying in a joint family there is a huge generation gap between the thought process of the grandparents and the grandchildren. If the children go out with their friends the grandparents worry about their safety, if they spend too much time on the internet they object, if the child is eating too much junk they point out the ill effects of this kind of food. And the kids think Dadi and Dadu are being a spoilsport. So I get the role of a referee who allows a little bit of everything and at the same time ensures that the children don’t go overboard and also ensure that the children learn to listen and don’t disrespect their grandparents. Believe me, it’s not an easy task to keep them all happy.
We all love our children a lot and trust them but then we can’t be blind to their faults also. I have an acquaintance who loves her kids so much that she can’t hear any negative comments about her children. My son came and told me once that he heard her child bragging that he had picked up a chocolate from the super market and walked out without paying and no one caught him. This coming from a 10 year old was shocking. But I still didn’t have the courage to go up to the mother and tell her about this as I was sure she would not agree and fight with me and call my child a liar for spreading such rumours about her son. I sat my son down and explained how wrong this was and what could be the consequences. But that mother missed out on giving a major life lesson to her child. So love your child and trust him but don’t be blind, keep a reality check. Kids learn emotional manipulation at a very early age be aware when you are being manipulated. When I was assigned this topic, Chiradeep had shared a video of an exactly opposite scenario. Sharing it here.
My major worry about my children is that they should learn to respect the other gender. As they don’t have any sister they are not actually growing up with a girl to sensitise them towards their requirements. I keep insisting that even if the girls in their class are friends they need to respect girls. They simply can’t make fun of them or tease them. My boys, on the other hand, think that the whole world around them including their teachers and parents are biased towards the girl child and that girls get special treatment everywhere. So we keep having never-ending arguments on this topic. I just hope to God that I am able to inculcate this value in them and they know how to treat a girl with respect by the time they are old enough to understand the differences.
On the same note, there is another fight I keep having in the household. Being a typical Punjabi house there are fixed ideas of what is the work of a girl and a boy. Even though my husband doesn’t cook much I have been trying to get my boys involved in cooking and other household work. And I can proudly say that my younger one likes it so much now that he plans to take up “Cookery” as his optional subject in school next year. People find it weird. I have heard comments like “Why not Computers why cookery?” I just say let him do what he likes.
I am sure you also must have come up with a different set of challenges in your parenting tenure. I would love to hear about it in the comments section. We all learn from each other’s experiences.