Look at the picture above and tell me what you see? I see the nudge or the push that mother elephant is giving to her baby to go on her own into the water. The little one is scared to move ahead on her own but the mother knows she is ready for the world. Similarly, we have heard stories about birds who push their young ones out of the nest. That is their way to make them fly. They know the little one is ready to fly and explore even though he is scared. Hence the push is required, it’s a necessity.
Do we humans also do the same? I guess not.. We hold on to our children for a long time. At least I can speak for the parents in India. We want to keep the children with us as long as we can. First because we think they need us and then we need them.
As a small child it is important that we protect our children from the harsh realities of the world. But there is a time when we should let the child explore on his or her own. When is the right time to let go of the umbilical cord is debatable but I guess it generally happens in phases. The boundaries of the child keep increasing as they grow up and then one fine day they grow up into young men and women ready to take on the world.
I have two almost adult boys who want me to leave them alone and let them decide on their own about everything. We have a tussle deciding the boundaries every day.
The other day my younger son was playing in an online chess tournament. He was having a tough match I could hear his frustrated comments in the other room. I so much wanted to walk into his room and hold his hand and calm him down. Tell him its ok. Relax… You are doing well… But no, I couldn’t. Firstly, because the camera was on and it would tantamount to cheating but also because he has to go through these emotions on his own and learn to control himself if he has to win the tournament.
I keep telling myself they are prepared. For their personalities to shape up they need to explore on their own. Even if they stumble and fall… they need to learn to get up and dust themselves and move on… not wait for help from Mumma… So, learning a lesson from the animal kingdom today… Something I knew but many a times forgot to put into effect. It requires courage on both the side. The parents who have been the protectors for so long need to courage to let go and the child who has to venture out on his own requires courage to do so.
Sometimes a nudge or a push is the right thing to do.