Thursday, January 30, 2014

MOMISMS VII...Are you a demanding parent?

“YOU are going for an interview, touch my feet and let me bless you…”.”You have no value for my words-I tell you something and you question me?” “You know how much we have sacrificed for you? You had better look after us in old age…”
How often we hear parents saying such things to their children!(yes,even today some parents do this!!) Just because they have given birth to them, brought them up and put them on their feet, parents have this habit of demanding their pound of flesh. This can sour the relationship between the two, thus estranging them. This is especially so in our country where the parents, more so of sons, feel that they can live with their children and have their own way.
Parenthood is a very responsible position. How many of us look at it as a commitment? A parent has to be gifted with the spirit of sacrifice, selfishness and tolerance for the welfare of a child. After the child has come into this world for no fault of his! Helpless and solely dependent on his parents, the child tends to become demanding himself if he finds them indulgent.
Eager to overstep the boundaries of love and care, parents quite often spoil the children. Showering them with gifts, putting up with tantrums and letting them have their way-these are only signs of bad ‘child management’. It’s an easy way out for parents who have neither the time nor the patience to guide their young ones. As a wise man said, children need models and not critics. How many parents set an example to be proud of?
Guiding and advising a child is a very tricky operation. It requires a deep study of the child’s behavior, his capacity to understand and his inclination to accept what you say. Having gauged this, a suitable approach should be evolved. Some children mature early and take a man-to-man stand; some are meek and like to be holding on to apron strings. Some are aggressive and need an iron-hand-in-kid-glove treatment. So there is no blanket solution.
I have heard a mother telling her 50 year old son to pray to god after a bath! This shows that parents don’t want to let their ‘hold’ and like advising. A child is a child, technically he is old enough to analyze and work out equations for himself after listening to what you have to say. A parent should know when to acknowledge the ‘adulthood’ of a child.
In Western countries, children start fending for themselves financially, at a very early age. This cuts down the umbilical cord syndrome to a large extent. Parents don’t interfere in the lives of youngsters and vice-versa. Perhaps that is the other extreme. A parent’s commitment (duty sounds an awfully binding term) to a child’s welfare is till he is of age with adequate resources- educational, physical and financial- to make a life of his own. Once that is fulfilled the parent should be content to sit back and enjoy the ‘fruits’ of their labor of love.
What is the “fruit”? A sense of satisfaction in the child’s achievements. If the child is going to pamper you and look after you, it’s because he wants to and not because he has to... Every child who has been brought up with the right values and model will automatically carry a corresponding sense of commitment-without having to be bullied into it! As you sow, so shall you reap- as far as parent-child rights and duties are concerned.
If a parent is unlucky enough to have a wayward child (called ungrateful!) who has no sense of commitment for his parents, there is no point in demanding a return, for your efforts. There can be no ‘barter’ in this. What a parent does for the child can have no equivalent. Lucky are those whose children tend to them in sickness and distress. To a large extent the dedication they get is the result of their own ‘giving’ which has been selfless.
One human being cannot ‘demand’ anything- least of all love and care-from another. Everything has to be ‘earned’. The sooner the parents understand this the better is the bridging of the generation gap.
As for children-they must have a motto-‘Just as my parents don’t do anything for me to hang my head in shame, I shall do nothing to make them hang their head in shame.