Thursday 31 October 2019

Ideal Parenting: Where are we missing the boat?

It is not very often that I write on parenting and that’s because I believe like every kid is unique, every parenting style is unique too, which also evolves day by day. There is nothing black or white in it, we make mistakes and then correct it to our ability best to again get into a new goof up which we try to sort again. That’s what motherhood has been so far for me as I lost my mum before my kid was born and I don’t have any elder sister to guide me either. My only guide so far has been my instinct which is fiercely strong and the mommies of the kids in my academy who often leave me pondering over their worthy or inappropriate decisions. 

Parenting for me is thus an amalgamation of various avatars a mom takes to make her progeny, honest, truthful, happy and successful in life but sometimes my notions are shaken by some facts I see around me.

So I met Diya last May for the first time, a very cute and skinny eleven year old in a Public Speaking Express Summer Camp I was conducting, though her mother was keen on a creative writing workshop but I had no slots vacant at that time so I promised to assist her a little after the summer camp sessions. They were in Pune for a short time during the summer break. The little girl was always the first to arrive for class but lacked energy, assuming this might be one of the not so energetic days I let few days pass but always found the child very drowsy. She told me that she is having a fever for the past few days so I asked her to take a day off but when she returned she was still lethargic and I could not take it anymore. 

I made her stay after the camp and sat discussing with her over some cookies and laughter but she kept looking at the watch as she was to attend the Robotics sessions in the next ten minutes followed by Taekwondo class. In the morn too she has attended Kathak and Kuchipudi dance classes before coming straight to me from there. Gosh! Now I knew the reason the child was plainly tired thus often appeared disinterested in my sessions and I am sure the same thing works have happened to her in other classes too. Under tremendous pressure to learn each and everything, she forgot to live her carefree childhood and priceless giggle and chatter and that broke my heart.  From that day I allowed her to play around in my class without the least pressure and one day to my surprise during the free play on microphones she sang a beautiful song she has composed but asked me not to tell her mom as then she will have to go to singing class too. I was aghast. 

In the coming week, I met her mom who came with a toddler tucked in, after multiple reminders. I diplomatically tried to imbibe her brain that flooding the child with classes from morn till night will do more harm than good to her but pat came to her reply that her daughter is a prodigy and what an ideal parent can do the best is to aid her to nurture different forms of art and later acquire finesse in whatever she could do perfectly. Also, she stated that her daughter pretends that she is tired while actually, she is not. She was adamant about her definition of ideal parenting and I could only customize it to the level that she agreed to give her breathers in between after giving her a million contentions. 

After she left I kept thinking whether this really is ideal parenting? Where are we missing the boat? She and her husband have even given up watching T.V. so that they can help their kids inch towards their dreams. But whose dreams are these? Of the parents or of the kids? Then we say kids these days lack innocence but the fact is we have murdered their innocence. Enrolling our kids in every class under the sun is not ideal parenting, in my eyes, it is more of a means to flaunt yourself in your social arena, this isn’t social parity. After an 8 hrs crazy school schedule it is criminal to send them to umpteen classes one after the other. For me, ideal parenting thus is to give the kid lots of time and free space so that over a period of time, he himself can evaluate which hobby or vocation he really excels at and finds keen interest in and thus gets trained in it. Ideal parenting is giving your kids wings to make their own decisions, guiding them if they are wrong, accept them if their decision is out of your comfort zone if you think it is vital to their growth. Your support, your trust in them will strengthen their inner values more than any number of classes they attend throughout the day. 

Having said this I still believe like every child Is different and unique so is every parent and so is their parenting style best known to them for the little piece of their heart but the only point I wish to make in this article is do what is also enjoyable by your kiddo and not because your neighbor’s daughter is doing it. 

Truly Yours Roma

If you like what I write, you can grab the copies of my four published books here: The Fragrance of True LoveDestiny's Favorite ChildDare to Defy The Destiny and Empowered Women Empower Women

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