Okay. I’m 21. Definitely not a parent yet but somehow I feel that we need a thorough change in the ways we deal with our children. I’m not yet a parent and that makes me all the more eligible to talk about parenting, or rather an ‘Out-of-the-box’ parenting because I’ve freshly graduated from my teens and I know the problems that we as youngsters face when our parents don’t strike the right chord. Moreover by the time parents really become parents, they tend to forget that they too were youngsters once; maybe more so a sack of potatoes while they expect their off-springs to be a cached copy of themselves or rather saints.
Let’s categorize the issues that parents need to learn from us:
- Marks, Marks, Marks –Academics:
For once if they could stop harrowing us about how important it is for us to score in our exams, entrances and life. We know. I guess it would do us more good than what it’s doing at this moment. Learn to accept that your children aren’t babies, their full-grown individuals who also know which field of expertise is oriented for them and which is not. The need to stop making them chase marks and rather chase their dreams seems like a more feasible option to me. On the contrary, the constant nagging that parents intend upon is what makes their children rebellious and dis-respectful to the least.
2. Clothes, too short, too tight Oh! we’ll wear them:
Is the difference visible? So should be the TIME difference visible to your ‘experienced’ eyes. What you want us to wear is not necessarily the correct code of conduct today. Please understand, more so, that clothes can never be used to identify a person with their moral character, good or bad. Hence if your son wishes to go out dressed up in a ragged pair of jeans and if your daughter has no issues stepping out wearing hot-pants, then please DON’T FREAK OUT. It’s absolutely okay. Your focus must not be their Clothes but their Attitude. Your task is not to dictate “wear this not that” but rather to enable your child to adopt the correct attitude, the appropriate conduct. If that amount of understanding has been achieved then no issue between you and your child will be any Issue.
3.Friendships are not a ‘Waste’ of Time:
Age no bar. Gender no bar. Parents need to respect the kind of friends their children make, obviously keeping a check from time to time. ‘God gave us relations by birth, thank god we can choose our friends’, exactly. Friendship is the most fruitful phase of one’s life because friends are not biased as teachers or parents. Rather their definition of friendship is quite simple: based on ‘feelings’. Yes, opposite gender friendships too are normal. Again, nothing for the parents to Freak Out about. No one, absolutely no one on Earth can escape infatuation or attraction to the opposite sex, boy or girl, alike. Rather than creating an emotional scene or any unnecessary hustle about it, keeping a close tab on your child’s activities and talking it out with them, gently yet firmly, is a better option.
4. Sex cannot be a Taboo anymore:
Coming to the most controversial topic of my post, which most of the parents refrain from discussing with their children is Sex. The most common yet the most intricate problem because parents have a tendency of tagging sex as a sin. Yes, in Indian societies, especially a girl is not even supposed to know about this taboo subject till the time they get married! Supposedly it damages their virtue. But parents need to realize that rejoicing in ignorance is never going to save your child from the exposures that this big-bad world offers. Porn is simply a ‘click’ away and it’s better your children learn truths from you rather than dubious sites that are meant to titillate and hence tarnish their minds. Reprimanding them for any such curiosity of theirs is the utmost crime that you tend to commit towards your children because then they lose faith in approaching you for their problems.
Again an important factor that negatively affects any parent-child relationship is the constant, abusive criticism towards anything your child does. Parents need to have a check on the language they use to deal with their children because you never know you may get to hear the same words from the same mouth when they’re better off and you dependent on them. Well, I mean no warning but it’s a fact: they learn the most from you. Moreover debasing a child’s moral psyche through humiliation, defamation is totally unacceptable in the rule book of parenting, be it even if your child flunk in his/her exams. Learn to accept what your child has to offer to you. No child ever wants to disappoint its parents; of course if parents get disappointed at every minimal activity of the child, then God save such parents and their children, more so.
I would like to end here. I’m open to all sorts of ‘criticisms’ regarding this post because being a 21-year old, a ‘not-yet-parent’ girl, I got no business to talk on such an issue. But like I said, in one way it makes me all the more eligible to do so.
I promise to abide by all the above points I mentioned whenever I get a chance to be a parent. The most important rule is to be able to conform with Time and New Thinking.
p.s. Inspired by the recent developments at my own place 😛