We had a family get together a few days back. It was a gathering of Moms of almost three generations, should I say?? I love these gathering where the family catches up on so many happenings from old times (our childhood) vis-avis today. There are also discussions (sometimes even heated.........:)) on the “how’s” of the unforeseen future of their children. The do’s and dont’s that you grew up listening to then and learning to value even today, are once again hammered through you! But the learnings from such discussions have been useful tips to me in “parenting” a profession taken for granted, but, not even understood by many!!! Like I always say to myself, had I worked harder, been more capable of handling the Corporate politics better (which I personally loathe), probably done many refreshers and so on so forth, achieveing a better work status would have been a “not-so-difficult” task, but if I had failed as a Mom,(of course, I mean in my own eyes) I would not have been able to leave this planet in peace.....
So what is this success all about? Success, even in parenting, is different things to different people and therefore people may relate to it differently. In simple words what I mean is are we able to be a “fair” if not a “good” parent ie are we capable of saying ”yes” and “no” to children as and when we feel it is needed to be done for their own good or are we in “popularity contests” with our peers who may think that we are too strict with our children? Do we take cognizance of “their” counsel on how we must “behave” with our children? Is it not enough that since we know our own child from birth (and better in all ways than anybody from amongst them), we will do all to give him/her a good life?
To cite a few examples to share the point I am making...........
There was this little boy whose Mom gave him only Indian balanced diet in his lunch-box right from when he was a little boy. Now, there were some family/friends of his mother who “aww....ed” it, as if it were an issue. The lunch-boxes of their kids always carried junk foodstuff, and their Moms explained with pride(?) that their children did not eat “such stuff” as our little boy here did! Today we see them all grown up and the Moms moan about the children not eating anything healthy as they must!!! If we think about it deeply, are these children really to blame? Why did the Mothers not be a little more strict with the nutrition and dietary habits of these children??Was it to escape from the trouble “they” would have to go through to both make and feed the child that food or from the “nagging” of that child? Yes, It is a very time consuming and boring affair to some, as, every little child is different from the other in so many ways, he/she may be have to be told a story or may have to be actually spoon-fed as he/she ran around, I know , but is it not worth it? Especially since “taste” for anything develops at a very young age? You, the parent may not be the “creator” but you certainly are the person that has the then required influence to “mould” that creation? Health aspects, which come up in life , ages later, are already there today with so many young people .We blame it all on the stress factor alone , but truly that is not all!
Food habit inculcation, alone, is only one aspect of “Being Mom!” There are many others , “material possessions” too, being one of them!!! Peers again.................The second and most important aspect is how you jell with your child ........In other words , are you and your child comfortable with each other in respect of all aspects viz social, environmental and most importantly personal? Are you, as a parent, vigilant enough to notice your child moving away, behaving in strange ways, being lonely or unsocial at home, not “responding” to you or anybody at home, in the way he/she must? Do you actually “go away” when asked to, by a teenager, who wants time alone, like in the West? Will you not go to him/her at such times and get out that , which bothers their little mind because they are “unaware” of their own feelings/reactions and to that so much happening around them?I hear most Moms tell me, “but you know what, the child is not comfortable to do that” and I ask myself, what, why do you even address him as a “child” then? As a parent, I think it is my duty to pursue my child’s happiness and I must go all the way to break into that wall..........I know a couple of Mothers, who go around counselling the whole World but are oblivious of what is happening to their own child! How, I ask myself, can one counsel all others, when one is not even aware of what his/her own child is going through? When we take such trouble to counsel others about their children and so on and so forth, how then, do we miss on that one that means so much to us? Are we blind or do we deliberately ignore that which is easily seen by all others? I know a child is always prepared to easily listen to another person than his own Mom/Dad but that does not happen suddenly! And if it has, it means , somewhere along the way, you missed on being “that friend, philosopher and guide” to your child or have been caught with your own personal agenda too much?? Then there are some others who love to socialise or go roaming around so much that their own commitments towards their own children becomes an “agenda” for them. They are so taken in by the appreciation of the “”World at large” that their “own small World” gets out of hand and I hear things like, “we have so much to do that there is no time for anything at home”. Such people confuse the most important agenda of their life, their child, I guess!!
There are many more aspects which can be looked on at a later day but I will say so much that maybe our Moms and GrandMoms did not make great career women in the eyes of this World but a career that even our generation is not capable of, “PARENTING” was something they did fantafabulously and while I am overwhelmed everytime I think of it, I feel like asking them, “Hey where are your Parenting Workshops please? I want to join and excel still, yet!!” They not only preached but practised all of that for their children to see, disciplinarians that they were!! KUDOS to you gurlz on your super career achievement “Being MOMS!”
And so I conclude In Ron Taffel’s words and Roy L Smith’s words which spell;
“Even as kids reach adolescence, they need more than ever for us to watch over them. Adolescence is not about letting go. It’s about hanging on during a bumpy ride” and that
“We are apt to forget that children watch examples better than they listen to preaching”