This quote by Matt Walsh is the most honest thing I have ever read about ‘Parenting’ –
Nobody wishes to be a bad parent, then why is it that some fail and only a handful succeed?
BUT.. WHAT REALLY IS SUCCESSFUL PARENTING??
=> If your child comes first in class – is that when you are a good parent?
(What about giving some credit to the child’s natural intelligence!)
=> Or is it when, he touches everyone’s feet when he greets the elders?
(What if the minute he turns he is muttering something else or doing it just out of compulsion?)
=> Or do you simply pride in the fact that you have given your child all that your parents couldn’t afford for you?
(You could afford to buy the world for him, which market will you go looking for happiness?)
Will only his academic performance or social skills or your monetary contribution to his needs account for the parameters on which parenting will be evaluated?
Who bothers about the child’s mental state, happiness quotient or say, ability to deal with failures???
No one wants to teach their kids how to handle failures! Because no one wants their children to fail! But is it ever going to happen in the real world? He may not fail as a student but he could fail as a lover or at something else! Life has a lot to offer and one cannot predict it to always be honky-dory! So do we prepare our kids enough for those testing times?
Everyone wants to be ‘Hero’ parents! My father, the greatest! My mother, the sweetest! The father wants to ensure that there is the best of everything, as he dutifully provides for his child – best clothes, best toys, best school, best birthday parties, best gadgets – everything best, never a compromise, never a ‘No’! And the mother wants to ensure she showers enough love – even when the child is being difficult, arrogant, abusive, naughty, misbehaved – never scold, never hit, always support, always love – spoil me silly!
Why have these new generation parents forgotten that it is important to say ‘No’ and important to have your control. Teach your children to love you even when you are not perfect. Then they will love themselves even when they won’t be perfect. Teach them that there will be difficult times and we will need to stand together as a family. Then they will learn that in life, everything won’t come easy, so they will never fear struggle. Teach you children how unimportant are materials. And they will learn not to judge others by their riches but their talents.
The new trend in parenthood is to be ‘friends’ not ‘parents’! Right! One should have a certain friendship with their children. But in this material world, we are losing out on understanding the true meaning of that friendship. Is giving your son the latest iPhone being his friend? Or is it by letting them drink with you? How is it then, that in spite of doing all those things; teenagers are taking extreme steps and committing suicide while the parents were fooled to believe that their kids were happy?
Something, somewhere is wrong! Something we all need to figure out for ourselves! No one can tell you how you can be a ‘good parent’ or a ‘great friend’ to your child. It is something unique that you will have to build yourself.
As friends, explore the goodness of life –
go for nature treks,
cook a meal at times,
enjoy a quite evening at the beach
take out the old guitar and strum it together,
give art one final try and make those confident, messy strokes together – laugh at each other’s masterpieces
and then celebrate the moment with some home cooked dessert.
Take them shopping, but not in those malls – let them explore the treasure that you find on the streets – let them wear it with pride.
Show them your first bike, if you still have it, and let them ride it. Tell them how much it means to you today and why.
Take them to that small house you once lived in or to that remote village where you hailed from – let them meet your roots and relate to your journey.
Let them appreciate what you have offered to them and let them decide for themselves what they want for their future..
Let them soar as high as they wish..
But teach them that it is the ground where they need to return to – their true home, their true self!