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Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

We are shrinking the world by making sure that all the blanks are filled up, too soon, too fast. And our kids grow up thinking they are perfect, living in a perfect world where there is nothing like getting hurt or failing. And more than that we want them to be oh-just-so-perfect.

This Sunday morning I was seething when rage when I read about finishing schools in the city for five-year-olds. Apparently even parents of three-year-olds call up these finishing schools to train their kids. And the schools will teach the kids all about Ps and Qs along with where a spoon should be kept and how to execute the right handshake. Really???? Do our kids need such schools?

I am not sitting on a pedestal and judging these parents. I have my own failures to look at. I am half the time guilty for not teaching my child all about good manners, proper etiquettes and all that lies in between. The MLS knows she can’t butt in when two people speak and has to say ‘excuse me’ if she needs to be heard, often uses thank you and sorry generously, and would greet some people at a slight nudge. But that’s about it. I have miles to go before I can claim proudly about my child’s behaviour.

Having said that I would never go to the extent of sending her to a finishing school and bring out a readymade product set to behave like a robot. I would rather have her spill her milk, use a spoon instead of fork than let her be taught by a stranger about what should be used when. We are great believers of outsourcing but, hey, since when did parenting also go the same way. Okay, we can rent wombs, decide the date and way of delivering the child. And now even let others teach our kids how to behave properly. So what would a parents’ role be in the modern set up? Attend PTA meetings???

I wish we did some of the work ourselves. Least of all parenting shouldn’t be left for others to be taken care of. Don’t we owe them this the least?

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Parenting perils

There is all this brouhaha over parenting. There is this school of thought that says spare the rod and spoil the child. Then there are a set of parents who believe that saying ‘no’ to a child is not the right approach to parenting. As far as I am concerned, I don’t go by any rulebook. Though there are certain things which I often would like to do without giving any heed whatsoever to the rulebook.

I have my days when MLS is given a tight spank on the bum or even a slap on cheek. Though I regret it later, in the heat of the moment, I lose all my control. The instances which make me mad and lose all patience is when she refuses to get ready on time even as her school bus is about to reach doorstep or when she refuses a meal even as I am hurrying to get her ready and head to office.

Now, I know yelling or spanking a child is not the right way to get things done. But from where do you bring patience when your life is a roller-coaster ride all along. Most working moms would agree that time is a crucial factor them. For that matter even SAHMs too have their strict schedules. In this age of instant gratification and a marathon race, where does one find the patience to sit with a child when he or she is throwing a tantrum? My MIL has a favourite saying, “Parenting is a book and each stage is a chapter. The problems with kids would always remain, it’ just a new chapter with every stage.” Yeah, I know. When she was an infant I longed for her to be a toddler so that all those feeding and nappy changing could come to an end. Now that she is a toddler, I long for her to be a bit more mature so that she values time.

God, it’s a never ending saga. But for all this cribbing, when my lil MLS comes and rubs her nose on my cheeks and plants a kiss, I know I am blessed. All my hardships just melt away in the twinkle of her eyes.

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Today, I met a friend for lunch. This is a guy who has been married for about 10 years now and has a seven year old son. I knew he was having an unhappy married life. He started discussing his marriage during the course of our conversation.

He feels that he cannot coexist with his wife anymore. He thinks his wife needs counseling. “She has become a nagging wife and behaves foolishly,” he says.

Theirs was a love marriage. I asked him where you not aware of you wife’s habits when you were dating each other. He tells me lot of things change when you start sharing a bed under the same roof. Now they have zilch physical and mental intimacy. He says he sees very few happily married couples. Most of them are happy to be unhappily married and looks for avenues outside marriage to keep themselves busy. He is extremely busy with his work and whatever time is left is devoted to the son.

Why is the institution of marriage crumbling? How our parents were happily married and stayed together till their last breath? He tells me they used to compromise a lot. Now we don’t want to compromise. “We compromise everywhere right from our bosses to colleagues and the last place I want to end up compromising is my home,” he says. I am left speechless.

Well, why is compromise such a negative word? Isn’t it supposed to help us live our lives in a better way? By compromising a bit, I share a seat with my fellow passenger in the metro train. Agreed, both of us are uneasy and not in the best of comfortable seating but its better than standing an hour in an over-crowded metro. So, isn’t compromise a better choice than having to suffer?

Why do people forget that gray is better shade than black or white. This is a shade that allows us lot of liberty. We can always look for an in-between solution for our problems. In the same way marriages are not either happy marriages or unhappy marriages. It can be a marriage which has its shares of ups, downs, joy, fights, laughter, arguments, sorrow, adjustments and compromise.

This friend’s son has started figuring out the mounting tension between his parents. But they will not separate as they do not want their son to have a troubled time trying to divide time with both of them. So will the kid be happy seeing his parents being unhappy for the sake of his happiness. Does parenting tell us that being together is the key to good upbringing of kids?

My friend, please wake up and smell the coffee!!!

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