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I have always felt that since the day my child was born, and was born when I was in my early 30's , I had become by then a conditioned individual. A person who has by then learnt how to live (it seems we know all), how to behave, my understanding of things and people, my believes, virtues, habits, thinking had till then developed a lot due to my experiences with life and people. I had by then become less flexible and adaptable to change and a kind of inertia had developed in me. There was a feeling that I am mostly correct.
So, when my kid was born, I had besides love and care set specific standards of raising her in my mind. The typical way of teaching her good habits, manners and everything else which I felt was the best and good for her to learn. In a way I had become stubborn, unmouldable, thought I was always correct.
This had even worked till my child was of a particular age of say till around 6 years. Probably she was dependent on me for many things, her understanding of things and people was developing and is still developing and she took her mother as a perfectionist, well "haven't I always presented that image before her", by my you should do this and not that, follow this etcand she accepted me,my ways with her and other people and things,my follies , my nature, my instructions to her and never questioned, or made me realize that I can be wrong. For her till now her mother was always correct, can't commit a mistake.
But, off late I have started seeing in her a tendency of observing me and pointing out my mistakes and shortcomings. I am no expert on child psychology so was amazed that sometimes when even husbands ignore to point out or argue on even genuine mistakes by thier wives to maintain peace at home how come my child is pointing it out.
The things were as simple as:
- Mummy, you insist on me to brush my teeth twice daily but you yourself have not done it at night yesterday.
- Mummy you told me to be polite always but why were you shouting at the maid aunty.
- Mummy you scold me for not properly learning my lessons but you can't remember the dance steps I taught you that day.
- Mummy you told me not to be sad and keep sulking when my friend was mean to me but when that day you were upset with papa you did the same.
There are many other examples like these where my child has off late pointed me out on my mistakes and they are sometimes small and sometimes big. And believe me she is correct most of the times. I know she is small and doesn't understand the stress, workload and a demanding life we elders lead but for her things are black and white. When my actions don't match my words this happens. When I have taught her something and myself fail to follow it she points it out.
Many a times I am speechless.....many a times hurt and angry.... many a times try to reason it out....many a times surprised that even she keeps an eye on me like I keep it on her..... Many a times give a plea of my workload.....and many a times feel embarrassed....
It is really embarrassing to be caught by your child of doing something which we ask them not to do or scold them for.
Well initially I used to be at loss of words and didn't know what to so?
But later on I realised that why do I have to present before her an image of a perfect mother and person. I am also human, have my set of shortcomings and problems and sometimes I am wrong, I fail to handle things, I am unable to follow my own words.
Why not admit it, ask for an apology , make her understand that even mummy or parents can be wrong sometimes and promise to not repeat my mistake.
Is it so difficult to ask a genuine apology. Being an elder and a mother my ego comes in between.
Well when I gave it more thought, I found another connection. If she grows on like this making a picture perfect image of me in her mind and later on somewhere I go wrong may be in bigger things like her life decisions, then?
I have seen people specially boys at my home and at many places almost God worshiping thier parents. Always in a denial mode that they can be wrong. One should love and respect ones parents but in that can't fail to see the truth of a situation. Cant fail to be fair towards others too, cant fail to accept and admit that our parents can be wrong or behave unreasonably.For e.g. I have seen extremely good mother's of sons having very bad relations with thier DIls but the son's always in denial mode, fighting with thier wives, even when she is cent percent correct that my mother can't go wrong. I have seen a girl who was married off in haste by her parents in a very young age and had a bad marriage still doesn't blame it in her parents. She blames destiny for that.I have seen a lady whose mom had beaten a maid and was jailed, still the lady was backing her up.
Don't we condition our children since a very Small age to believe that we can't be wrong and they carry that impression when they grow and many a times things go smoothly but sometimes when they need to be fair in life towards other people by accepting that thier parent can be wrong it becomes a struggle.
So I want my child to know that even mummy is human, can be at fault, she is free to point out in a polite manner and mummy will try to improve.
So now I never scold her for this like "mummy badi hai, aisa nahi bolte ya aap mummy ki mistake nikaal rahe ho", instead discuss about why I did so, I can be corrigible and say a sorry and promise to improve.
Since the day , I have started saying this "sorry" and accepting my mistakes and making her understand that I won't repeat it she has also realised that her mom is a mortal and it us human to err.
Thus, now we are at peace on these things and my child has learnt an important lesson that Mummy can go wrong sometimes but like when she commits a mistake and says sorry and promises to improve, mummy also does the same. Also, she has to stand by the right thing in her life and can take a stand against me, make me see my fault and help me improve.