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Five year old Arjun was ready in white kurta payjama. It was Eid celebration in his school and he was super-excited in his attire. While roaming around the home in the beautiful dress, he asked excitedly “Dadaji, I am looking good na.. it’s Eid celebration in our school”. His grandfather replied with a bit annoying look, “We don’t celebrate Eid, it is not in our culture”. Seeing the reaction of his grandfather, the little boy who wanted to hear some words of praise, got disappointed and went back.
2 year old Diya was craving for a chocolate. Her mother denied as she had already eaten a few since morning. On being denied, she threw tantrums and started crying badly. Her mother tried to calm her by telling the demerits of excess chocolates with a promise to give it to her tomorrow. The girl was almost convinced, but just then appeared the grandmother to the scene. She asked what happened, your mumma scold you, you mumma is bad, I’ll scold her, Come to me… and the desire to have the chocolate again burst out. Grandma yelled at the poor mumma & took the girl to nearby shop to buy some chocolates!
Very common scenes from a number of houses, particularly in the joint families! And yes a number of others can be narrated; only the situation or words will change; the replies will remain the same, the negative or avoidable ones! Here, I am not questioning the love of grandparents for their children or their concern to them; but the only question I am upto is, whether the behaviour of our elder ones is always correct and rationale? No, not every time, despite fact that they are far more experienced than us as a parent, as a person! The above two very common examples indicates so!
In the scene 1 above, in my view, the best reply could have been “you look amazing, with a kiss on little boy’s cheeks”. But the actual reply not only disappointed the kid, but the answer also left an impression on his innocent mind that we do not celebrate the festival that is not in our culture. Indirectly, this reply has thrown stones on the steps taken by the school to teach our kids to love and respect all the religions. The old generation is more attached and somewhat rigid when it comes to their culture and traditions. Agreed! But is it correct to show it off to someone who is not matured enough to understand it. Is it correct to pass the same rigid thoughts to our younger ones? Certainly not! But we do, intentionally or unintentionally, we do!
In the scene 2, the best reaction would have been “good girl!” As the tantrum was almost settled, there was no need to dig the grave again. Our old generation has been the generous one when it comes to kids and their eating habits. In some of the houses, it is a settled law that no one will deny anything to kids, whatever they want to eat, let them eat, with no limits. However, this is not acceptable to most of the mothers of today’s generation who are keenly interested in instilling healthy eating habits. Chocolates over and above a limit are a big NO to and by them. In my view, it is correct also, as if we do not guide our kids towards healthy lifestyle today, their tomorrow is going to be full of health troubles.
The love of grandparents for their grandchildren is undoubtedly limitless. However, it should be taken care that we do not pass on the rigidities and negativities to our children. Respecting other’s religion will not reduce the respect for our own religion and traditions. Also, they should understand the fact that “always a yes approach” is not good for the kids. A mother will definitely say ‘No’ many a times and this does not make her a bad mumma. She loves her children too!