Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
When I was growing up in the 90's, I looked forward to my birthday and festivals because that is when and only when I got new clothes or other fancy stuff.
Eating out was almost non existent as not only there were lesser options unlike what we have today, but my mother usually frowned upon the idea of going out for food.her standard reply, whenever we suggested eating out, would be asking rhetorically, "don't I make food at home?"
That would shut us up for good. Because clearly she did.
Not only economical expenditure but even time was carefully scrutinised and miserly measured.There was hardly any concept of time pass or hanging out.If not studying then we were included in some housework or the other.lazying around in a sofa and daydreaming continued only till the point when my mother literally shocked us out from the reverie by demanding to know whether there was nothing to study.
Even if the parents were well off and could afford a comfortable lifestyle they would still analyse the need of buying something new or throwing out something old.
This explains that birthdays parties then were a standard routine of chips, cake and some kissme or melody toffees, with no dinner served irrespective of spending powress of parents.In complete contrast to this simple celebration is the mini circus that we plan and execute now for our kids now-living our own Disney fantasies may be.
Children then were not required to be entertained or as the hip word goes- engaged. They kept busy themselves.the simple act of making paper boats and staring at them as they sailed in the little rain puddle while imagining about all the wonderful places it would go, filled our hours and fuelled our creativity.
But most toddlers today have parents who like me grew up in the 90's with strict control on time and money.
And probably it is because of this, that we want to buy it all or do something that our parents didn't.
From different shades of shoes to all kinds of gadgets,to innovative toys that guarantee creativity and excellent mental development to what not!
What would otherwise explain the need for a child as young as four to own a ipad or for a less than year old to have over brimming wardrobe when he would clearly outgrow them within months.
This liberal attitude is just not limited to buying behavior but it also influences our parenting styles.
People who had strict parents refrain from being too harsh on their kids.Publically admonishing or using any kind of physical force on children has become passe.
We have become a generation of parents, who while changing almost all the parenting rules are constantly sandwiched between conservative learning of the the past and insatiable demand of the future.
Having had the bitter experience of denial and not so joyful memories of a modest life, we as parents do not wish to hold back anymore.so we assume that our child must get what we did not or could not.
And thus begins an overwhelming journey of buying like a zombie or letting our kids behave however they want to even at the cost of being indisciplined. Chocolates and ice creams sit pretty in the refrigerator with easy and anytime access to kids while junk food defines our weekends.With a sense of pride though feigning helplessness we declare that our kid eats nothing but burger and coke, because that expresses affordability and we are damn proud of it !
In giving in to the kids, we also give in to ourselves.Although it is instantly accompanied by a guilt-guilt of knowing that we committed a mistake.
So when the next we buy something, we need to stop for a minute and ask ourselves," whose desire am I really fullfilling here - the child in my house or of the child in me"
That should probably do the trick.