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What kind of a future do you want for your kid?
Well, nobody can predict the future but you often hear the parents saying ‘I don’t want my child to struggle in life, I want to make sure he/ she leads a smooth and comfortable life.’
Once you become a parent, your world starts revolving around your bundle of joy. They are the first things on your mind when you wake up and last as you crash into bed. Your daily routine, work schedule, holiday calendar and everything else is planned to match their schedule. You even save your leaves at work, just in case they fall sick (God forbid) or to attend their PTMs and school functions. You guard them with the ferocity of a tigress, you screen their internet surfing, censor the T.V. programs they watch, even check their phones (if you get an access to their passwords) and what not? You want to protect them from the big bad world, well, that’s understandable. We all do. But do we know where to draw a line?
I meet parents regularly and lately I have started to notice that parents go to any extent to keep their children protected for as long as they can. Five years old can’t run freely in the park fearing they might fall or get dirty, eight years old can’t fold their clothes or clean up their rooms, ten year olds can’t make a sandwich or fruit platter for themselves, twelve year olds feel anxious if their parents are late to pick them up from school, they fear stepping into public transport, even an auto.
Have you seen the kind of crazy traffic outside schools during dispersal hour? Moms running from home to school, school to home, then a ballet class or a swimming or sports session, back home, tuition class, back home finally. And those who can’t, spend a hefty amount to arrange private transport for the kids. So much so for a modern and independent generation! How much the world has changed in past two-three decades? There are n numbers of stories instilling fear in mums, reinforcing that this is the new way of life.
Parents slog day and night; invest their hard earned money to make sure the child has a secure future. (Our mini effort to play God) Today the children don’t really have to wait for things, be it a fancy dress, bag, watch, mobile, bicycle, play station, they get it as soon as they ask for it or soon enough. After all it isn’t what we parents are working day and night for? How can we say No to our most precious creation? Making them wait for it is really being cruel. Like they have our Remote Control and we function as they press our buttons.
The kind of parenting we are doing really makes me wonder what kind of adults they will grow up to be. Would they really know how to appreciate something as if never lacked anything? Would they learn how to be patient and prioritize if they never had to wait or choose? Would they know the real happiness if they have never really been sad?
Overprotection can harm one more than we can imagine. It’s pretty dangerous to not be sick during first few years of your childhood. When you fall sick your defense mechanism starts working, preparing antibodies to fight but if you protect yourself too much, the body simply wouldn’t be equipped to handle the minor ailments.
So all the mommies out there, no matter how much you love your little ones, let them be loose a little. Let them explore, allow them to make mistakes, let them run wildly, let them feel lonely sometimes, let them manage their chores, let them find their own solutions, their own way. Doing and managing things on their own will boost up their confidence big time, the sense of accomplishment will be their driving force. Securing kids’ future doesn’t necessarily mean financial security. Equip them with skills, let there be a passion and hunger in them. Let them work hard to make their own future. Too much comfort makes them loose their edge. If they have no challenges, life will be pretty boring. Let them live, teach them to live. And to do that start living your own life too.
Struggle is not so bad after all, it teaches one the essence of life. The important thing is to learn how to win your battle and that is one journey one needs to undertake on his own. Be their support, not their crutches.