Dearest parents of children of any age,
Please read this with an open mind and though you might not agree with me, I bet your children do.
1. Your child is not stupid. (S)He has a brain and it functions really well.
2. Your child is not a robot. (S)he doesn’t work on batteries and hence, you cannot control her/him.
3. Your child is perceptive and knows you better than you know her/him.
4. Your child is an individual. Please learn to respect her/his individuality
Today I was a part of a seminar that spoke about the role of parents in imparting value education to children. I can’t believe the things that I heard. Parents were talking of kids being deviant because of excessive use of mobile phones? Like, serious? That is why you call your child a deviant?
Not, was the concept of deviance pretty weird, the definition of value too was misconstrued. Apparently, wearing a sari to a college reunion shows how valued you are. So, I kill people, I bribe my way to the top, I drive drunk and maybe I steal but if I wear a sari, I have my values in place.
According to the woman presenting, (And here, I shall quote her exact words), “Recent studies show that 45% of children in the age group of 12-17 have had alcohol, at least once. What is more surprising is that girls TOO have a drink.”
This another parent (father) stands up and says, “The major problem here, is that we are bad role models for our kids. (I agree) We drink and smoke in front of them and we expect them not to. (Again, I agree) Whatever you want to do, do it 5 km away from your house (SAY WHAAAT?) My job doesn’t let me quit drinking and smoking. (He is a cigarette and alcohol tester/taster?) So I don’t do any of those in front of my children.”
Well, good for you, sir because your kids will probably never do the same in front of you and you shall die an ignorant man.
Seriously, what twisted concept is this? Children are NOT stupid. We know when to approach our parents when we want something. We know how to sense their moods. Hell, my 2 yr. old cousin can do that, so imagine what your 10-yr. old can figure out.
I am 22. And till today, my greatest fear is to let my dad down. But I know for a fact that if I screw up (And God knows, I do that a lot), he may be disappointed in me for a while, but it doesn’t change his love and affection for me. And that gives me the courage to approach him when I am in trouble. It is scary to tell him but yet reassuring. He might not fix it but he will definitely understand.
Also, (almost) every child is rebellious. Sometimes it is a phase and sometimes a characteristic. But we all like to try out things. Most children have tried a smoke and a drink. That doesn’t change their value system. It is in this rebellious phase that kids need the trust and faith of the parents. Otherwise, the child is going to one scared individual, unable to take any kind of risk.
Last thing, (I suppose and hope) every parent wants the child to be independent and not get swayed by peer pressure. This independence, most often starts by the kid challenging your authority. The moment your child asks you why does he have to follow your orders, that is the day to celebrate. That day, he shuns all external control and becomes an individual. How you react to it will decide whether your child shall think for himself or be under external control throughout his life.
I am very glad that I attend this seminar, I would have never been able to appreciate my dad and my grandparents.