My age is 32 now. I became a father of beautiful daughter four years back. I am writing this letter because now, I can fully comprehend how it feels to become a parent, just like you. It is magical. I am really enjoying my parenthood. I have also realized that only my daughter can give me an opportunity to feel like a child again…something we always crave for, right?
I can say that I am able to step into your shoes now…
Apart from enjoying, I can contemplate how challenging is the role of a parent in the upbringing of a child. Seriously, it is a very tough job. Hats off to all of you. I can understand how difficult it was for you to raise us. I can relate to everything.
But I realized a few more things as well…
Introducing her to this world was my decision, not hers. So I need to adapt to the changes quickly. I need to understand my responsibilities towards her. I need to do the best I can in raising her.
Well, every parent wants to become the best parent in the world.
But what is the correct definition of the best parent? Is it a subjective question?
Well, few conditions may vary, but in any case, love, respect, morals, values, integrity, ethics are the domains, which are regardless of every condition. You all are conscious of the fact that foundation of a plant is its roots, which has to be strong. The same applies to our children. The foundation here is the upbringing of the child, which is always the responsibility of the parent.
A reality check…
I want to ask you a few questions. You may not like it but these questions are the need of the hour…
- How have times you scolded your child whenever he/she has committed mistakes?
- How many times have you got irritated because of them when they are curious and inquisitive?
- Have you ever felt ashamed and embarrassed by them?
- How many times have you shown your disappointment towards them?
- Have you ever raised your hand on them?
- Have you ever compared your child with others’ children?
Yes, ask yourself consciously that how many times have you tried to ‘STEP INTO THEIR SHOES’?
I am sure you do not like these questions. Maybe I am asking it too directly. Please ignore if you answer to the above-asked questions is ‘No’ or ‘Never’.
But believe me, if any of these questions are making you feel uncomfortable, it means you are feeling guilty.
You are uncovering a bitter realization within you…
Respected parents, I don’t intend to hurt by asking you these questions. These issues are the need of the hour. Let us stop ignoring it and talk about it now. It is crucial for you to realize that your pain inflicted by these questions is minimal compared to your child’s pain inflicted by you. Yes, you read it right…
As a parent, it is very easy for you to express your negative emotions towards them. But please don’t ignore the fact that your child cannot reciprocate the same negative expression back towards you…
The process you need to understand…
When you punish your child for their mistake, you radiate negativity towards your child. But answer me, can your child reciprocate the same punishment to you? I don’t think I need to answer it.
Parents, you don’t realize but it is the time when you introduce your child to negativity. They cannot revolt but does that mean they don’t get affected?
They do and that too quite badly. And because they hold back their emotions, they retain the negativity inside them. Gradually, if you don’t stop and keep on repeating it, the negative emotions inside them begin to pile up. Your child becomes unexpressive and begins to detach from you emotionally.
With the progressing time, the respect for you from your child starts fading. And because of the repeated criticism they bear, now your child does not fear to revolt against you. Slowly, they start expressing their negativity towards you.
What happens next?
Because of the sudden revolt, it becomes virtually impossible now for you to face the intensity of their expression. It is because you never saw it coming. Remember, their expression is nothing less than DEFIANCE which you are unable to bear. Consequently, you get hurt emotionally.You aren’t able to digest the fact that your child is retaliating against you. You start blaming that your child is disrespectful and ill-treats you. Ultimately, it leads to an end of what could have been a beautiful and unconditional relationship. Some Heartfelt Realizations coming up…
Parents, do you realize that you are struck by one of the major laws of Karma “What goes around comes around”.
Better said than done, I know it is very difficult. There may be instances where breaking out on your child might be your spontaneous reaction than a calculated response. For those incidents, you have to be gutsy enough apologize to them. You need to compensate the emitted negativity with abundant love and care. Yes, you need to make them believe that your initial reaction was superficial. You need to observe and look up to your child for a response.
Dear Parents, try to recall your childhood days. Let it be a two-way communication where they also get an opportunity to express what they feel.
Some more Realizations…
When they grow bigger, they become independent individuals with their own peculiar way of perceiving people and things. These are the features, which makes your child unique. You must feel proud of it. By imposing your thinking on them, you might be killing their originality.
I had read a quote somewhere, which said: “Teach your child how to think and not what to think”. It is quite easy to clap on the quote and say -“Wonderful quote.” But what really can make it wonderful is when you apply it to your practical lives.
With each passing day, the world is changing. Remember, there is a generation gap between you and your child. They have to keep themselves updated. If you are not able to cope with their speed, how can you blame them for this discrepancy?
You send your children out of their cities and countries for higher studies so that they come out of their comfort zone and expand their horizons. Ironically, but when they do, you don’t back them out of your insecurities. Don’t you think it is unjustified?
Parents, please allow them to explore their ways of defining life and career options. There can be a possibility that you might not have heard about the career they want to pursue. It might be the case that the ways of defining life for you and your child might be different. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that yours is right and theirs is wrong. You may refrain from trusting them but at least trust the values you have inculcated in them. At least respect that.
A few realities:
-Emotions shed by you towards them in different situations are the responses they are learning from you.
-About 90 percent of a child’s mental evolution is completed until the age of 5 years.
-You along with the teachers in the school are their encyclopedia until the age of 10.
The bottom line:
You have always expected your children to step into your shoes. But have you ever realized that it is impossible? They don’t have a practical experience of becoming a parent. Sure as hell, you do have all the practical experience of feeling like a child. Please wake up until it is all over. You are the creator of feelings inside your child. Make sure the feelings are positive or else you might become a reason for his/her accusations. Strike a note that when you are proud of your child, the biggest reason is you, only you. You also deserve the same amount of appreciation. Earn it to become a proud parent of a proud child.
Apologies if I hurt you unintentionally, but it was straight out of the heart.
Hope you understand…
Amanpreet Singh is the founder of Happy Realization. From the negatives of depression to the positives of meditation, he loves expressing his experiences and the practical life lessons which he calls his Happy Realizations. He is a guest blogger in esteemed publications like Lifehack, Pick the Brain and Dumb Little Man.