Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Sometimes, we forget to tell our children ...



Generation Gap?

That though we prattle and play together what deserves reprimand today will not be postponed to tomorrow. Hitting, bullying, hurting another will get what it should, today. Not when you are older but exactly now, when you are old enough to be bad towards someone. In the hope that you will understand how the angry “Don’t you ever do that again!” was important today to prevent causing hurt from becoming a habit in the future.

We forget to tell our children …

That we see the hormonal roller coaster behind your adolescent mood and stubborn acne, and that we are there to help in this transition towards adulthood. Not just label you defiant in public, but remember our own time. That the reproductive system is biology and sexuality is a part of life. That menstruation is not a hush-hush stigma but science, even if those who call God their own consider it otherwise. That being a teenager is important, as important as it is fun. And that we won’t stand in your way as you learn and unlearn, but wait on the side so you know we are there, just in case.   

We forget to tell our children …

That our dreams about you do not dictate your future, but your dreams of the future are ours to dream. You go ahead and become what you want, and we’ll watch your back - ready with our ears, our hands and shoulders, whichever you may require. You figure life out, leave home, choose, do, lead - for today belongs to you. Not to our age-old myths, time-weathered ideas or unfounded fears. Feel free, and feel free to fail, for there’s always tomorrow and there’s always us. So, take it easy! 

We forget to tell our children …

That an over arching universal idea of ‘family values’ is pure rhetoric and stuff that class 4 school debates are made of. That family values mean what all the members of a family value, together, by a shared consensus. Not codes of conduct which have been passed down generations, as unquestioned vagaries struggling to fit into today’s context. Look around on your own, discern what it takes for the fittest to survive in the time we call 'now', find your principles your values your opinions, share them and let us rediscover what our family values, all over again!  

We forget to tell our children …

That we will never remind you of all that we did for you – like favours, or debts or burdens forever for your shoulders. We did what we could and best. Just as you will too one day, for your child. If we were to make a list, then perhaps we did not understand the meaning of what it is to be a mother to a child or a father to a child. Not everything is quantifiable. If it is, then perhaps it’s an expectancy from tomorrow. Let there be nothing expected by us from your side, except respect and love. And let us as parents understand how best to earn those two from you too.   

We forget to tell our children …

That you are more important to us, than the whole society and its many minds put together. Society did not give birth to you, and neither did it produce us. This relationship is personal, between you and us. That we will never make a spectacle of your follies or compare your scores with the neighbour. Just like we as parents will not excuse your misdeeds either. Perhaps find another way to communicate than to bring in the world as an example - to unlearn wrong, to forgive and finally move on towards a tomorrow where no mistakes are repeated. A promise between us, and one which does not require the society to watch over! 

And we forget to tell our children ...

That while we were born to be your parents and you our children, we should be the best of friends. That different times of growing up and different expiry dates do not mean understanding cannot be found. Tell them that generations are not born with permanent spaces in between. That bridges are possible, and necessary.

As I see these lines suddenly transform into a prayer, I make a promise to myself. I will remember to tell my child that his parents will forever strive to build that bridge and try meeting his newer-age stance at the Golden Mean. And for that, I will remember to ask him to teach us parents too as he learns from us. Only then, when we grow together will we remain riveted as one - a happy family, without any gaps between our ever-evolving minds.   

Amen.

8 comments:

  1. Nicely put Sakshi. I had promised myself that I would be different from my parents and some how I have tried to maintain it...trying to be my kids' friend and a mother when the situation requires. But when the kids hormones start acting up, we are in our late 40's and our hormones also start acting up. It is crazy. At times I am 'my mom' whom I did not want to imitate. Yeah, so far so good...we have our ups and downs and my kids know that we are not pushy...except when it comes to good behaviour. :)

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    1. I think as daughters we are very alike then, and by default as mothers too. You know they say 'She becomes her mother and he becomes his father'. While for some aspects I hope that is true, for many I hope it isn't. More than anything, what was 'right' once upon a time is obsolete now. And I don't want to be living an out-dated life as a woman of 60. I do enforce already, like you do, what is irreplaceable. Like good behaviour. The rest time will tell.
      Thanks a lot for reading, Janu!

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  2. Very wonderfully put Sakshi. When my son was born, I was disillusioned by what my parents did for me. I have learnt by then to un-learn every lesson of life as a daughter and write my own for my son. I think I am pretty much doing that though sometimes you turn into your own mom :)

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    1. That is wonderfully honest of you to admit, Jas. May I add my ditto here, and hitch a courageous ride on your comment. :) As for those 'sometimes', no crime in converging as long as we think it makes sense. ;)

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  3. Beautiful Sakshi! How come this one went for so long without getting any visits? I'm surprised.

    I believe every parent is a new parent just like every new born is a newly born child. We all learn it together. One step at a time. More than what we teach or inculcate in our children, it is us parents who get to learn a lot from their reactions and also by comparing our childhood and our parents' reactions to the present day situation. And as you said, what was right then is mostly obsolete now. Hence writing fresh chapters every single day, weaving a new book on parenthood. One that will help our kids to weave a better one tomorrow.

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    1. Rekha, this came when I used Google+ comments. When I changed the setting, I lost comments on all the posts up till then. :(

      Love the Book of Progressive Parenting you are writing. I am trying my best too. There is no other way to remain relevant to and happy with the times surrounding us.

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  4. Surely, there are a lot of things that we forget to tell our children. These things that you put together in so simple words make a lifetime to be imparted to the next generation. Here at my age, I can see both the sides and think over what I got and what to pass over. Nice article.

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    1. I agree with you, Diwakar. I also think these things may need more than a lifetime, that is if at all we can pass them on. I am at your age too and I see what you mean, exactly! :)
      Thank you for reading me today! :)

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