The author of this post, Jairam Mohan is somebody who pores over excel spreadsheets and power point presentations in his day job, but believes that his true calling lies in boring people to their deaths. That is the sole aim of him updating his blog Mahabore's Mumblings quite frequently. Between him and his wife, they nurture and bring up their two year old daughter as well as the blog.
That's what he has to say for himself. Now for what I think.
Jairam Mohan is a whirlwind-of-a-writer. Two posts on a good day and three on an even better day (God bless him!). The top bar in Mahabore's Mumblings says it all - Bhagvatham, Movies, Fiction, Parenting, Book review and of course 'winning posts'. Each post of Jairam's stands testimony to what he thinks and lives by - be it pieces of 'faction' where fact meets fiction through his fantastic imagination, or parenting ideas and anecdotes sans air-brushing. His writing is novel, honest and refreshing and his blog speaks to you like few others can. And I will keep wondering why he calls himself a 'mahabore'!
Projecting Parental Expectations
I love my Michael Jackson songs, McDonald's French Fries and lounging around in my boxer shorts at home. I hate rap songs with explicit racy music videos, self help books and people who spit in public places. The above is a small subset of my likes and dislikes and how I perceive the world. But the question is should my little two year old daughter also share the same likes and dislikes?
I have had conversations with young kids who have informed me that Sachin Tendulkar was delaying his retirement and that was causing a lot of damage to Indian cricket, and that the Congress government is probably the worst thing that India could have ever wished for, at an age when the kid did not even know the difference between the business end of a bat and what a democracy really was. And when I was left wondering as to how smart kids nowadays were, the realization dawned upon me that it was probably their parents who had projected their perceptions on them.
Given that when they are young, kids are extremely receptive to their surroundings and the people they interact with on a regular basis, it is but natural that they pick up a few habits and traits from us. It therefore becomes imperative that as parents and caregivers to our children, we must all be extremely conscious of our words, actions and deeds, more so when the kids are watching us. If I am the kind of father that comes home from work, plonks myself on the sofa with my shoes on and starts munching potato chips straight out of a packet, my daughter will naturally believe that such behavior is quite Ok, and it won’t be too long before she comes home from school, plonks herself on the sofa with her school uniform and shoes on and starts munching whatever snack she wants from the fridge. If on the other hand, she sees her parents taking off their footwear outside the house, washing their hands and feet as soon as they enter the house, then these are the habits she will pick up, inculcate and make her own.
In fact I realized that kids are so receptive only when I saw my daughter pick up a few of these unconscious traits from me and my wife. While she has picked up on this wonderful reading habit from my wife, who tries to spend as much of her free time reading books, the funny thing that my daughter picked up from me is to put her hand on the backside of her neck and start scratching the same. It was only when I saw my daughter persistently doing this did I realize that this was something that I was unconsciously doing whenever she was on the “seat” downloading her “torrents” (if you know what I am referring to). It took more than quite a bit of correcting and flicking away of her hands whenever she did it going forward to make her get rid of that irritating habit and now I am that much more conscious of my body language whenever I am around her.
While my daughter is still a little one and probably picks up only on visual and verbal cues that we provide her, I am more than sure that children who are a little older, say around 10-15 yr olds will surely have their world views influenced by their parents. And that is something that I tend to think that I have a problem with. In my opinion, while parents are more than welcome (and it is probably their duty as well) to imbibe their kids with the right value systems, I think it is wrong of them to project their perceptions of the world on their kids.
So what if I don’t enjoy Chinese cuisine very much, should I discourage my daughter from trying it out and having more of it if she actually likes it? I don’t think so. So what if I don’t think Salman Khan movies match my cinematic sensibilities, should I stop my daughter from watching and enjoying them? I don’t think so. So what if I think MMS is a stooge and just nods his head to whatever Madam says, should I stop my daughter from believing that he actually has a spine and can stand up for himself…well, that one I will have serious issues with.
Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that as parents while it is our duty to guide our children on the tough journey called life and equip them with all the right tools and techniques to assist them, we should not project our perceptions of the world on them. Let them experience things for themselves and develop a world view of their own. So what if it differs from our own view of things, after all, variety is the spice of life, isn’t it?
I fully agree with this parenting idea. Even as we consciously guide our children through the everyday, we need to keep in mind if we are colouring their minds a certain way too. What was relevant in our yesterday may not be in their tomorrows. And coming to think of it, we could learn and unlearn a lot from our children's perspectives too. This way, every body in the house would be growing-up, and not just growing old, together!
What do you think?
What do you think?
Sakshi , even I wonder why he calls himself 'Mahabore' when I am so eager to read his post , packing with meaningful anecdotes of our epics efforting blending with modern times.ReplyDelete
Parenting is a tough 24X7 duty ( i wouldn't call it a job) without leaves. One never know when the parent is required and in which situation. Children learn by visual and verbal imitation and hence parents have to careful yet casual. interesting post.
@Kalpana, the story behind Mahabore is something that I will probably put up on my "About me" section.Delete
To come to the post, yes, parenting is a 24X7 deal isn't it, and as if just being around and taking care of the kids was not enough, we have to watch what we say, what we do, how we do it......the list goes on and on
Kalpana, I sit today and think what exactly was I ready for when I said 'Im ready' to my husband for having a child. Everyday unfolds it's own newness and challenges. While I enjoy the former, the latter is something I could never be ready for in advance. :)Delete
Sakshi, when a lady says 'i am ready to have a child.' (with exclamations) , she should be asked , 'are u ready to become a mom/parent?'. When I see pregnant ladies on a walk , I say a silent prayer ,'God give her all the resources to fulfill her duty. Welcome to the up-side down world of parents'Delete
Upside down is THE word for the world of parents these days. We are a very confused lot. :PDelete
Ha ha ha...by calling himself 'mahabore', he is exhibiting humility. I'm brushing up my knowledge of mythological stories every morning, courtesy Jairam. This in turn helps me have enough on my plate to serve the kids at sleeping time. :-DReplyDelete
That was a great post. Indeed, many a parents have this habit of forcing upon their likes, dislikes and opinion on their kids. This affects the overall personality of the kid.
I truly loved the downloading of the torrents...:-D
@Rekha, the name mahabore has nothing to do with humility, and as stated in an earlier reply, am going to put up the origins of the name in the About Me section sometime soon.Delete
I get extremely disturbed when parents try to force their likes, dislikes on their kids. I mean, hey, come on let the kids develop a personality of their own. Of course, be around and prevent them from liking unnecessary things like smoking and drinking, but at least let the kid have an imagination of its own, right....
Too much humility, I think. Right you are, Rekha, But I;m waiting to hear his side of the story before I again ask him - 'Why Mahabore?'Delete
Loved the post :) Jairam is a wonderful writer. Now as he said on his blog, I am off to read your about me.ReplyDelete
@Sugandha, am sure you loved Sakshi's About Me portion, didn't you :DDelete
Arrey arrey, Jairam shouldn't have created a larger than life picture. I a as small fry as they get. :D I can only request him to not promote me as a 'dada'! :PDelete
Jairam is a truly one of the exceptional bloggers I've come across. We all enjoy his mythological stories and his ability to come up with a good fiction piece based on a factual prompt!ReplyDelete
Lovely post! Couldn't agree more...we should not enforce our likes and dislikes on our kids but give them enough knowledge and values to judge correctly 'between right and wrong'
@Aditi, absolutely spot on when you say that a parent should stop at providing kids with enough information, knowledge and imbibing them with the right value systems. We should not under any circumstances force their likes or dislikes or our world views on them.Delete
Totally with you, Aditi - on the post as well as it's creator, both! :)Delete
Right, I'm going straight in with this one : Jairam - you are not "Mahabore" (though I admit that it's quite catchy); if anything you are a "Mahawriter" and each of your posts reinforce that belief. Yes, I struggle to keep up with your posts - so much so, that I sometimes have to read all of them at one go, at some point in the week. And with respect to this post, you're absolutely right. Even I've recently started noticing oddities in Little Rishi's mannerisms; Kept thinking it was strange until my wife (and some others) pointed it out. I suppose as you said we inadvertently pass on some of our "traits and perceptions". I suppose there is no harm in guiding them, but yes ultimately they need to make their own minds up about their likes and dislikes, with some sensible guidance from our side too.ReplyDelete
Sakshi - You have a big heart:) And not just because you've opened up your blog to "guest posts". I've read your posts, and they all come from your heart - which is how it should be. And as I mentioned on Facebook, you both teaming up is like a "blog-tag-team" ; Now the whole world's attention is on your blog(s).
Darn - I see, I've once again comment-hijacked! Apologies but meant every word!
@Sid, you have no clue how many silly little stupid things that my little one has picked up from me, my wife and my parents. And it is only when she actually uses these mannerisms that we realize that her mind is like a sponge absorbing each and every thing that she sees and hears. Makes our lives so much more miserable that we have to behave responsibly all the time.Delete
And I don't know about Sakshi wanting to be my blog tag team partner although I would love for that to happen on a regular basis. The point is simple, both of us just want to write to provide some food for thought for our readers while keeping them happy and smiling as well.
Thank you for agreeing, Sid, that he is not a 'Mahabore'. And till he reveals the story behind the pseudonym, we can continue to dig it in. :P Also, I too struggle to keep up with his posts. He traverses genres like it's buttering of bread, and for me hwo considers even that cooking, imagine what a task it is to keep up! :DDelete
I'm ready to team up with a bunch of us and start our own parenting site/forum/blog/whatever. It was do our writing as well as our parenting ideas great good.
Great collaboration, friends. I read it with interest even though I really don't have an opinion on this matter. It really is a tough call on what is ok to color your child's outlook on, and what not to. There are only some things that are clearly black and white in this world Msuch of the rest is grey and lies in the realm of self discovery.ReplyDelete
It's truly scary being a parent, I think!
@Rickie, have to agree with you when you say that there is so much grey in this world that even we worldly wise parents have problems in trying to figure out what our kids must and must not learn and imbibe. And yes, parenting is probably the most scariest thing given that we are somewhat responsible for how our kids turn out to be when they are adults....Delete
Good to see you here, Rickie. So it takes Jairam in particular and a 'Guest Post' in general to make you read parenting gyan on my blog. :P Whatever it takes! :DDelete
And right you are - much of the world is grey. And I do know it's more than 50 shades. :P
There's more to parenting than one can ever imagine when they say - 'We're ready!' It is indeed scary.
What a wonderful post, Jairam! When Sakshi mentioned she was having a guest over soon, I wondered who it was. Great choice, Sakshi! Even if Jairam gives me a solid complex with his prolific-ness.ReplyDelete
This subject is very close to my heart. I believe children must be given the freedom of choice, while being taught good habits, manners, values through example. Jairam, you're right about what we project through our actions. After all, our children learn from us, first.
Thank you for a great read!
@Vidya, you are just being extra nice when you say things like I give you a complex with my prolific-ness, whatever that means.Delete
And yes, the things that kids take away from our mannerisms, behaviors, habits and interactions are more than just a few. Right from the simple ones to the extremely nuanced behaviors we display, they are more than happy to mimic. And that is the reason that we need to be extremely conscious of whatever we say or do around them.
Thanks, Vidya. Credit to Jairam for volunteering his services. Was my first, and I am happy it was a post by a parent I agree with and a writer I like to read.Delete
We need to be extremely conscious os whatever we say and do. I have been trying to propagate this very idea through multiple parenting posts now. However, when I go and see how the neighbourhood dude speaks to me when I am parking the car, in front of his tot, I know that either the target audience is not reading my post, or I am doing a bad job of getting the point across. :P
:-) Jairam - you post wayyyy too often..is what I meant...I am often panting and puffing trying to keep up :D But I am always rewarded with fabulous posts and it is worth it!Delete
Sakshi - you highlighted my pet hate - parents ranting/raving/acting smart in front of their kids. Ugh. I just can't go with that sort of behavior. And then, imagine the child discussing this with her peer group. Disgusting!
Jairam and Sakshi - I am blessed to know you both.
Thank you, Vidya. :)Delete
This is a great post and gives me a lot to think on. It is hard when you are with your kid around the clock to not influence their opinions I suppose. Hopefully I am teaching them to make their own choices and decisions about things too.ReplyDelete
@Kathy, am sure you are teaching them the basic lessons about making their own choices and decisions in your own small way for sure.Delete
I agree, Kathy. A thought-provoking post. Makes you re-examine the "democratic bearings" in your household. I do agree that being around them 24*7 does mean we are showering upon them more ideas and opinions than we may realise.Delete
Nice Post, . . . . A G+ for Ur Post and Have a nice Day. . .. :)ReplyDelete
Jairam, 2 or 3 posts in a day! How do you do that, man? I completely agree with what you say though I must say it is very difficult to follow. I havr 2 sons, 11 and 7, and I've tried to be as open and free as possible with them right from culinary choices to what they read and watch, rituals and religion. Yet as a parent, there are values that I want them to imbibe both by actipn and talk. Their needs change as they get older. And it is a tough balance being both a parent and friend. At the end of the day, I feel proud of the way I am raising them because parenting just is so diverse yet so individualistic. Nice one, Sakshi and Jairam.ReplyDelete
@Rachna, love it when you say that you feel proud of the way that you are raising them, and that is just how all of us ought to feel. After all, the fact that we read, write and comment on parenting related posts mean that these thoughts are almost always at the back of our minds. We are doing our bit to bring up responsible human beings and responsible world citizens. And that is the least we owe to this world and society, isn't it.Delete
Yes, Rachna. I too am wondering how, just how, someone managing a full-time job in office and a full-time-daddy role at home can manage that. Maybe it's about starting the day with the right breakfast. :DDelete
Can make out from knowing you through writing/FB that you must be a wonderful mother! And I am sure your children will be reflection of that!
Having a teenage brother, I can so relate to this. At times I do wonder if I am from some other era when around him. Rather than imposing our own ideologies on them giving them choices seems to be the best way and to make sure that whatever happens we are just behind them.ReplyDelete
@Sheethal, so true, we need to let children grow on their own and develop their own personalities, and that's the only we will realize that they also can become such wonderful human beings of their own accord.Delete
'Whatever happens' we are with them is a lovely way of growing up together, Sheethal! :)Delete
Let them experience for themselves, a thought-provoking post from Jairam and it is something many parents have forgotten because of their ego, I am telling you it's like that only and perhaps,lack of sensibility. Education, I feel, is something many parents have forgotten and long love the sky for having nee age parents like Sakshi and U. Three cheers to Jairam and Sakshi for this one. Simply brilliant:) One thing your post reminded me of AB ad of Binani..maa baap kahin nahin jaate hai::)ReplyDelete
@Vishal, yes, most parents try to live their unlived lives and dreams through their children without realizing how harmful it really is to the kids.Delete
Binani ad. :) Interesting take, Vishal. :)Delete
Agree completely, children observe parents and their behaviors. While as parents we must give freedom of choice to our kids, but we must guide them towards positive/good habits too because a parent's words and actions shape who a child may become and what they may do too.ReplyDelete
@Shilpa, absolutely agree with your comment. And we thought our job was just to feed and provide for our kids, man, parenting is tough, isn't it? :DDelete
Right you are, Shilpa. It is our actions that shape a child and we need to monitor ourselves more than we discipline them. :)Delete
Both the Guest and the Host are among my favourite bloggers!ReplyDelete
I know people who, as children, resented their parents trying to impose things on them, doing exactly the same thing as parents! The argument is, "I was much more mature at that age!"
Not just on our children, many of us try to impose our views on others, on everything including religion, politics, food preferences, etc., etc. We don't believe in 'Live and let live.' We believe in "My way or the highway." But we proclaim, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"
THANK YOU, Proactive Indian. You are mine too, actually.Delete
Like they say - 'She becomes her mother and he becomes her father.' :D There are more things subterranean and subconscious working around our minds than we may ever know of/notice. Plus, genes toh same hain na. So I agree, we as children do end up doing exactly as our parents did.
Sometimes, too much enforcement leads to defiance too, and then you see them going the opposite way from their parents too. Teenage tantrums and adolescent hormonal roller-coaster does that. I talk from experience. :P
I also agree. My way or the highway is a philosophy most of us live by, even if we fail to admit it to ourselves. :)
@Proactive Indian, yes, most of us try to impose our likes, dislikes on the people around us don't we. That is such a true point that you makeReplyDelete
It's true! And the children are our future... The parents have to be careful!ReplyDelete
I'm following you Sakshi, congradulations for your blog :D
Thanks, Camila. :)Delete
I am so glad I came across this blog...because the blogger and the guest blogger both seem amazing :)ReplyDelete
What parents forget is that they too were children once. They forget the feeling, the confusion, the silly dreams... what they do remember is their achievements during their age...and they expect the same if not more from their children. It is not the same time their kids are living in and this is seldom accepted with prudence.
Hey, thanks, Red! I think a part of growing up and being made to grow up is about making us forget what we felt/enjoyed/did/did not do when we were children. However, there is a child in all of us. If it can come out in happy times, it should come out and see things from the kid's perspective in difficult times too.Delete