A Letter... http://o3.indiatimes.com/divyarocks
When I fist saw this post titled LETTER… from Divya I was taken by surprise and reading further literally made me cringe with embarrassment for all parents who she was referring to --- but only for a bit -- Because I knew that she was telling the truth – with downright candor honesty – and fearlessly. She meant well I could see and have understood.
Allow me to quote some points which had particularly struck me with great interest, to wit:
…because you don't have the time or because you don't think it important enough to listen to kids whom you 'own' anyway; or both!
…you continue to treat us like table-tennis balls, to be smashed around and top-spun out of our sanity; and sometimes out of life itself!
…who have chosen the wrong four-letter word to be the centre-point of your relationship with your children : FEAR.
…many of you exert undue pressure on us without even realizing it. You give us complexes and phobias right from the time you start comparing us with other children -
…Sometimes. one child in a family gets into the 'best' school and the other doesn't. Your disappointment, anxiety and depression rubs off on Baby No. 2 who begins to feel like a second-class citizen
…you want us to be one of two things: either your clones, or what you wanted to be and couldn't. …trying to make robots out of us
…We realize that you did give us life, but you have no right to take it away from us. …
We want to love you; not fear you!
Guilty as charged. I hate to say it but yes some of us parents are what she says we are. Oh no, people, don’t be angry now or brush this away as a young person’s foolish whimper… instead, how about looking at this through the eyes of an observer. That would allow some bit of unemotional neutrality in thinking and response.
May I forward my humble opinion about the role of parents in the children’s life. This was the principle I was raised in and which I have raised my own children too.
First and foremost is that --- we don’t own our children. Even if they came from our wombs, mothers, we don’t own them! They were given to us for the sole task of nurturing them until they are old enough to fend for themselves and take on the life tailor-fit for them as laid out by one God. If we should talk of ‘ownership’, then know this that our children belong to God and are owned by God --- as we all are too. But God chose to enlist our help as parents to raise them, nurture them, guide them, and help them in their own respective journeys in life, although God can do that by himself, not needing any help from anyone, but instead He gave our children to us because He believes in --- family. Because only in the environment of family and a home will an individual grow to his full potential and worth. And families are supposed to love and support each other 100% all of the time. This love means allowing the person we love to be free to grow and mature without any unnecessary interference from us but with our close guidance to help him or her develop to his/her fullest potential. In fact, they should even be free to make their own honest mistakes in life.
Our role is to be there for them – loving them no matter what.
Secondly, our children are not our extensions. We can’t make them live out and make real our own personal failed hopes and dreams, unmet expectations, or beliefs or unpaid debts. You may probably think that all that are now gone but believe me, those dreams were not ended when we had our children – they were just placed on hold. We can take up where we left off or dream new dreams and pursue it as individuals would. But not through our children! No! We cannot impose our dreams on them. They have their own dreams to follow and follow them they must.
Thirdly, we guide them not dictate to them. We are their first teachers in life. We teach good values, wisdom, truth, knowledge, faith, and everything else which they may need later when they will be on their own. We show them both good and bad and help them decide the paths they would traverse someday. We teach, we guide – but definitely not dictate, particularly not to dictate our wishes upon them! You know, even God gave us our free will – when He could just simply dictate His wishes upon us.
Last but not the least, we must love them with all that we are and with all that we have. This love must be free from all personal influences and expectations. This love must rise above the petty and trivial and smallness of our lives -- because when God made us parents, attached to it was the commandment ----- to love our children well as He has loved us so well.
Okay, I guess with this post I would be losing some readers to my blog but never mind. But I stand behind this post and with Divya. Let’s look at this honestly with our hearts. Soon our children will no longer be with us or we will be leaving them, whichever comes first. Let us not make this big mistake of stifling our children’s hope and dreams for themselves. Let them be who they want to be, even if it may look unappealing to you or isn’t in the slightest what you want for them. Because truthfully -- It is they who are charting their own lives. It is they who will be living it. Let them! Let’s cheer them on with these words imprinted in big bold letters with our hearts --- “YOU CAN DO IT, CHILD. I LOVE YOU!”. And add to that --- "I'LL ALWAYS BE HERE FOR YOU."
I thought it good to bring in the links of both Savy's and LostPatrol's blog because they have presented their own views on the subject with different perspectives. It makes for an interesting read.
Divya, you seem to have raised a din .. :-) .. with your post (Letter...) but it's okay. It is good that both sides -- parents (fathers & mothers) and children) air their views on the subject because this lends us all a wonderful opportunity to learn and understand bout the very interesting topic of parenting. I don't think that the authors of these pieces are pointing their finger at any one side or finding fault. The 'discussion' which has ensued is just a matter of different individuals presenting their own views on the same subject perhaps speaking from their own experience insight and perceptions. Personally, I find each one (and if there are others more) as intelligent and true in his or her wisdom and views.
posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 3:30 PM