I as a mother of pre schooler living in a joint family have been confronted by this question umpteen number of times. That is my idea as a mother of a perfect world creating a gap between my child’s notion of reality and perfection.
Our lives as kids was very simple. Believe me. No matter how much we brag about tight financial conditions, sibling rivalry, not enough holidays. Yet our lives were simpler. We never worried about brands or cars. We made friends easy because we didn’t have the pressure of judging people before becoming friends.
Now lives are different. Kids around me not only know the famous brands, but also understand the difference between fake and original.
We fail to understand how complicated the way of living has become. And as parents the solution we offer is study hard. Don’t let your mind waver. Sadly it’s not true. Yes studies are important. But also what is affecting our next generation is its milieu. Study hard is not a solution. It is a part, just a part. Kids as young as 13 have boyfriends/ girlfriends, crush or maybe an interest. Those who don’t think something is not perfect with them. Depression at this young age is becoming more normal than we will be able to digest. Specially when we start moralising kids with things like ‘attraction is not normal.’ ‘Fashion won’t do you any good.’ ‘Focus on studies’. ‘Be a good sports person. That should be your life’. And in the process we are alienating them from their surroundings. They get confused as to what should be believed. Our version of life, or the one they are living. Of course our intention is not to hurt their future, and focussing on things that are more important and earning more money should be the prime objective, but so is staying happy and connected to reality.
Tell them even you were human. Even you faced peer pressure, even you were attracted and heart broken, or a close friend was. Be a friend. Let them feel comfortable to come to you if they are troubled. Today kids are being emotionally abused by their own age mates. Both boys as well as girls. And the fact that they can’t confide in their parents makes them more vulnerable. So let’s lower our standards. Let’s think about them. Their happiness. From as young as your child maybe. If they develop Faith in you, it will go miles.
I don’t want my Utopian standards to hamper my child’s well being. I want to teach him that it’s OK to make mistakes. And for that I will need to learn that his problems are real too. Maybe then I can be a step closer to being a good parent.