This has been in my mind for a long time now and I want to express it right here and right now. To all the parents out there and parents-to-be, be patient and give this a thought. I might or might not make sense. But, please think about it.
Your children expect your support all through their lives. All parents enjoy this period where the child can stand only when the mother holds her hand and children seem to enjoy even more when the father has them right there up on his shoulders and dancing and laughing away to glory. It is so much fun right? To be such a huge pillar of support physically and mentally to your kids has always given you immense pleasure.
All these roses seem to be soft and nice only till your daughter slams the door behind and when your son knocks the door at 10 in the night. Yes. That’s when adolescence kicks in and that’s when you feel the thorns in the rose. We, your children, are not going to blame our raging hormones this time. Please take some time off from planning your budget and dusting the TV and look into our family life. It will look good. Two daughters who are beautifully dressed and well-mannered and helping momma in the kitchen will definitely look divine.
But what did you do the last time when one of them asked if you could let her go to the movies with her friends? I have a few answers you parents would have made.
One, “you aren’t old enough to hang-out like that with friends”.
Two, “your friends will hang out all day and night and finally you will be the only person scoring 60% while all of them will pass with distinction.”
Three, “call them home. Young girls shouldn’t hang out. The society is very bad”
Four, “had you known the value of money, you wouldn’t be spending it on pictures and pop corns.”
Five, “look at your sister, isn’t she happy sitting at home and watching TV? She scored more than you in class 10 board exams. Aren’t you ashamed?”
I am not going to call them invalid or rubbish statements from the parents. But, you will definitely know when you read this. You will realize if you have spoken something wrong or rude. If you think your daughter shouldn’t go to the movies, tell her in the way that will be apt and in the way she will be able to handle it. Firstly, please be polite when you talk to teenagers and they will automatically not talk back. Stay as calm as possible when you handle issues with your children. Shouting and howling will create a very bad scene at home and also in the mind of your daughter. So, when this happens the next time, she will not even want to ask you and she will know her means and ways of having fun. She will bunk colleges, sneak out from coaching classes and have it her way. And one fine day, you might pass that way and you might find her sitting and chit-chatting with a guy in a coffee shop. To your eyes, he is your daughter’s boyfriend and to her, he is just another friend. The same old drama of shouting and crying happens.
You insult them by comparing their marks and GPA with her sister’s or friends’. Sit and back and think if you are doing the right thing. There is no semester exam where questions are known, answers are dictated in class and we just don’t study and write it. There is so much into it. My father says, if I don’t have the time to complete my paper, I wasted too much time thinking about the answer and I wasn’t confident enough. That is so not the case. Some bad days, we are given huge chapters with small names with a simple “elaborate” or “explain” at the end of it in the question paper. We have no choice but to write the entire chapter squeezing and crumbling it as short as possible. Before you give answers to their problems, be the problem yourself, live it, and then talk about giving a solution. If mugging up and vomiting is the solution, don’t you think we can do it?
Before you jump into conclusions, think if you were right. You could have very well avoided that embarrassing scene of your child sneaking out to a coffee shop if you had allowed her to the movies that day. If you had been a little broad minded, she would have opened up about her problems to you and would have even brought her guy-friend home and introduced him to you. You may lay rules at home. I don’t say no to all that. Ask her to be back before 6. Ask her to call you when she leaves from the theatre. Keep her under check. When she wears short clothes, politely ask her to make sure she is conscious about her body all the time. Be the friend your daughter will want to walk hand-in-hand with. And I am sure no daughter will want to take advantage of the freedom given. Give her the freedom and responsibility at the same time and you will not see her go in the wrong direction.