“Parenting “is the new buzz word in today’s times. Everyone, the young parents, the would be parents and even newly weds , are talking about it. There are discussions, seminars, workshops, books and tv shows dedicated to Parenting.
Has rearing children become such a big job that it garners so much attention from all quarters? Is there a right way to bring up your children? A text-book method to go step by step? Or is it like a perfect recipe – take a child, add a teaspoon of discipline, a pinch of scoldings, 2 cups of your time and simmer lightly in the flame of love. For extra zing add the rigorous schedule of various extra-curricular activities. If you follow these steps you can’t go wrong. Why then are the child and family counselors getting busier by the day?
Is that what parenting is all about? Does shouting to the world about your child’s good score in exams make you a good parent? Does sending the child to all possible activities whether enjoyed by him or not make you a good parent? Does attending lectures and workshops make you a good parent? And did our parents not do a good job despite the fact that they never attended a single class on parenting?
This when, sometimes, they themselves were barely beyond the boundaries of adolescence and did not fully comprehend the meaning of parenthood and the responsibilities that came with it. And yet they managed to raise a generation that did fairly well for it self.
Today parenting has become ‘a game’ ,’a race’. “uska baccha mere bacche se aage kaise” and everyone joins the melee following the herd mentality, and trying to outdo every next kid in the vicinity. In the process, ironically, the victim is the child and its childhood. They are made to grow up before time and act as adults before they are out of their cribs.
So the question again… what is the right way to bring up your children? Is there a “one size fits all” mantra or a customized package to fit each individual type. Should we impose our thoughts, beliefs, dreams and ambitions on the child or we let them learn through their own experiences, gently guiding, so that they gain insight to the world as it is now. Let them explore the world both outside and inside themselves and grow into whole human beings and not machines for whom success is only equivalent to money fame and glitz.
As Khalil Gibran says in ‘The prophet’—
“your children are not your children. They are sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The Archer bends you with his might that his arrows may go swift and far”