Monday, March 12, 2012

Improve Your Parenting Skills -- Part 2

Click here to read Improve Your Parenting Skills - Part 1 

Have respect for your Mom and Dad because you get only one each of them in your whole life time... no matter who you are you cannot have two of them :) – Farida

That was my facebook and twitter message a few days ago. It came to my mind all of sudden one morning, that I can have brothers, sisters, friends, children, husbands or anyone in plurals but not mother and father.  We have never heard anyone saying my mothers and my fathers. As I sat down pondering over it, I realized how important it is for us to function as a parent. Our children can never have a replacement for us, ever! Even Uncle Sam cannot create another set of parents for children. If they have good ones, they are lucky, if they don’t, God Save Them! 

My parents loved and were kind towards me and my siblings. They tried very hard to do things the right way. They failed many a times because, they were ignorant and had no access to information like parents have today.

I remember certain things from my own childhood which made a lot of difference to my life. After growing up and becoming a responsible person; I now really feel sorry for those people who were target of my child hood tantrums. But I also realize what caused them, and so I have become adept at preventing tantrums and drama shows from the side of the children. It is very rare that I cannot handle a child smartly without great fuss.

I was a very naughty child. Time and again my grandmother and mother would warn me that, “God is going punish you if you don’t behave”. At times, I would get scared of a big God hitting me from no-where and would behave... but most of the times I thought it was a lie and did what I wanted. If they would have given me some real reasonable answer, or a reason not to be naughty it would have worked better. Stories of demons carrying away naughty children, wild animals attacking them were not working with me. But when I think back on their efforts in trying to instill fear in me, I think it was not right because with normal child (NO, I wasn’t normal in any way) it would create unnecessary fear of things that do not exist.
One fine day God really did hit me personally for being naughty.  Don’t call me a liar and stop reading .. you have to read till the end.
This is how it happened. My sister always preferred to have the table fan running on high speed, because she always felt hot, on the contrary, I felt very cold most of the time. We fought every night before one of us would give in and fall asleep. One day when no one was around I decided to cut the wire of the table fan so that she could not run it that night. I took a blade and started cutting the wire, but in a second someone hit me very hard on my head and I fell hard on the wall. I was alone and there was no one around. I was terrified and scared. I had to believe that my elders were right and at times God does intervene with us. So I was a golden child for 2 years, until we had lesson about electricity. It suddenly flashed in my mind that on that particular day I had received an electric shock when the insulation was cut through and the metal blade had touched the wire. All of sudden everybody who had said ‘God will punish you’ looked very stupid. All of a sudden God was the creation of ignorant people in my life; I became an atheist, and remained so for many years. Finally while studying science again I decided there is a super being to have everything so perfectly balanced. Life has changed and I am destined to believe in God, but I am not pious or religious anymore. I do feel that if I had not been told lot of lies in my childhood, I would not have ended up like what I am now. Not that I would be any better but I am sure I would be different. After the discovery of the truth, the golden child who was afraid of God had suddenly felt smarter and superior to those who believed in lies. My mom who was glad that finally God had answered her prayers was perplexed. You can imagine the plight of family when I had gone through the phase of being the intelligent child finding out the elders were uneducated stupid people.

I have learned a lesson there. Let us never scare our children or try to control them with imaginary things. They will think we are fools when they find out the truth about it. Let us be reasonable in what we say to the children. Trust me, it works. Also parents have to agree to the fact that children today are the experts on fashions, music, TV, and movies. At least most of them are. We usually find mothers asking even a tiny tot, about sending a sms message, or inserting a DVD in player. Kids are fast nowadays. Let us appreciate their knowledge and intelligence and talk to them sensibly. Keep the communication going on so that we can eradicate something called generation gap.  Learn from them so that you can build up their confidence. My son taught me to work with paint and photoshop to create my own images for blog. Ask them what music groups are popular and what their songs are about. Often, with changing times the tastes of music, movies, and games will be different. When I first heard my son listening to Chester Bennington screaming his lungs out, I was horrified as to what kind of kid I had begotten. But I kept my promise of being fair and allowing him to live his life. The controlling parent in me said it could harm him, his ear drums would be damaged, he could get into depression because hard rock can cause it and also it may lead to heart problems. I shut that parent up and talked to Rayyan, as to what made him think those songs were good. He is a smart child who will not rebel or defend his likes, but, calmly explain the positive points of his likes. He made me hear one of the songs and told me to listen to it carefully without being prejudiced, and also to try to understand the lyrics. Initially I did it only to give him a chance of being right in his choice of music, but honestly I loved the song ‘Numb’ so much that I have become a fan of Chester Bennington and LP now.
Parents should not make an issue with what their children have to like. Give them their choice. You have to interfere for sure when you think the situation is going to harm the child in anyway.  We need to keep our children safe at any cost. 
We have to work towards becoming better parents because we are not replaceable. Even if the child gets adopted or is put under someone’s care, I feel that a child can relate to only one person as a mother and father for whole life; the two people the child will look up to for becoming a better person. Let us not let our children down. 
Girl and doll - Click image to download.
A poster I made for a Workshop on Parenting Skills


Rayyan Lost in Laptop

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