Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What Do We Want From Our Children? II

In today’s world when every parent wants their kids to be all rounder and want to fulfill their dreams through them. This courageous mother realized that her son’s happiness and contentment was more important than the ambition of having an all around performer. This post has been picked up by Rekha.

So after seeing the contribution of my daughter to my life in my post What Do We Want From Our Children?, let us now see what my son has contributed to my life. Let me introduce you people to Rayyan once again after bragging about him on his birthday.
I fought for my life very hard 16 years ago against cancer because of few reasons, but foremost among them was that I wanted to be there for my daughter and second, I also wanted to be there with my son. He was such a cute, lovable and peaceful child that I did not want to miss the chance of bringing him up. I was damn sure that he was going to make me a very happy mom, and you bet I was right.
I had made my mistakes with Rayyan in his earlier childhood.broken heart When he started school, I expected him to emulate me and score high marks and stand first in class. After all he was my son. To my utter shock, I did not find the zeal and passion in Rayyan to be ahead of others. He was satisfied when he could score 60-65% marks and get into next class. He looked smart, he had very high IQ, but that did not show on his marks card. There were those unfortunate times, when I had lost my cool and forced him to put more effort in his studies. Nothing I did could make him change his attitude towards life. Somewhere down the line, before much damage was done, I realized I was wrong. I was not walking on the right path of parenting. How could I change this wonderful, lovable, content child into my dream child? Reflecting upon my childhood, I was horrified to see what I had missed all through. I was very ambitious and always wanted to give my best to everything I did. Second place always sucked to me. I used to fret and fume at the 94% marks as that meant I had missed 6% of it, which could be avoided with little more effort. As I pursued my perfectness, I missed out on happiness of life. Here was a child who was content and happy with himself. He was happy with his clothes, toys, books, life, marks, achievements and the whole world, and I was trying very hard to steal that all from him. I made a tough decision and decided that I am not going to change my son. I am going to allow him to be what he is; as finally what counts in our life is not whether we are successful, but whether we are content and happy with our lives or not.
As the result of this my son does not come home with medals, cups, certificates or championships often, but nevertheless I am very proud of him. As proud as any mom would ever be! 
Some of you may ask what makes me a proud Mom. Let me explain.
Whenever I take out Rayyan for shopping, he always calculates how much money a toy, snack or dress would cost before telling me whether he liked it or not. Isn't that better than scoring 100% in Maths?  Even when he was a toddler, he never demanded anything from me. He was happy with the stories I told him, walks I took him and games we played together. When I was going through cancer, he suffered silently so that he would not make things worse for me. He would sit beside me, working on some painting quietly, and when Farheena demanded attention he took care of her too.

People have been asking me endlessly to change him into someone else. I wonder why I would do that. He is happy with himself and so I am. He has not been a topper in class, he had to struggle a lot to clear his languages in SSLC exams, he is not very ambitious to get into competitive sports though he loves cycling and swimming a lot. All this is held against him, and people sometimes say he is non-achiever. Another complaint against him has been that he is not faithful follower of his religion, a behavior that brings out the wrath of many people around me.  People who are concerned for me, and are my well wishers, worry about my children’s future as they see no great achievement coming their way.

I have been often accused of spoiling him with too much of leniency. I don’t find anything that indicates he has been spoilt. He does not spend money on phone calls, petrol or any other extravagances. When all his friends are zooming on bikes, he still uses his cycle to travel around everywhere in Bangalore so that he can save on petrol and rickshaw fare. I worry about his safety on roads, as cyclists do not get priority on city roads, but he assures me that if we follow rules and keep cool, cycle is the safest mode of travel.  Though he is accused of not following religion, I feel he does follow the religion perfectly, what he ignores is the useless rituals associated with it. He does not throw temper tantrums, as for the fact I have yet to see him get angry and violent. He is kind towards animals and trees. He is respectful towards fellow human beings, no matter what their religion, nationality or status is. Isn't that the base of all religions?

I have been worried sometimes, whether these comments may make my children feel that they have let me down, but NO. For some wonderful reason, both my children do not find anything wrong with them, and know it very well they do not have to change to make their mom happy and proud. The negative comments do not affect them because they are sure of my support and love.
Children are gifts, and from none other the Almighty God. We do not get to choose our gifts, but our loved ones choose them for us because they think we deserve it the best. Imagine a situation when your loved one gives you a ring with blue stone, when you really love a green stone….. Do we try to paint it green or change the stone? NO. When we are so specific about little material things given by our loved ones, is it right to change our children who are unique individuals with their own lives?  I myself had tough time letting my son go his way, discard the engineering field and take up animation as profession. But I did it because I feel it was the right thing to do. Today I say for sure I was right. He is passionate about the field he has chosen, the images he creates for my blog are a testimonial to his dedication. That is way beyond a good work than he would have done as a software engineer. A barber who can give a perfect haircut is way better than the King who rules his kingdom inefficiently. Better allow everyone to excel in what they are good at and love to do. Do not change your children to be what you want them to be, instead allow them be the best in what they choose for themselves.


  1. Thank you for this post Farila. I hung on to every word.

    As a mother of 3, ages 16, 14, and 12, I am trying to prepare them for college and life afterwards. While I want them to earn enough money to take care of all their needs and many of their wants (if not all), I also want them to get up everyday enthused about what they will do for the day at their jobs.

    My children are smart, too, however, neither is interested in being a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. lol My husband is a little concerned, but I am learning to trust God that they will make their own paths and be more peaceful human beings.

    I like your son's attitude! Now if I can accept the same attitude in mine. lol

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Anita. It is tough to accept that attitude in our children because we want only the best for them.. but do we really know what is the best? Are we the smartest? That is a tough question to answer.

  3. This is a great story. Unfortunately, the people who are giving you negative comments about your children failing at life fail to see that they are excelling at being human beings. Too bad more people don't try to aim for this in their own lives. Then, they wouldn't have the need to comment on how others are failing.

    1. That is the sad state of our lives.. we never truly appreciate real good things we have but run behind materialistic gains

  4. He is a GOOD BOY.

    and I am amzed at people saying this or that to you, YOU as a parent know whats best for your kid .. you shud tell those people to go and Look after their OWN kids first ..

    IT seems I can relate to him, I was bad at studies , barely passed that doenot mean EVERYTHING.. Look at me I am happy where I am , and DOING better than many EDUCATED ones ..

    Good to know more about the young man my best wishes with him always ..


    1. The sad part is that among the people who say this is not good enough for my kids is the other half of their parent.. ;)so I cannot say look after your own kids first LOL
      I am glad you are doing good than the educated ones and sending the parents a message..

  5. I would say that he is just lucky to have you as much as you are to have him.
    Speaking from his point of view or from an adolescent's point of view, It does get very tough for us when parents decide what we should become when we grow up.
    It's TRUE that they want the best for us but that decision should be ours and ours only.
    I've also never been an outstanding student while my brother was a state topper in 10th and 12th as well.I was good too but at some point I felt like a failure. My parents' constant encouragement and support were acknowledged but sometimes it felt like a discouragement as well.
    I wish all parents thought like you do and there would be fine Rayyan-like children in our society where everyone is busy pleasing everyone else but their hearts.

    ❤Not Just My Allegories❤

    1. I know that. My parents decided that I should not be a Astrophysicist and I still regret their decision. Even after having such wonderful children in my life, I feel they should not have done that but I was not strong enough back then to hurt them and go ahead with my ambition. Thanks for the compliments on my parenting. :)

  6. One problem I've always had with the school system in this country is the "cookie cutter" method of turning out all of our kids the same. Everyone takes the same tests (and lord do they take a lot of them!!), the same classes, and they are pushed and pushed and pushed some more toward college. Competition, strict rules to adhere to and zero tolerance. It really makes my hackles rise, especially with a child in special ed. Kids hate it...this generation is rebelling like no other before. I'm all for learning the basics...they're necessary to be able to function in life...but why can't kids choose what THEY want to learn in the upper grades? If history is their passion, why can't they take all the history classes they want and forget about chemistry and English lit? If music is near and dear to their hearts (as it is for my nephew), why can't his classes be all about that? Why aren't children allowed to be themselves in education? Each individual has a strong interest in something and less in other areas. Why don't schools let kids choose? Wouldn't children want to stay in school instead of dropping out if they could pick their own classes per their interests? In an internet age it's more than possible. I hope this generation makes it happen because the end result will be happier and more productive kids. Isn't that what we all want?

  7. Nice one. I am able to relate all the more having met all of you. Good to see you are proud of your children and they of you.

    And rare to have a son who goes around with mom at this age and being proud of it instead of being ashamed to be seen around with mom.

  8. Wish I had read this post wayyyy back when my first son was in school. I had to learn all this by myself :( It hurt us both mother and son, a lot

  9. What a fabulous post, Farida! Do we need a reason to be proud of our kids? I find the approach very stupid that we cherish someone only if they win medals or bring accolades. To a mother, her kids are precious! You are right as a mother; foolish are the people who ask you such questions! Let your children free. Let them choose their own happiness!

  10. This warmed my heart. You have poured your soul here. Tell Rayyan, I loved all the pictures here :)

  11. Hi

    What a post!! If your son has stood with you when you went through the horrors of cancer, that indicates his strength of character and I dont think anything else is needed....I too believe that children should be given the freedom to do the things they like and choose the paths they want to tread in.....Sometimes when I see overambitious mothers, I sometimes get a doubt about myself if I am doing things rt...Your post was like icecream to my sight and honey to my ears...Thanks :)

  12. What a sensible mum, giving Rayyan the opportunity to discover his dreams and appreciating his strengths.

  13. What a beautiful post!!....Wish every parent thinks the way you think...You understood him so well and accepted his dreams...You are a gr8 mother!!
    The pictures are really amazing!!....Loved them...


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