The newspaper heading – “Vegetable seller amputee son wins the gold at Paralympics’ and my son is nowhere despite me giving him everything from attention (even gave up my career to focus on him) and love to the best school and best coaching!”
I grew up getting a real experience of raising children! Don’t fret I wasn’t raising kids as a kid. But I was being raised by my parents. And I was at the receiving end of their parenting.
As I grew up I experienced the great things a parent could do to a child. They took care of me, dressed me up everyday for school. Even with limited means, my school dress was immaculate: cleaned and ironed to perfection everyday, shoes polished and my hair made to the extent that each strand was in its place. And my dad himself used to make sure it is like that everyday; while mom was up before I was ensuring that I get fresh and healthy food for tiffin. Dad was home every evening on time to spend time with family, annual trips, respect for others etc. And the list goes on.
And then there was this list of things which I didn’t like (at times hating them for doing it) – there were stuff I was not allowed to be a part of (they used to say “its badon ki baatein”). They wouldn’t talk to me about the difficulties they were facing, everything which had to be done for the home was their job – you concentrate on studies and play and enjoy life, I always felt that I could add value or at least learn from their experiences, then there were times when I would be slapped for my behavior or breaking something at home.
I would say to myself – as it is I am feeling bad and sorry for what I did; I am guilty of making you unhappy and causing a financial loss (for me breaking a bulb while playing was a dent in the monthly budget and I was responsible for increasing the financial burden) and I used to say children are sensitive and feeling bad about their deed, we need a big hug rather than chiding for it.
So, here I was 30 years old grown-up with parenting experience of about 24/25 years! Ready to do it absolutely right with my children. Not just knowing but absolutely certain about THE BEST way of raising a perfect child. With 25 years of experience and that too experiencing it on myself. There cannot be a more apt person to raise a child.
With my knowledge, ability, experience my child will turn out to be perfect. I knew what to focus on and how to focus on so that he does perfectly at school – academically and co-curricular. I knew exactly what goes missing in expressing yourself with others, what to do and what not to do and I will give it all to my child. With my support and attention he cannot go wrong!
Fast forward a few years. Despite my attention and focus on him he is not doing well in his studies, he gets on to phone, he’s participating in a bit of sports but is not playing the guitar I was so keen he would be able to and I had got him the best of the teacher. I think either there is something wrong with him or it’s something to do with the company he keeps.
How can I go wrong with my bringing up? I really did everything right. And I knew it in my blood and bones that’s exactly what I wanted, felt and experienced and I was conscious of it every moment.
At Parwarish I realized that whatever I did was what I experienced, what I felt, what I wanted and I needed. I got the tools to really understand his feelings, needs, wants, style – and the world shifted!
My child is not me!