My daughter was playing with her friends in the park. One of the girls had got a new bike and she was showing it off to the group. After she had finished playing, my daughter came to me and said that she also wanted a bike like her friend. I told her that I will only be able to get her a new bike in the next month because I had already planned my budget for this month. My daughter stormed off to her room but not before telling me that I am not a good mom and I don’t care about her!
I am used to my teenager’s outbursts, which are quite momentary. However this time, it got me thinking. I was also a teenager once and I used to think that my parents weren’t as good as the other parents. I constantly compared them to the other parents and found them lacking. At that time, in my limited awareness, I could only think that they did not know anything about raising kids.
Today, as a parent I probably have developed a more sympathetic view towards parents in general. I have realized that parenting is the toughest job in the world. It has no training, no user manual and does not have any SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures).
The famous lyricist Gulzar once said that a parent is only as old as the child. So if my daughter is 13 years old, I am a 13 year old parent, because that is the experience I have in raising a child. Honestly, what does a 13-year old parent know? We stumble our way through all the challenges, peaks and troughs of the parenting world. Sometimes, we only can guess the problem and at other times we have no clue about anything.
There is a world of difference between my teenage years and those of my daughter and honestly at times I feel like a fool because I have to educate myself again and again on the subtle nuances of parenting in the 21st century.
So, having said that, I don’t think we can blame our parents for the way our lives have turned out. It is easy for most parents to strive for the materialistic requirements of the child and even fulfill them. But psychological expectations are a different ballgame all together.
Parents most of the times have no idea what a child wants from them. This is not because they don’t care but because they are so wrapped up in providing for the child that they are unable to go past those responsibilities. At times, even children are so wrapped up in blaming or being angry their parents that they don’t even talk to their parents properly. They feel parents should know everything intutively or may be practice telepathy! Yes, I agree that all of us should practice conscious parenting but then as humans we are bound to make mistakes, stumble, fail and get up again.
Let us say that you are learning to drive a car. Your driving instructor teaches you the basic aspects about how to start a car, use brakes, clutch brakes, etc. He teaches you how to read the signals on the road and all the basics that a driving course includes.
Now, you get your driving license and you start driving. You have practiced enough and one fine day, you jump a red light because you were getting late for work. You are fined. Now, would you start blaming your driving instructor that he did not teach you about jumping red lights? No! Because, you as an adult have enough knowledge about the right and the wrong. Same is the case with parents. They can teach you all they know about life. However, if you expect them to teach you beyond what they know and solve all your future problems too, then you are not only being unjust to yourself but to your parents as well!
Think about it!